What can you do better with your PhD? - PhDData

Access database of worldwide thesis

What can you do better with your PhD?

October 2022

The PhD gives you access to people and places and information that you could not access with your masters. It is the title “Doctor” that makes the difference. Many times you are not even asked, what kind of doctor you are…the title is enough.

The title gives you a lot of freedom to directly help people or intervene on their behalf. Authority figures who did not recognize you before now pay close attention to what you say. As a Dr. you can accomplish what you could not as Mr. or Miss. You are the same person, with the same mindset and values only now with a title that changed everything.

In fact, it is difficult to make a comparison between having and not having a PhD. The contacts, discussions and work that you do seem likely to make you a more critical worker. It also helps you better to get research grants and related jobs. People are sometimes impressed by the title “Dr.”, so people will possibly take you more seriously, although to use the title outside the area of your expertise could attract unjustified confidence from people.

Everything that you now do better because of your PhD, you do it with both; confidence in your own worth and humility.

Now that you have a PhD:

  • You have better research skills than you did before
  • You have more knowledge about your field in general
  • You have some very specialized knowledge in a few topics
  • You are more independent
  • You can start on a new project more quickly and with less guidance
  • You can learn new material more easily

But all of those things come with two very important caveats:

1) This is a comparison of who you are now vs who you were five years ago. You are not comparing yourself to others.

2) As much as you are confident in your abilities, you are also very humble. There are others who are better than you at every skill listed above. There are others who have accomplished just as much before you. There are others who, independently from their level of education, can teach you the skills and knowledge that you still lack. And you still have many decades of life ahead of you to learn and improve.

You realize that a PhD was just one step in your career as a researcher. It wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last.

In the end, it is suggested that you can better forget about your PhD.

Don’t focus on such titles in the first place. PhD trains you to be a better explorer and problem solver. That is all you need. Use this piece of experience to do better. If you keep reminding yourself that you have a PhD, you should be treated better, all your applications must be accepted, you are great, you are a beast etc. etc., then you won’t be successful. Those are black speech like thoughts that can eat you inside. And don’t forget that even if you have a PhD, there is almost always a better candidate than you in whatever you want to be or do. So I recommend that you just forget that you have a PhD and hustle hard to be the one you want.

Read the last PhD tips