I want to first off start by saying I want as much as I can through this blog to encourage and not discourage. The inspiration for this post is seeing so many people assume that the only way “up” or to pursue their dream is through more school – this is not necessarily the case and I will explore this theme more in coming weeks.
There are several reasons why one would consider the wonderful journey that is a PhD – wanting to be challenged, the desire to teach as a professor, the desire to explore an area of study that is a passion through rigorous academic research, wanting to gain skills that you will put towards your professional work…the list is endless. However, I want go through a process of elimination. So if you’ve been thinking of doing a PhD, here are some reasons, in my humble opinion, NOT to do it:
1. Your friends/former colleagues/former classmates are doing it
Academia is often synonymous with peer pressure. Remember when the coolest gal in high school bought that pair of hightops, or got her first perm/weave, making you green with envy and you swore that the minute you had some cash on you, you would do the same thing and ‘show’ them because you too can do it…remember that? Well doing a PhD for that reason is like having a child to prove to others that you can do it….oh sorry, people are still doing that…I digress…the point I am trying to make is that you will be left with said child once you’ve proven your point and the other people will NOT be there to help you raise him/her. A PhD requires alot from you including long-term commitment. Even if half your class from your Masters is now pursuing a PhD, resist the urge to enrol in a program purely for that reason. Because none of them will be there with you when you are doing your comprehensive exams, or defending your proposed research or doing the field research.
Do your PhD because it is something that YOU want to do independent of what others might think and of course seek God’s counsel about whether it is right for you. Continue reading