PhD Degree Overview
There are individuals who, after attaining graduate studies such as a master’s degree, still like to pursue advanced levels of learning. This can be due to various reasons, such as the desire to teach in the academe or to apply higher concepts to endeavors such as scientific research or business. Hence, they may take up a Doctorate in Philosophy, simply known as PhD.
A PhD literally means philosophiae doctor, or “lover of wisdom”. It is a postgraduate academic degree given by universities across the globe. A PhD degree dwells more on the formulation of research studies, theses and papers that hold significance when used in practical applications.
A PhD was first used as a doctorate in liberal arts at the Humboldt University in Berlin, and was later adopted by American universities during the 19th century. Prior to acquiring a PhD, scholars may only attain a doctorate in the fields of medicine, law, or theology.
Qualifications needed for a PhD Degree
In order to attain a PhD degree, the student in question must have first completed a certain level of education such as a bachelor’s degree followed by a master’s degree. Also, for some disciples like liberal arts and humanities, a PhD degree is possible in most cases.
Studying for a PhD usually takes two to three years. Most of your time will be spent on writing a thesis or dissertation based on qualified research. The load of coursework in a PhD is similar to that of a master’s degree, except that it has fewer lectures and dedicates more time on actual research work.
Some countries accept students to take a PhD without having to finish a master’s degree, provided that they are able to fulfill all the necessary requirements for the course.
Applying for a PhD Degree
When applying for a PhD, it is important to visit the department that offers the said course at least one semester before the target academic year of enrollment. This because the department office usually will have a specific application process before accepting students for a PhD. The screening process includes an interview about the student’s capacity to work on a postgraduate thesis, his or her dedication to the course and understanding the student’s expectation and/or experiences while working in an academic environment.
While there are no internships or on-the-job trainings in a PhD, the workload to complete the degree can be strenuous and requires months of focus. This is because the courses require in-depth research in the chosen field, consistent drafting of papers as well as time and effort in data-gathering necessary for the doctorate dissertation.
What can I do with a PhD?
Having a PhD offers a wide variety of advantages. Aside from being able to work in a full-time, tenured professorship positions in colleges and universities, graduates may also use the title “Doctor.” Apart from academic work, a person with a doctorate can expect better job positions in most organizations. There is a lot of weight-age that comes with a doctorate and it is well worth the hard hours you put in. You can expect good positions in government offices especially those that entail international relations and diplomatic activity.
Those who wish to work for private organizations can also expect a fairly high level position in the organization. You will find many PhD’s serving as heads of private academic institutions such as private high schools, colleges and universities. Another popular choice among graduates is to work for think tanks and consulting outfits. Independent consulting opportunities open up and you can expect decent compensation and benefits.
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