Dec 29 2018

Think carefully before doing PhD

Erik Clark

Case Studies

The PhD degree, also known as a doctoral degree, is the highest degree in the training system of most universities in the world. PhD is a concept that is probably new to some readers. This article provides the most overview of this program.

  • What is PhD?

PhD is general know as "Doctor of Philosophy" but this degree is for most disciplines, not only Philosophy.

There are some basic concepts about PhD:

  • PhD is a high-level postgraduate research program which often takes more than 3 years to complete an independent research project, on a specific topic that has never been studied before.
  • PhD is completed with the help of one or more experts who are usually professors in the university or industrial company.
  • Research results must be breakthrough and contributing to the human knowledge.

PhD is the highest degree until now, but it is not the end of study, it represents the beginning of a career – professional research career.

  • The research process of a PhD student.

PhD program is completely different from a master's or bachelor's degree program, a doctoral program with absolutely no concept of study but it may be 100% research or 80% research and 20% teaching (Sweden). This does not mean that you have to spend all your time at the library or the lab. In contrast, to become a doctor you need more than that, for example,


- Make surveys on natural or social issues according to the specialties pursued.

- Start studying a new and innovative issue, and then collect results.

- Writing essays to present research results and comments in a personal way.

- Protect your research work before the review board.


The process is almost similar for all areas, every country and every university.

  • The journey to become a PhD


The first step in your journey to become a PhD is to search for a research topic. Initially, you need advices from your supervisors and exchange ideas and knowledge with your colleagues.

After detailed planning for the study, the next thing to do is to investigate the research object, which will help you fix the problem and make sure your research is original, not duplicated previous works. Conducting the survey helps the overall study to be logical as well as to make judgments about the final result.


The next step begins when you have completed all the core research issues. In the second year, the most important object is to determine the results from experiments, surveys, or other methods. Here you can start writing and discussing to get advice from instructors.

The second year is extremely important in a scholar's career. Fellows can begin to collect data or develop the depth of research, it is time to think carefully about how to present your findings to the review board.


This is the time to complete your thesis, the instructor will read and comment. Once completed, you will enter the most difficult round, defending your research directly in front of the council. This is an assessment from the preceding people for an incoming graduate student


This is the time to complete your thesis, the instructor will read and comment. Once completed, you will enter the most difficult round, defending your research directly in front of the council. This is an assessment from the preceding people for a prospective graduate student. Overcoming it, you will get a PhD.


Real research is not a completely lonely journey, you will walk on the big road with many turns, many destinations and many companions.

  • Conduct research

It is the main job of a PhD, and it also includes many different activities. The classic scenario to envision a PhD graduate is a day-to-day person sitting in a research room with a pair of thick-eyed glasses and a large book in front of him. This is only partly true, PhD needs more than that, you need to move, scrutinize your audience, evaluate and collect data from multiple sources. Research is more meaningful than a solitary activity, you need to discuss it with your instructor or colleagues. Also participating in seminars or conferences is inevitable.

Many universities hold group presentations, a great way to get people's opinions right while the research is still unfinished.

  • Work closely with instructors

A PhD's research has a great contribution from at least one instructor. These are experts in the field that PhD is studying. They are people who have the time and expertise to listen to your ideas and point out the incomplete points that help the building improve.

For science and technology projects, the instructor is often the leader of a larger project with many PhDs and other researchers. Each person makes a small part in a big project with the same purpose.

For studies of arts and humanities, instructors are quite separate, they can also guide more than one PhD at the same time but the projects are completely different.

Having a lot of mentors is also important for a PhD. One person helps guide professional issues, others help adjust the time to ensure research goes on schedule. However, many people also mean many opinions and arguments, which needs PhD to know the moderation and adjust each relationship properly.

  • Who should study the PhD program?

This is not a question an outsider can answer for you. The path of a PhD is difficult and sometimes very lonely. It requires at least three years after graduation, serious work is more devoted than personal goals. It can be said that your stolen youth is not exaggerated. In those years you have to help yourself, motivate yourself because there will be no direct progress for your career.

Heavy, but PhD is also worth paying for the effort. This is your chance to create new discoveries for humanity, bringing more work to people as well as other researchers to change the world and create the future.

Only a PhD student is proud, only a handful of people on the planet have that honor, it is an affirmation of contributions, for the effort you spend long time. It is then an open career path for PhDs who have worked really seriously.