3 Tips for Starting a Doctoral Degree in a New Field

Posted on October 03, 2016  in  [ Doctoral Journey ]

After earning your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, you may want to explore a different area of study in your doctoral degree program. Changing directions can better prepare you to qualify for the career you have always wanted, or it can help you to change career paths in order to become more satisfied with where you end up. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when changing your field of study for your doctoral degree:

Make Sure it is Right for You

Starting a doctoral degree in a new field is a big step. When choosing a program, it is important to weigh your options carefully to make sure that it is best for you and your career to make the change. If you feel as though you are not able to accomplish your goals by continuing in your current field, it might be a good idea to meet with a mentor or current professor, as they can give you advice about making the switch.

Find a Common Ground

In order to ease the stress of entering a new field, try to find ways in which your current degree may help you in your doctoral degree program. You may be surprised to find that the skills you have already developed can be of a great help in a variety of other fields. Certain subjects tend to overlap in ways you may not have thought of, so it may relax you to discover that your doctoral program may have more in common with your master’s degree than you originally thought.

Network with Others in the Field

Once you have decided on a doctoral degree program, one of the most important things to do is network. It is not uncommon to feel out of place when entering a new field, as your peers most likely come from a different educational background than you. This is not a bad thing, though, as it allows you to expand your knowledge and educate yourself on new topics.

Depending on your previous degree, it also may be at your advantage to have a wider spectrum of knowledge, as it can put you one step ahead of those who might not have the same skillset as you. Finally, be sure to put yourself out there and meet new people who have the ability to positively impact your education. Remember that networking is a huge aspect of education, as the people you meet and things you learn from them can aid you throughout your career.

To learn about the ways Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies can prepare you for a successful future, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

Written by Jessalyn Johnson, a sophomore majoring in English and professional writing at GCU.

Jessalyn Johnson

Jessalyn Johnson is a senior at Grand Canyon University, completing the final year of her BA in English Literature. Originally from Melbourne, FL, Jessalyn has come to enjoy living in the desert of Arizona. Since freshman year she has occupied several different positions on the editorial board of GCU’s literary review, StartleBloom, which is approaching its third volume. In her free time, Jessalyn enjoys creative writing, photography, writing music and participating in the plays and musicals put on by GCU’s Ethington Theatre.

Learn more about Jessalyn Johnson

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