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August 5 2017

7+ Shocking Misconceptions about PhD Careers by Olivia Sinclair, SFTL Guest Blogger

Doing your PhD is a big deal for any person, but over the years there has been many misconceptions about doing it. Some believe it is beneficial for a successful career and other do not. This leaves many students and professionals with a lot of questions around the controversy. Here are the top 7 misconceptions.

1. You must be a genius

The pressure faced by PhD graduates is always that of always having to prove your intelligence. It is almost like people don’t believe that you did it. On the flip side, you might find that family and friends believe that you are an absolute genius and know everything about life. Be careful with this in your career, because the expectations are set very high. When you do your PhD or Masters, people put you in an elite group mentally.




2. A PhD is detrimental to your career

There is a misconception that a PhD graduate is unemployable because no one can afford to hire such over qualified people. This is absolutely nonsense. Why would so many people go and do their PhDs just to not be employed. There are many successful PhD holders that have proven that statement to be wrong.

3. Academia is your only career option

Not everyone is designed to be a teacher or a professor. There is a misconception that you have to work in academia when you have a PhD. Although this is one of the popular PhD careers, there is no limit as to what you need to do after you are done. If you want to become the CEO for a fortune 500 company, a PhD might just be what gets you closer.

4. You never rest

Doing your PhD is not an easy task and should not be taken lightly, but some people believe that PhD students never rest. If you do not have moments of rest, you will surely fail the process. Yes, there is more research that goes into this, but you do not work 24 hours a day not stop. This misconception has allowed employers to think that someone with a PhD will work long hours without complaining because they are used to it.


5. A high paid job is guaranteed

This is the hope  for every PhD graduate, but unfortunately is not always the case. There are many highly qualified individuals out there that has to start in a normal job and use the knowledge of the PhD program to gradually work their way up the ladder. Many CEO’s and Managers work in their positions for many years, leaving little opportunity for you to walk into those positions.

6. You will fall behind

Let’s say your peers have decided to go straight to work after doing their Bachelor’s Degrees. It is believed that by doing your PhD, you will fall behind. While everyone else if working and growing their careers, you are still studying. This is not true, because you are not laying around at home doing nothing. You are busy building your career too and by the time your peers realise they need to go back to school, you can sit back and relax.

7. Nerds club

Do not allow anyone to put you in a box and attach a name to it. PhD graduates are not nerds, neither are they loners. They are just focused individuals who are trying to set themselves up for a better future and will do all the hard work it takes. There are many graduates with great personalities and live a very social life. It is essentially all about balance.

8. There’s no way you could do it

There is no reason why you could not do your PhD in fear that some of these misconceptions are true. Find the PhD degree requirements and start preparing to enrol if you feel that it can benefit your career. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives and it is not to be taken lightly because a lot of hard work goes into achieving this goal.

Conclusion

Even though a PhD does not secure a high paying job in a great company, you stand a better chance with one. There will be naysayers along the way, but remain focused on your path. A lot of your time will be committed to the program, but it is not a difficult as many people think. You will not be spending endless days in a lab cutting open mice to discover a new cure for an illness not present yet.

If you are a logical thinker who can analyse a problem and come up with a conclusive solution, you can take your chances. This is not just any course and will be like nothing you have done before, but it is not impossible. See yourself as the project manager of this course and drive the project towards success.

 

Olivia Sinclair  is a young amateur guest post writer and content maneger.

She find her inpiration in music, animals such as dogs , racoons and owls.

Olivia lives every moment to the fullest and tries to stay positive.

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