The positives behind having a PhD. How valuable is it to you?

By: Taren Vaughan

We were always told growing up that receiving a bachelor’s degree would make us stand out from the rest. As time progressed, more and more people started to go to college. And getting a bachelor’s degree was not as uncommon as it once was before. So then getting a master’s degree became the thing to do. Even though receiving master’s degrees is still considered a major accomplishment, having a PhD has been said to allow a person to write their own ticket.

Individuals who teach on the university level will find that having that “Dr.” in front of your name does hold a lot of significance when it comes to job positions that are offered to you. The amount of money that you make and the way you are treated is influenced by that PhD that you have obtained. As a former college student, I myself saw how students reacted towards teachers who were doctorate professors versus those who only held master’s degrees. The level of respect that was given to PhD professors was much higher than that of non-PhD professors.

Although having a PhD can result in a number of positive things for a person, especially when a career choice is concerned, its usefulness varies depending on what field a person is in and what kind of job they are looking to get into. If you want to go into scientific research of some kind, then getting a PhD is definitely worth your while. Maybe your calling is teaching at the collegiate level. In this situation, a PhD will serve its purpose as well. But there are some career fields where having a PhD is almost equivalent to having a high school diploma simply because it is more about your experience than your education. The only difference is that a high school diploma doesn’t cost you thousands of dollars to get.

Surprisingly, some people get PhD’s for other reasons that are not related to their career goals. From conversations that I have had with several peers of mine, their desire to get PhD’s was to fulfill that sense of true accomplishment. Not so that they can necessarily make more money, but it was more so a personal goal that they had set for themselves.

Obtaining a PhD requires a lot of hard work, time and dedication which is why people are heavily applauded for getting them. Yes, it is very impressive that you took the time to go to school for all those years to obtain one of the highest level of degrees out there. No one can argue with that. But if you are in a profession where experience is the determining factor as to whether or not you get that great job offer, then what can a PhD really do for you?