For whom, and why?
Today, a doctorate is an essential condition for carrying out research activities or developing an academic career and outside university it can prove a deciding factor for obtaining an executive-level position. From a personal point of view, doing a doctorate offers a unique life experience and training that cannot be acquired elsewhere.
Although the doctorate represents the first, absolutely necessary, step on the academic career path, doing a doctorate does not just amount to acquiring advanced scientific knowledge in a particular field, but involves developing more general methodological and social skills that can be transferred to other domains , for example:
- analytical and deductive skills ;
- the ability to communicate ;
- data processing ;
- time management ;
- the ability to adapt to new situations ;
- the ability to propose innovative solutions ;
- independence ; etc.
All these skills are valuable and sought after on the non-academic job market . In certain professional sectors, a PhD may even prove a deciding factor in obtaining an executive position, in the research and development divisions of large companies or public administration for example.
From a personal point of view, the doctorate offers opportunities that few of us are fortunate enough to encounter in our career. Firstly, it is a unique chance to delve more deeply into a subject that you yourself have chosen. The doctorate also enables you to remain in an intellectually stimulating environment and offers young researchers many possibilities to broaden their horizons, thanks to stays in other universities or attending colloquiums for example. It also allows great flexibility in work management.
However, writing a thesis means committing yourself to a long-term experience that requires great personal discipline, being capable of working alone for long periods and knowing how to bounce back if you hit a bad patch. Pursuing the objective of an academic career also involves living in a state of financial insecurity for several years.
Therefore, it is first and foremost on the basis of strong personal and intellectual motivations that the decision to embark on a thesis must be made.