- I’m building a business as a consultant and a Ph.D. sounds cool. Do not even think about a Ph.D. for this reason. Consultants with a Ph.D. do not, in my experience, earn more money.
- I already have a job and my current project would make a great Ph.D. thesis. You think so? Very few industrial projects make a good Ph.D. thesis. In fact, it is extremely hard to reconcile industrial interests with Ph.D. work.
- I would earn more money if I had a Ph.D.: this is false. Earning a Ph.D. means you are using up a lot of your time to make an entry into the academic world. Financially, it might not be a complete disaster, but it is hardly wise.
- I want to impress my friends. A Ph.D. might impress your friends, but so would earning 1 million dollars by the time you are thirty, or becoming a top lawyer or saving lives in a hospital. Consider that many people who go for the Ph.D. have to go live in cities they wouldn’t have otherwise chosen. There are many ways to impress your friends, but a Ph.D. is probably the worst option.
- I’m so smart, it is my destiny. Actually, really smart people choose easier paths. If you are down to the Ph.D. path, well, something is a bit wrong with you to begin with. But that’s ok, there are many of us.
Are you thinking about applying to a PhD program? Are you already a doctoral student? PhD is a huge investment of time and money. So make sure you spend 15 minutes of your time reading this blog devoted to PhD program success and survival tips. I'm confident that these tips can save up to 10 years of your life, up to $1,000,000 of your money, and, most importantly, your physical and emotional health.