Why a Ph.D. Is so Valuable

With much of the world experiencing a developmental phase, you may have heard that there’s an abundance of job opportunities available for college degree holders. With rapidly developing technology sectors, it’s no question that this is true. However, you may also have heard anecdotes from college graduates who are jobless, struggling to make ends meet. They went to a reputable university, studied diligently, yet now find themselves working at Starbuck’s, misspelling customers names on venti SweetVanilla Cream Cold Brew orders. In rare cases, you may even hear of someone with a Ph.D. who is unable to find work. They were promised endless opportunities upon graduation, yet now find themselves “unemployable” due to being “overqualified” or “too independent.”

 

When it comes to education, the old adage “less is more” generally does not apply; intensiveness of the program and prestige of the university matter. The completion of a Ph.D. (or any graduate degree for that matter) is indicative of several attributes that are attractive to potential employers. The most obvious thing that a Ph.D. shows is that you are thoroughly educated in a specific field of study; for most advanced fields, this is a requirement. Employers want to know that you have an in-depth understanding of the field and have gathered a variety of experiences through your years of concentrated studies before hiring you for such a position.

 

One key difference between holders of a Ph.D. and bachelor’s degrees is that Ph.D. holders are not only trained to be experts in their field, but they are constantly encouraged to focus on advancing their field through innovative research. While researchers with a bachelor’s degree might simply note a problem or address it using conventional methods, the Ph.D. graduate is taught to diagnose the problem and seek alternative remedies. With a curriculum that places an emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, CMKL University hopes to produce graduates who take diverse approaches to complex problem-solving. Providing our students with strong critical thinking skills, they will be prepared to effectively manage situations where others may fall short. In a fast-paced environment, this is an invaluable skill that has wide-spread applications.

 

Another thing that a Ph.D. shows is the ability to commit to a multiple-year, intensive project. When searching for candidates to fill a position, this is exactly the kind of dedication that is required. Since most positions that require a Ph.D. are research-oriented, and most research projects are completed over the course of multiple years, employers are not interested in candidates who have shown an inability to commit.If forced to undergo the hiring process in the middle of research, inconsistencies may pile up and derail the entire project. This is also an appealing aspect of CMKL’s graduate programs. With students splitting time between international campuses, employers will be able to get a sense that students are mature enough to handle various environments. This is important when conducting a multi-national research project, as are common with CMKL.

 

Although life-decisions shouldn’t be based solely on finances, one would be remiss not to take into account the size-able increase in salary for Ph.D. graduates. While the costs of a Ph.D. program are something to seriously consider, scholarships and grants are often available to help soften the financial impact. The average salary for a first position taken by Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. graduates in Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) is a whopping $118,031 annually. Compare this with the average first position salary of a Carnegie Mellon graduate with a bachelor’s degree inElectrical & Computer Engineering at $106,575 annually, and it’s not surprising why so many students continue their education. Although not reflected in this statistic, earning potential increases steadily over time as experience is gained. While a Ph.D. is certainly a significant investment, it is one that can be paid off within the early stages of one’s career given the significant increase in earning potential.

 

While earning a Ph.D. will likely help get your foot in the door for a job interview, it does not guarantee a position. As mentioned earlier, some people struggle to find positions even with these credentials. While some of these cases are true, they are extreme outliers and likely due to a flaw in the individuals job search. This brings us to an often-overlooked aspect of the hiring process – the application process.It’s important to remember that in 2019, you need to be dynamic in your application strategy. While submitting online applications are still effective, social networking through sites such as LinkedIn or in-person networking events can significantly increase your chances of landing your dream position.

 

When considering a Ph.D., it’s important to remember that such an advanced degree is not for everyone. Average completion time, as well as career outlook, are two of the most important factors to consider when faced with the decision to pursue a Ph.D. With Ph.D.’s typically requiring three to six years to complete, it is a massive commitment.One needs to take into account the fact that they will be dedicating several years to a specific thesis that they may lose interest in within a few months. Once the degree has been completed and you are ready to start looking for jobs, it’s important to understand that you will be looking at positions that require a high degree of individual responsibility. Many people aren’t interested in such a high level of autonomy and would prefer to follow instructions – and there’s nothing wrong with that. These roles are essential for all organizations to operate, and individuals continue to make valuable contributions at these positions. However, some people desire to take a more hands-on approach to the behind-the-scenes operations of research projects. For those who wish to be a bit more creative with their daily work, a Ph.D. might just be the right choice.To get more info regarding graduate programs offered by CMKL University, visit us here.

Blog Post written by:
Michael Beddie
Intern