Is a PhD for me?

Will a PhD boost my professional career?

It's a tricky decision.

Every year hundreds of people start PhDs who will never finish. Hundreds more slog through like Sisyphus, taking 8 or 10 years to complete.

Professionals often start a PhD and then find that it is not what they wanted. A PhD doesn't always fit with professional work. It's academic and does not always help you to solve real-world problems.

But some professionals do get PhDs and use them to elevate their careers.

How can you decide?

Can you be sure a PhD will support your career?

My name is Judy Backhouse.

I am an IT professional with many years of corporate IT experience. I am also an academic who convened a PhD program for five years and I wrote my doctorate on doctoral education.

I understand what professionals want from PhD studies and I know what PhDs actually are.

Until now, it's been hard for professionals to know what doing a PhD will really be like.

I wrote "Is a PhD for Me?" to help you understand what a PhD is and whether it is worth doing.


You don't need to be in the dark!

Is a PhD for me? What professionals can expect from doctoral studies is short and easy to read, not weighty or academic.

Buy it now from your favourite e-book retailer.

You will learn

  • What a PhD is, and what it's not
  • What it means that a PhD is an "academic" degree
  • Different reasons why people do PhDs
  • What it's like to do a PhD
  • What the benefits are
  • What it takes to succeed
  • The different kinds of doctorates
  • How a PhD can work for professionals

This book is for you if you are an engineer, a business person, a manager, a marketer, a teacher, a government official, a medical doctor, an accountant, an IT specialist, a lawyer or a nurse thinking of doing a PhD.

This book is for any kind of professional, with a practice outside of the university. Mismatched expectations of the PhD arise most often in the gap between academic knowledge and professional practice.

This book is for you if …

This book is NOT for academics or scientists. If you are serious about an academic career or are doing research in science, stop thinking about it and go and get a PhD.

This book is about PhDs in the British, rather than the American tradition. Since the research requirements for both are similar, you may still find it useful if you are doing an American-style PhD.

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This book is part of the PhD Paths series. Click here to learn more.