Before we start any task, it is advisable to weigh its benefits and challenges. Studying a PhD program is no exception. In the last post “PhD: Who should choose it?”, we have understood the mindset of a PhD Scholar. They are willing to compromise money over teaching and research. This post will look into the advantages of pursuing a PhD career over other job profiles.
In May 2020, I was trying to uncover the benefits of a PhD career option. We have broadly 2 career options: a Professor and a Researcher. If you are a professor, you publish journals and teach students in a university. Meanwhile, if you are a researcher, you work to get insights for a company; and try to improve business. Many times, both can interchange their roles despite being in the same designation. A professor, for instance, can do some research work for a company and get paid. Similarly, a researcher can give guest lectures at a university. So, when we seek the benefits of a PhD, largely, we benchmark the benefits of a professor.
The 3 unique benefits of being a professor are Recognition, Flexibility, and Youthfulness.
First, let us define the word ” recognition”. One of the meanings in wordnik.com is “attention or favourable notice”. The definition is apt for the societal context. We strive to gain positive attention through our actions and work hard to retain it for generations to come. Let me give you an example. Do you know about Ashoka? He was a powerful Indian king. Ashoka’s empire was huge; it includes present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and India except for southern states. He gained attention when he vowed to stop the war and spread peace after witnessing the huge pile of human dead bodies on the battlefield. Even after centuries, we remember his name for the decision he had made. The example also reminds us of a key point,
Only when you are in the apex position, your deeds will gain attention. PhD will give you such an apex position.
Imagine, a ruler of a small province had also decided to stop the war. It wouldn’t have mattered to anyone in the world; neither would we quote the deed until this day in history.
Similarly, earning a PhD lifts you to the apex of academics. From ancient times, our society placed knowledge in the highest order of influence. In the old days, kings sought advice from well-educated ministers. Similarly, if you are a professor, people view your writings and speeches with great respect and attention. Of course, the scale of attention depends on the reputation of the university you have studied and currently working at. For example, if you have completed the PhD program from a low ranked university, your circle of influence is limited to a particular city/town. On the other hand, if you have secured a PhD degree from a top-ranked school, your journals and articles can influence the whole world. In a nutshell, if you have a PhD, people listen to you more often than not.
Second, if you are a professor, you can live anywhere in the world. People aspire to get good education across the globe; and, this growing demand increases the probability of a global job. Because of the demand, the job provides immense flexibility. For instance, if you would like to live in Brazil, you can apply to any university over there and get a job. Meanwhile, people from most of the professions in the world cannot even dream of such flexibility when it comes to working locations. Flexibility could also mean, you can work from your native region. In today’s world, people should shift from their native region to distant lands for stable job opportunities. In contrast, you can stay in your hometown and work in nearby colleges. In summary, with the growing popularity of higher education, you can choose to work anywhere by being a professor.
Now, we come to the last unique benefit of having a PhD degree, which is “Youthfulness”. If you are a professor, you interact with many young minds. For example, you will be teaching to a class of undergraduates or you will be addressing a college symposium as a special guest. When compared to most professions, you get to spend a maximum amount of time with youngsters. As a consequence, you understand the pulse of young minds; and, you adapt yourself to modern times. Some people are always eager to listen to your words, which itself is a gift. And, the best part is, as age increases, more young people seek your guidance voluntarily. Thus, one can say, you always stay young at the heart.
In summary, having a PhD at your side helps you to discover the world, stay young, and position yourself high in the social hierarchy.
Thanks for reading the full article. I believe you have understood the unique benefits of being a professor with a PhD degree. In the next post, I will talk about the “PhD checklist” for your PhD admission. Till then, see you!