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What are bad reasons to do a PhD?

If you are a college or MSc graduate thinking of pursuing a PhD, you might want to read this article first. This article provides a useful starting point for self-reflection and can assist you in determining whether a PhD is the right fit for you. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good idea of what to consider as you make your decision." There are several reasons that might not be good motivations for pursuing a PhD:

  1. You are trying to please someone else: A PhD is a personal and professional commitment that requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. If you are not fully invested in the process and are doing it to please someone else, you are likely to lose motivation and not perform to the best of your abilities.
  2. You cannot think of anything else in your life you'd ever want to do: A PhD is a specialized degree that is usually designed to prepare students for research in academia or industry. If you feel that a PhD is the only option for you and cannot envision yourself doing anything else, it may be helpful to take some time to step back and reevaluate your priorities. Taking a break to reflect and find clarity, perhaps by spending time alone in nature, can help you determine whether your desire for a PhD is driven by genuine passion or if it stems from an imbalance in your life.
  3. You are not interested in the subject matter but just want to get the highest academic degree anyway: A PhD program involves a lot of in-depth study of a particular subject, and it is important to have a genuine interest in the topic to be able to sustain your motivation over the long term. If you are not interested in the subject, you are likely to struggle and may not enjoy the program.

It is important to carefully consider your motivations and whether a PhD is the right fit for you before committing to the program.


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