To Get or not to Get - Is PhD Really Necessary for You?

To Get or not to Get - Is PhD Really Necessary for You?
Table of Contents
  1. To Get or not to Get - Is PhD Really Necessary for You?
  2. How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?
  3. What Do You Need To Apply?
  4. What Are the Steps to Complete Doctoral Studies?
  5. Coursework
  6. Examinations
  7. Research work
  8. Dissertation
  9. What Is Your Motive to Pursue a PhD?

Want to continue your higher education taking part in a graduate program at a university? Wondering how to get a PhD? You can easily find a lot of good doctoral programs to choose from but the road to a doctorate is long & requires many years of advanced study and research work in a specific academic field. People complete PhD programs for a number of reasons. Generally, PhD degree is considered to be a great way to increase your lifetime earnings potential.

Looking for additional information about PhDs? Many students start the PhD process without knowing what it may include and how useful it will be for their professional career. Actually, it is crucial to find out important factors in choosing a career.

In this article, we discuss what every student needs to consider for making the final decision before they take a plunge. Read on to learn all the necessary info.

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD?

When completing PhD degrees, graduates prepare for research & faculty positions at different universities. When a student has completed the program and earned a PhD in sciences or in humanities, it means that he/she has mastered a certain subject completely & has achieved a high level of expertise in it. It may require a lot of time & effort. According to Purdue University, less than 1% of people obtain a doctoral degree.

How long does it take to get a PhD? It depends. Typically, it takes 3 to 8 years to complete a program. An average student can earn the Doctor of Philosophy degree in 8.2 years if they begin their undergraduate studies & stay students all the way to doctoral program completion. The completion time may vary greatly. Students can take a break between courses or they may require more time to finish their dissertation. If you have to study and work part-time, you may not be able to manage a full course load due to your busy schedule. Want to know the required minimum of time exactly? Research the program you are interested in & ask your enrollment advisor.

According to statistics, the average student who earns PhD diploma is 33 years old but only 57% of students obtain their diploma within 10 years of studying at a graduate school. In the humanities, this figure is just 49%.

What Do You Need To Apply?

Before you rush into a PhD, it’s crucial to understand all the necessary requirements you have to meet & the sequence of steps you have to follow. If you are interested in a doctoral program, you must get a bachelor’s degree at college and a master’s degree in a certain field that is related to your subject of study. Some programs may require bachelor’s degree. Students can earn a master’s degree in the middle of the doctoral program so you should check and contact the admissions committee at your university of choice to understand the admission requirements.

Choose a school & start the application process. To enroll in a doctoral program, applicants must submit such materials as

  • a statement of purpose
  • resume or CV
  • transcripts from the previous undergraduate & graduate schools
  • letters of recommendation
  • recent GMAT or GRE scores

The requirements vary. Some schools may require that you should provide other writing samples & examinations.

What Are the Steps to Complete Doctoral Studies?

Getting a doctorate requires doing advanced coursework, passing comprehensive examinations, doing research work, and writing your dissertation or thesis. These are typical stages you can expect. PhD work may vary across different universities and academic disciplines.


There are no clearly determined coursework requirements. Students take courses & attend lectures, order essays or essay samples from experts to gain expertise in the chosen field of study. The training includes completing written assignments to expand experience in scholarly writing. They are not graded. The coursework can include teaching assistantship to instruct undergraduate students.


Students must pass special qualifying exams which may be both written & oral at chosen times. Their goal is to assess the student’s readiness for the dissertation process. They track students’ progress.

Research work

Performing an original research is an important component of a doctoral program. In the beginning, students choose their advisor who guides them through their studies and determines graduation requirements. Students meet with their advisors every year. He/she assesses their progress towards the requirements. One of the most important steps is to choose the right topic to research.


Students must do original research and create a dissertation that is a scholarly work of a book-length with your copyright and rights reserved. Make sure you know how to write every part of this work. For example, a title page, abstract, dissertation introduction, appendices, etc. You will need to find a subject and create a proposal that must be approved by your advisor & the committee. Conducting an independent research, you become a scholar. You need to write articles on the subject of your research and have them published in scientific journals. Finally, you must defend your findings before the faculty committee.

What Is Your Motive to Pursue a PhD?

Before starting to search PhD application options at graduate schools and universities, you should have a good understanding of your true motivation to complete a doctorate program and whether PhD makes sense if you take into account your larger plan for a future job and your life. Some students stay in doctorate programs in spite of many obstacles just because they enjoy learning. They prefer to pursue what they love. They like the opportunity to deal with intellectual problems & have access to new knowledge in a specific field of science.

If your ambition is to become a professor, keep in mind that a PhD doesn’t guarantee you an academic position because they are scarce. You will need to adjust your career expectations. You can pursue a satisfying career outside of academia, but a doctorate diploma is unnecessary for most jobs, especially in business.

Earning a doctorate may be intellectually awarding. But if you care about your future income, you should be aware that a PhD is worth little more than a master's although it could cost you a lot of money.

Now you are aware how to get a PhD. You have a balanced view of its obstacles, challenges, and joys. Do you want to add “Dr” to your title?