42. Turn a PhD into your career – there are countless examples of people turning their PhD research into their career. At the simplest level going from PhD student to academic is the obvious way. But others take their research and turn it into a business. Examples of this can be found in the innovation space – where many innovation PhD students identify models that can help organisations be more innovative. Similarly, there are examples of people doing PhDs in organisational psychology, workplace development, leadership, strategy, and personal growth that have led to well-paid, and fulfilling careers.
43. Turn your passion into your job – just like turning your PhD into your career, you might have a passion for engineering. And thus, you might do a PhD so you can continue focusing on engineering, and explore specific aspects in detail. Conversely, you might have a passion for research in general. In which case, doing a PhD will help you develop those skills and open up the world of academic research.
44. Wear the funky cap and gown at graduation – its not cheap to buy or to hire, but it does look hot! Especially when put next to the regalia for the other degrees.
45. Work indoors – nowadays so much work is done on computers, you can pretty much set yourself up to be inside all day. Whether that is inside a dark room on microscope or in the basement of a building working on sensitive machines, or in a computer lab at the top of a tower. But, if you like the indoors, you could definitely design your PhD to take advantage of that.
46. Work long hours – if you love working then a PhD is definitely for you. You’ll get to work heaps. Sometimes for not much reward. And reward includes but is not limited to satisfaction, data, money, good results. But, if you like the working, you could definitely design your PhD to take advantage of that.
47. Work on a university campus – in Australia, all PhDs need to be undertaken through a university. Thus, you could spend your entire time doing the work while on a university campus. And they are not all that bad these days. Most have largish retail centres with food courts. Not to mention old a new buildings. Some are little villages all unto themselves. Others are a floor in a high-rise building in the middle of the CDB.
You were offered
48. Work outdoors – you project could require you to work outside (e.g. collecting data on the ecosystems of the great barrier reef). Other projects might not have a specific location, but the nature of the work environment means you could take it outside. But, if you like the outdoors, you could definitely design your PhD to take advantage of that.
49. You just want to – maybe you’ve experienced enough in work, in life and now you feel like your next best challenge is to do a PhD. Or perhaps you like education and you just want to continue being more educated. In which, enrol in a PhD.
50. You know a great supervisor – great supervisors are hard to find. If you know a good one, then enrol with them! They’ve probably got a good sense that you’ll do well in a PhD (or not).
51. You love research – doing a PhD is a great way to develop and/or hone your research skills. And, even if you’re not that good at research, but you love it anyway, a PhD could help you get better at research.
52. You love to learn – There’s no higher qualification than a PhD. If you love learning a PhD will help you develop new specific skills in your chose discipline, generic research skills as well as a range of self-directed learning skills. These will all be useful well-beyond your PhD.
53. You love your subject area – if you’re really into a certain thing there is no way to get better at it, to know more about it than to do research into. Think about, if you suddenly develop a love for making beer, you soon look up the various styles of beers, important temperatures and phases in beer brewing. But if you really want to learn more about beer making do the research yourself!
54. You were offered the opportunity – sometimes being given an opportunity is a good enough reason to take it. So, perhaps you’re doing a PhD because someone gave you the chance. They might have suggested your apply for a scholarship or had one on offer. They could have a project ready to go. Or they might just need a student to help get more work done. Regardless, for some people the opportunity to do a PhD is the only reason they will need to get started!
Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He is passionate about PhD training and students getting the most out of an experience often designed with the supervisor in mind. Richard has helped more than 200 PhD students, early career researchers and established academics build their careers. His clients appreciate his cut-through approach. He knows the sector and how make the most of a PhD.
To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email (Richard.email@example.com) or subscribe to the newsletter. He's on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).