Well, you can get different meanings of the word PhD from the Internet. Some are funny, whereas others are downright incorrigible. For example, on one website, you found that the meaning of PhD is protein has degraded. On another website, I discovered its purpose is that parents have doubts. Both are hilarious. However, I was dumbfounded when a website decoded its meaning as paid half of what I deserve.
All these meanings are mere figments of imagination. There is no truth behind it. The true meaning of Phd is Doctor of Philosophy. It is the terminal or academic or professional degree that one can achieve in any country for teaching students in a university. The degree also qualifies an individual to research the subject and get paid for it.
What Is the Origin of the Word Philosophy?
The term philosophy is derived from the Greek word Philosophia.The term philosophy implies love for wisdom. In the modern context, it means comprehensive study on a specified subject.
A PhD is a much-coveted academic degree received from universities for submitting a dissertation on a particular topic. The dissertation should contain original and extensive research on the subject.
PhD is a high academic degree. Usually, students can apply for a PhD after completing masters. However, in exceptional cases, some students with a bachelor’s degree also get a chance to apply for a PhD. But universities give students that chance based on their research capabilities, knowledge, skills, and necessary grades.
Usually, students study on the closed campus of a university. However, some universities have come up with distance learning or e-learning opportunity for the students. So, a student can now pursue a PhD through distance learning. Post-Covid, many PhD students are stranded in their home countries for several months due to an international travel ban. They are forced to pursue PhD studies online. That is creating many PhD students’ problems as they cannot use the labs or do the fieldwork.
How Easy Is It to Get a PhD?
Although PhD is just a three-letter word, it isn’t easy to obtain this degree. The primary reason is that only stellar students get a chance to qualify for a PhD. There is stiff competition amongst students, and only stellar students get an opportunity to study for PhD. In many countries, students even have to sit for exams to qualify for a PhD. They have to crack the exam with high marks. Plus, they have to get through the interview. The interview process is quite tedious and stressful. The interview process often lasts for three to four hours. A large panel of experts asks questions after questions to the candidates to grill students. They want to test the knowledge, aptitude, skills, patience, perseverance, research abilities, etc. of them.
Both exams and the oral interview are equally challenging for the students.
Sometimes students do not get a chance to qualify for PhD due to internal politics and preferential treatments. So, many times, exemplary students cannot get an opportunity to study PhD, which is quite frustrating. And the students who do get a chance to research PhD face a hard time too. They face a lot of challenges before earning a degree.
PhD is a four-year academic course. So, students have to research a particular subject on a deep level for four years, not a joke. Many students get bored and frustrated by studying the same subject for so many years. Also, another factor plays a significant role here. Most of their friends (who are not pursuing PhD) are doing a job by that time. They see their friends earning money while they are slogging day after day. It is not that PhD students do not earn money at all. They get a stipend while doing the PhD. But some students are not happy with the amount they receive as stipend as there are several expenses that they have to cover.
Funding is a significant aspect of PhD degree. Grades are also an essential component of the PhD degree. A student may qualify for a PhD degree with low grades. But in that case, the student has to complete the course with his or her own money. He or she will not get the stipend or the funding.
The professors also play a role here. The dream of any PhD student is to find a professor who can guide him or her properly. PhD students have to do a thesis on the subject they are studying. So, if they do not get a good professor as their guide, the whole process becomes more challenging.
An uncooperating professor can exploit a PhD student in various ways. Unfortunately, students get trapped as they do not find an easy way to get out of the mess. They cannot switch to another professor midway. Plus, if they have to take any step against the professor, they need solid proof. Otherwise, no one will believe them. So, the whole situation is a complicated mess. Students need the sign of the professor in their final project. Otherwise, they cannot get a PhD degree.
A good tip is to choose someone who is a faculty member of the university. Students should do a background check before studying under him or her.
Love for wisdom or knowledge is a significant requirement for PhD students. They have to love the subject genuinely. Otherwise, it is tough to survive for four years.
Challenges do not end for PhD students even after getting the degree.
Many students want to teach students in Universities. Although they are equipped to teach students in the Universities, the PhD students do not get a chance at the first shot. There is stiff competition there also. Many times, Universities prefer experienced professors instead of fresh PhD students. Sometimes, the pay scale becomes an issue. So, many PhD students are compelled to do research-based work. But once those assignments are finished, they have to look for another project. They do not get a permanent job quickly. Some PhD students get frustrated due to this issue and apply for the post-doctorate degree.