A friend who was in a dilemma has recently contacted me. She didn’t know whether to continue studying for a Ph.D or start working. “I’m really tired of studying” she explained.
I actually understand how burnt-out students can be after studying for 17 years straight. Nonetheless, I also know that working can be even more difficult and challenging. Actually, and from my own experience, I’ve come to notice that work, especially in a field as challenging as teaching, can be a lot more demanding and nerve-racking than studying.
Therefore, I felt I wasn’t in a good position to give any piece of advice on the spot. That’s why I’ve been thinking of my friend’s situation since she mentioned it. And honestly, the more I thought about it, the more convinced of the importance of studying over getting a job I got, especially for her case where she has her family’s support.
Now, I think that I have come to a clearer vision of what should be done in such a situation. Hereafter, I advance some of the reasons why I think that continuing is a much wiser decision than getting a job.
- Getting a job is not going on a picnic:
My friend wants to become a teacher. Being a teacher myself, I just happen to have tasted the pain of this profession. Therefore, I know that teaching is one of the most difficult jobs out there. It’s not as easy as many people imagine. We don’t get holidays all year long. We can’t not show up whenever we want. We don’t get paid when we’re on strikes (Contrary to the myth everyone seems to believe), we have the biggest responsibility in the world; EDUCATING THE NATION! We have very tight schedules and we have to deal with every kid his/her way. We’re supposed to be educators, parents, psychologists, actors…briefly, we’re supposed to be everyone else! And this is just a glimpse of the challenges teachers face on a daily basis. Still think we’re over-paid?
- Nothing beats a PhD:
As far as I’m concerned, I think that getting a Ph.D. degree, or any degree higher than the one one is currently holding, is the best thing that can happen to anyone. Of course there are many good things in life, but progressing in one’s studies has a special taste and flavor to it. The sense of fulfillment and the boost in self-esteem are actually valuable assets in anyone’s life. I’m not saying people will exclusively be happy if they get high degrees, but this is undoubtedly one of the things that would contribute to making me a happier person. Moreover, the opportunities one can get after getting a PhD are far more important and promising than those a person without a high degree can get. Think of all the job positions you’d fit for as your employability increases significantly if you are a PhD holder.
- Pain is better than regret:
Getting a PhD is PAINFUL. However, as a person who’s dying to continue his studies but can’t BECAUSE of his job. All I can say is that stopping one’s studies for the sake of a work position when you’re not financially dependent on that job is an “intellectual suicide.” Why would anyone ruin their future for a career that they may or may not like? Why take the risk of stopping one’s progress for a low salary? If you get a job and can’t continue your studies, regret will be ravenously eating you inside! Don’t fall for this trap!
All in all, these are just some reasons why I think people should opt for a PhD if they can. I thought I’d get a job to secure a living and then continue my studies. However, the government and universities made it almost impossible for teachers to continue our studies. Now I do regret not having continued my studies and I’d do anything to undo this mistake. Anyone got a time machine, please?