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Friday, July 19, 2019

The long and winding road towards a PhD | University - Study International News

Yasmin Ahmad Kamil, Senior Education Journalist at Study International writes, The PhD journey is not all doom and gloom. Here’s some advice from a graduate.

Photo: Ellen Davis via Flickr
A PhD is the crowning achievement in academia, but the road towards the finishing line proves to be a strenuous climb of resilience and perseverance. PhD students often report feeling stressed with their supervisors, struggling to balance tight deadlines with work commitments and experiencing the overarching stress of graduate school in general. But the struggle is not without its benefits. 

For many, a PhD serves as a passport for a career in academia, while others may see it as an opportunity to earn more in their lifetime. For instance, 2017 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that those with doctoral and professional degrees earn more than those with only a Master’s or Bachelor’s. 

One study notes: “Recipients of doctoral degrees have traditionally occupied prestigious positions in research and education, where they have been called upon and funded to produce new knowledge.”

It also notes that doctoral education “provides the labour force not only for top positions within the professoriate, but also in educational administration, scientific laboratories and research facilities, and business and industry”...

A PhD students’ supervisor can be their best friend or the bane of their existence. Some students report that their supervisors are not supportive, do not give timely feedback or are simply AWOL. Zabri’s experience could not have been more different.

“It’s not the same in my case because my supervisors read everything, provided that I gave them time before the next supervisory meeting to read it,” he said. Frequent changes needed to be made to his work as his supervisors had their fingers on the pulse of the latest research in his area of study and would often suggest information they felt could be incorporated into his PhD. 

“So, sometimes for me, it can be stressful. So usually after every after supervisory meeting, I’ll go to town to de-stress or go back home to sleep it off first, waking up with a fresh mind.”

Having gone through the wringer, what would be Zabri’s advice to aspiring PhD students?

Source: Study International News