4 Signs You’re Ready to Earn Your PhD

Woman working on laptop Posted on September 19, 2019  in  [ Doctoral Journey ]

"Grand Canyon University’s doctoral degree is not easy but if you are going to do it, you have to fully commit to sticking it out. There will be times when you want to give up but don’t do it! Get ready to be humbled, take advice and learn to work with the process rather than against it."

-Ashley Huss, EdD in Organizational Leadership

Earning your doctoral degree is an incredibly rewarding experience that can influence your professional aspirations and career trajectory for years to come. Individuals who hold PhDs are widely recognized as being leaders in their field.

They have contributed original research to their area of expertise, furthering the collective knowledge for the betterment of the field. The process of conducting original research, writing a dissertation and completing the PhD is a rigorous journey. Make sure you have met the following signs that you’re ready to earn your PhD.

1. You Have a Compelling Reason

Successful learners have one or more compelling reasons for completing the program, aside from the potential career advancement that a PhD can bring. You should have an enduring passion for your field and an insatiable curiosity about your chosen topic area.

If you already spend your spare time reading everything about your field that you can get your hands on, then you’ll likely make a strong doctoral candidate with a commitment to making impactful contributions to your field.

2. You Have Patience and a Time-Tested Work Ethic

The moment when you finally receive your doctoral degree will represent the height of your academic achievement. However, it can take a long time to reach that point. The time it takes to complete a doctoral degree varies and depends upon learner progress, topic and research. You will need exceptional determination to complete your dissertation.

You’ll also need a strong work ethic. If you’ll be working full-time and taking care of other obligations while completing your doctoral degree, you’ll have to balance your schedule and find enough time to work on your research.

3. Your PhD Will Enhance Your Career Qualifications

While a PhD is a degree that many people aspire to achieve, not every intended career path will benefit significantly from earning a doctoral degree. Take some time to reflect on your career goals and decide whether earning a PhD will help you achieve them.

For instance, if you’re a high school teacher who wishes to continue teaching adolescents until retirement, you might not need a PhD. However, if you’re a high school teacher who aspires to an administrative role or to a college professorship, a PhD could enhance your qualifications.

4. Your Family Understands the Workload Involved

Many learners have family commitments when they enroll in a PhD program. Your family will share your academic journey with you. Be sure that they understand the demands on your time, and that they are willing to make this sacrifice with you. You’ll be able to rely on their support and encouragement as you work toward your doctoral degree.

Doctoral students at Grand Canyon University’s College of Doctoral Studies benefit from extensive learner support through on-campus and online resources. You will begin the dissertation process with personalized guidance and faculty assistance. If you are ready to begin your doctoral journey, visit our website or click on the Request More Information button on this page.

About College of Doctoral Studies

Grand Canyon University’s innovative doctoral degree programs prepare learners for leadership roles in their professions, communities and society. A dynamic online learning community, unique dissertation process, wealth of resources and collaborative environment support a successful and meaningful doctoral journey. Readers of The Doctoral Journey blog, presented by the College of Doctoral Studies, will find resourceful posts regarding doctoral programs, research best practices and unique dissertation process, plus other knowledgeable contributions from GCU’s doctoral faculty and experts.


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