Why a PhD?

Admit it, we all fancy a Dr as a prefix to our names and the thought of doing a PhD, has even if vaguely crossed our minds at some point in time. But then again, the numbers of years a PhD takes to be completed, of books in a library and writing a thesis bogs down most of our enthusiasms for a doctorate. Most students look at education as a means to earn a good living and when a bachelor’s degree gets them a reasonable job, they take it up. Also many students feel that an MBA / job experience may help them more in the long term compared to pursuing a doctorate. Having said this, the number of Indians now enrolling for doctorates is on the rise. According to trends in higher education, creation and analysis of a database of PhDs in India according to a study conducted by an Associate Professor the number of PhDs awarded (In India) has doubled in the last decade.

Why do a PHD?

Of course the first reason would be that it is the highest level of an academic degree one can pursue in India and most other nations. A PhD is an option you should consider if you are dynamic self motivated and wish to contribute to the nation’s development. A country’s progress has many a time been directly linked to the research scientific economic and even humanitarian undertaken there. People pursuing their doctorates not only study past trends but delve deeper into contemporary trends and problems and come up with relevant solutions while creating new knowledge.

A common misconception that stops most people from doing a PhD is that it is a degree to be taken up if you want to get into academics.

Doctoral graduates in other fields such as humanities are in demand in NGOs and research firms. Apart from academics doctoral graduates can pursue successful careers in a variety of areas including journalism broadcasting, education, public administration , law, medicine, finance, consultancy , IT, science engineering and technology, as well as in the charity and NGO sectors. The industry hires PhDs to spearhead their research activities. In most research labs, a significant fraction of the work force is employees with PhDs.

Among the popular IT employers of PhD graduates include IBM, Infosys and Wipro. Additionally PhD graduates working in both the corporate as well as the education sector, get frequent opportunities to travel abroad on various research oriented as well as visiting / guest faculty assignments. Graduates can expect to earn a salary of Rs 50,000 or above in such positions.

According to a PhD Survey – Student’s Perspective on Doing a PhD in India, conducted by IITD on students from IITD, IITB and IITK significant percentage of students shied away form doing a PhD in India because they believed that doing a good PhD in India is not possible as research work here is poor.

Communication as an academic discipline is at a very nascent stage in India whereas in the US communication as a discipline emerged in the 50s, so the bank of knowledge there is much more advanced than in India. Apparently then pursuing my PhD in the US was a better option.

Total number of students who enroll for a PhD only 50 per cent end up completing their thesis. Thus, it is important that you make a thoughtful decision before enrolling for doctorate. Students many a time want to go up another notch on the qualification ladder and expect it to happen fast and have direct employment benefits. This is totally wrong. When you are doing a PhD, you need to be sure about why you are dong your research and keep in mind that there can be no set time limit for completing it.

Choosing a good mentor / guide for your PhD is the most crucial factor in the successful outcome and timely completion of your thesis. Make sure your guide is equally passionate and well versed in the topic you choose to research upon. Faced with innumerable obstacles, logistic problems, lack of funds, opposition, critical reviews from peers and experts, the only thing that keeps you going is the deep rooted passion and unshakable conviction in your research and its direct or indirect benefit to the society at large.

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  • Benhur Jude

    Crystal ball explanation ………….

  • V K Rai

    Where can I do my PhD (recognized) through correspondence in India – V K Rao

  • Prachiti

    I absolutely agree with the writer’s views. I am hold MBA in HR and looking for doing a PH D. I have 1 year of experience in my field. Can you focus more on what is the right kind of experience to go for PH D?

  • jastam1

    Very inciteful and useful.

  • sachitra

    The article has been well written considering the latest trend in academic fields. I also joined Ph. D. bandwagon out of my keen interest on the psychological aspect of human personality and though it takes long time to get the cherished goal of becoming doctorate but it is equally interesting to engage yourself in achieving some result out of the research.
    The very important thing is to focus on the topic on which you wish to base your research and no experience is required, of course you need to have a very good guide, who may offer you best of ideas and ready to help you to finish the project timely.


    I agree to the facts of the article which provide the purpose and foundation in doing PhD. I myself doing my PhD in HRTD which i am focusing on Competency Training and Performance. As I am working and experience in the nature of training myself and this will only provide a little help in preparing my thesis. Phd thesis is more to having enough LTR and must have some sound theories foundation to back up argument not only experience.

  • Cyntysweety

    good post

  • Poonam

    would like to know about institutes for persuing Ph D in HRM

  • Tandon Sakshi


    I want to Enroll for PHd.

  • Richaoberoiarora

    Practically, it is true, I have started writing my synopsis and being from a corporate HR background, the commonly asked question is-Why am I doing a Ph.D even if I am well settled in my career.

    It is not just about getting a Dr. prefixed with your name, it is about the research that you do, the in debth knowledge that you crave for , for a particular problem.

    And yes, you have achioeved the highest academic degree in India so far…it’s a feeling of pride!!!…and I am on my way for it!!!!!

  • Buelawhite

    I am very much impressed at the facts you have projected in this article. am a young aspirant to do phd.

  • Ritesh Sharma

    The article was good.In addition to this it was eye opening as well for the people who would like to do Ph.D.