Why are you doing a PhD?


Hi, I know this question may seem a little odd to say the least, but I am coming to the end of my PhD and questioning why, really why, did I choose to do this in the first place!
It would be great to hear any reasons from you guys...



Eventually to be able to teach ... seemingly a Masters wasn't good enough.

That, and a bad case of cerebal dysentry ... a rush of cr*p to the brain :-s

Why indeed!!!

Sorry for the negative vibes - been a long day. Good luck finishing up Ju-Ju and enjoy proper wages.


Masochism. Haha... seriously though, like Bonzo said, just because it is the qualification needed for a lecturing job. That's the one and only reason!!!



I guess reasons vary tremendously, but its a good question...

For me it is the first step into a full fledged research career, which, is one of my topmost priorities in life. The other of course is that I'm very keenly drawn to my topic/area of work and this is a fantastic opportunity to be able to work on it under the guidance of an academic with similar interests...

and of course, its a passport to enter the 'Academy'...then comes the question, why do u want to enter the academy...when u enter do you want to just stay afloat or do you have 'ambitions' to pursue...so forth...Phd is just the starting bit of this all I guess...



its too late to ask... too deep in the pool of -----

in my mind i am playing the song by timbaland "heyyyyyyy heyyyy ... its too lateeeeeeeeeeee....its too late to apologize ......ohhhhhhhhh yeeeeeeeeeeei"

of course i am substituting apologlize with "to ask" :$


I'm doing it for the epic lulz, totally. :p

Seriously, career advancement. Intellectual curiosity. Fun, sometimes.

I tell myself this daily.


I'm doing it because I had an academic question that I wanted to answer - and because, when I started, I wasn't really sure what else I would do... so a mixture of idealism and lack of direction! hehe.

Wasn't interested in an academic job at that point -though I enjoyed teaching -and now I really want one because I love the research. But what are the chances of actually getting an academic post? And what else can you do with an (arts) PhD?? It's good to ask this question Ju-Ju -sometimes I think I'm going to end up in exactly the same place I started - not really qualified for anything much...and kind of overqualified at the same time!:$


Because I used to work in a shop, and when I would take some details I would write Mr and they would say 'It is Doctor, actually' in a condescending manner. That moment inspired me.

OK, seriously I did it because it just felt right; the idea of an academic post appealed to me, especially the teaching (which has been the most fulfilling part of my PhD) and the relative freedom.


To get a fabulous job in industry (which I have done - just need to finish the thesis now...).

Also, when people on the phone say "is that miss or mrs?" and I want to answer, "actually it's Doctor" (similar to coastie's)


Cos I want to be like my hero.. 'Dr' Gillian McKeith ;-)

Seriously though.. I did it for career progression, lots of jobs that I liked the sound of required a PhD or research experience so I decided to do a PhD.

then there is a bit of me that wants wants the Dr before my name :o)


Because I want to do research and teach. I am doing it now, as a PhD student, and when I get that PhD I might actually manage to get paid for doing it. Which means I will have to do less other things (to earn my way) and can do more of the teaching and researching.

I am sometimes torn between the teaching and the research. It is such fun to do research. It is soooo rewarding to work with keen, curious, often young people and see how they develop. Overall I think it just needs to go hand in hand, the teaching and the researching.


Curiosity and a touch of romanticism (or insanity, there's a fine line between the two).


Well, isn't this the question everyone asks themselves more and more the closer the final submission date comes?
And why is it that we ask ourselves this question over and over again particularly at times when we should just be concentrating and producing something, e.g. another chapter or so...? The answer to the latter is 'procrastination'. Because we want to escape the stress of the task itself.

But it is also true that doing a PhD can be bad for many of the following:
1. your health
2. social life
3. relationships
4. common sense
5. pets
6. nutrition
7. ........

If we had known all this before we started then we would have never wanted to the phd in the first place. but at the time it seemed like a great idea.

Essentially we are fighting just with ourselves!!! So we pretend at times that we have forgotten the reason why....?

Just a line of thoughts. Though, trust that it will all be worth it in the end and all the stress will be forgotten.


I must slightly disagree, my social life has never been better, well in my first and second year at least I was having more fun than at any time during my undergraduates day. And I had (a little bit) more money to do it with. Of course this was coupled with lots of hard work. I'll admit that existing relationships can suffer (mine did), but its the same as when you go to University for the first time, and your childhood sweetheart back at home cheats on you within 2 weeks. And I know a number of relationships that started during a PhD and are going from strength to strength.

My nutrition was even worse when I was working because I didn't have any time, and my landlord won't let me have pets anyway. Despite being right at the end, I've never asked myself why I'm doing this, maybe I'm lucky. So, lets not be so negative! 8-)


Though I do agree with Point 4...