Are you wondering how long does it take to get a PhD? Do you need a master’s to get a PhD? These are the questions that most students in their final years struggling with. As a student, you’ve already dedicated years upon years to studying and learning new things. You are almost an expert. And this is precisely why you are probably wondering if you should commit to studying a couple more years to get a PhD. Do you need it? How will it help you? But the most important question is “how long will it take you to get it?”
How Long Does It Take To Get A PhD? Let’s Find Out!
So, how long does it take to get a PhD? How long does it take to get a PhD in general? The average time varies wildly between disciplines and fields of study. As you can imagine, there are fields that require less research and disciplines where you have to work hard for years (yes, in the field as well) to get a PhD. Generally speaking, the average time it takes to get a PhD is twice as long as in the case of a bachelor’s degree. This means a whopping 8.2 years’ worth of study. But of course, some people manage to do it faster, depending on how much work they do and how much help they get. Of course, you can use a comprehensive guide to get things done faster.
Here Is Why You Need a PhD Degree?
Truth be told, there are very few people with a PhD. This is because a doctoral degree is very difficult to obtain. However, the people who do have a PhD seem to be doing great in life. Everyone is interested in your skills when you have a PhD. Your diploma shows potential employers that you are a real expert in your field and that you are a lot more educated than the typical employee.
But did you know that you don’t need a PhD to get a good job? Who is the only US president to have a PhD degree? Woodrow Wilson was the only one with a doctorate. He had a pretty nice job (he was president of the United States from 1913 to 1921). But so did all the other presidents who did not even bother to get their doctorate degrees.
The Difficulties of Getting a Doctoral Degree
Getting your PhD degree may sound like a good idea. You want to go ahead and try it. Congratulations! However, before you get to work, you need to know a couple of things about the lengthy process of getting a PhD degree. It’s not as easy as getting a master’s degree. Furthermore, there are dozens of different PhD programs that you can choose from. Here are the major difficulties when it comes to getting your PhD:
- The stress and isolation will be difficult. A PhD candidate is under a lot of stress for years. Because of the huge amount of work, he starts to feel isolated and alone. Watch out for depression!
- Too little institutional support. You’ll find that universities don’t care much about their PhD candidates. Moreover, your dissertation supervisor may be completely disinterested in your work.
- Time management problems. You probably want to work after getting your bachelor’s degree. But having a full-time job and working on your PhD will cause serious time management problems.
- Funding issues. Most PhD candidates complain about severe funding issues. Remember that you need money for all your experiments, research, reading material, etc. And money can be a problem for some.
- Work/life balance problems. You are expected to study all the time and work late every day. But this may prohibit you from enjoying your hobbies, spending time with your loved ones, and even going on a short vacation.
The Doctorate vs PhD Debate
As you can see, there are plenty of problems with getting a PhD. And then there is the doctorate vs PhD debate. Most students don’t understand the difference. Even worse, most people from outside the education sector don’t understand the difference. Both the PhD and the doctorate are the highest degrees an individual can get from a university. Both of them focus on a single field of study. However, a doctorate is a program that you follow to get an academic or a professional degree. The PhD (short for Doctor of Philosophy) is a very specific academic degree. This degree, of course, falls under the doctorate category.
Finally, the question isn’t “how long does it take to get a PhD?”. The real question is “should I get a PhD?” Only when you are 100% certain that you absolutely want to get this degree should you even start to think about what it takes. Remember, this is not easy, and more than 50% of PhD candidates fail.