find your perfect postgrad program
Search our Database of 30,000 Courses

Posted May 1, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Getting a PhD

Are PhDs only for those looking to stay within the world of academia?

If you’re feeling unsure whether a PhD is the right route for you, then check out our list of pros and cons below...

Pros of Getting a PhD:

  • You can indulge in the luxury of having Dr as your title. Yes it may sound a little superficial, but some of us like that kind of thing!

  • You’ll learn how to be tough (mentally tough that is) from all the grilling, criticizing, and second guessing you will have to endure when you present your research proposal .

  • Your analytical skills will sky rocket. This really depends on the type of PhD you pursue, but it is a given that you will learn to sharpen your analytical skills, and will then be able to apply these skills to subsequent ventures.

  • It is the highest possible degree that you can achieve. If you strive for greatness, and nothing short of being the best will do, a PhD will definitely fulfil your intellectual satisfaction.

  • You will be a recognized expert in your field, and you will have a piece of paper to prove it. Who knows, you may even be lucky enough to win a Nobel Prize one day!

  • Some jobs actually require you to have a PhD or equivalent, and no, they are not all academic jobs.

  • You will be able to use your PhD experience to quickly learn new areas within your chosen field, as well as adapt to the differing demands of the workplace.

  • Confidence. Studying for a PhD is a surefire way to boost your self confidence and belief. You will finally get the chance to discover that there is no secret source of knowledge that you’re being denied access too.

  • The joy of learning. If you pick a field that you enjoy (which is always advisable) the love of the pursuit will be enough.

Cons of Getting a PhD :

  • A PhD won’t necessarily help you get a job, unless it is research related that is.

  • Living, breathing, and thinking of nothing but your field of study for a prolonged period of time can make you think that this is all there is too life.

  • All your friends and colleagues are already on their second or third promotion by the time you’ve finally finished studying for your PhD.

  • Prospective employers may view you as overqualified and under experienced, especially if you try to venture outside of your field of research.

  • You will need to have a partner that understands you will be not only physically but also mentally absent as you attempt to make a breakthrough in your chosen field of study.

  • You won’t have the luxury of a full time income, and once you graduate you will have a lot of catching up to do.


This blog was written using content from Jane Chin.

Related articles 

The ABCs of PhDs
Applying for a PhD course
Top tips for surviving a PhD


Terman Sept. 28, 2021, 8:12 p.m.

I am looking for a PhD by publication, where my published works are related with the medical physics (MP) or statistics applied to MP. I see many of universities with this type of programm are of UK. Can you help me in my search??

Charlotte King Oct. 13, 2021, 9:03 a.m.

Hi Terman – many of the the top UK universities such as UCL and University of Exeter offer this type of program. I recommend you research into the PhD supervisors at the universities that you're interested in to help narrow down your choice. Good luck.

Leave a comment