Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why do I want a PhD?

A Doctor of Philosophy degree is the highest academic degree anyone can earn. They used to say a Ph.D. requires such extended study and intense intellectual effort, that less than one percent of the population gets the degree. People show respect for a someone who has a Ph.D. by addressing him with the title "Doctor".

They say that to earn a Ph.D., one must master a specific subject completely and he must extend the body of knowledge about that subject. A Ph.D. student is expected to pursue structured, supervised research. He will also needs to write an extended thesis, demonstrating evidence of the capacity to pursue scholarly research. The results of that research should make an original contribution to knowledge and be of a standard appropriate for publication.

Sounds daunting, doesn't it. Today it seems there is a surfeit of Ph.D.s. In my youth, very few have post-graduate degrees in the circles I move in. Ph.D. holders then really look and act the part. At present, many universities offer Ph.D. courses and many obtain the degree. But often you will hear people whisper "hoy, may PhD yun!." "Ha? yun? hindi halata" is whispered back often in disbelief. Stereotypes are distorted, images cheapened.

I breezed through my masters degree, hardly worked a sweat. The solid undergrad plus the extensive work experience helped a lot. By the time I hit the momentum to learn more, the game was over. I got my post-grad in record time. It's been a year since and I still feel the challenge. Besides, a Ph.D. sounds right for me - 'Perry Hugo - Doctor'. What can I say? I hate stereotypes and I'm cheap.

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