Full Form of PhD :
Doctor of Philosophy
PhD Full Form is ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ (or) Doctor Philosophiae (Latin). It is the highest academic degree awarded by universities in most countries. PhD degree is also referred by different abbreviations like Ph.D, D.Phil (or) PhD, DPhil depending upon the country awarding the degree. A person who holds a PhD degree can use the academic title of “Doctor”. He or she can use “Dr.” in front of his or her name.
Eligibility Criteria for admission to PhD degree :
To be eligible for getting admission to PhD course, a student has to complete a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in the respective field. The minimum percentage required for getting admitted to a PhD program is 55% or 60% depending upon the university in which the student seeks admission.
Entrance examination for admission to PhD degree :
Many of the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) and other premier universities in India conduct their own entrance exams for admitting students to PhD programs in various disciplines. The entrance exam usually comprises a written test followed by an interview.
How to apply?
The process of applying and enrollment is quite rigorous and requires various transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal essays on career ambitions, etc.
Course duration of PhD degree :
The entire course of PhD takes between four and eight years based on the independent research and advanced courses one takes up. One has to complete comprehensive exams, coursework, and a dissertation to be awarded the PhD degree.
Academic fields in which PhD degree is awarded:
PhD degree is awarded to students of almost all fields of study. Some of the common fields in which PhDs are awarded include; Engineering, Finance, Economics, World Literature, Statistics, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, Foreign Languages etc.
PhD in Engineering:
Also referred to as Doctor of Engineering, it is doctoral degree awarded to students of engineering and applied sciences, who undergo advanced research on a particular subject pertaining to either or both fields. It is generally used in the abbreviated versions: D.Eng. or D.Engr. or Eng.D. or Dr.Eng. or Dr.-Ing. It is considered to be one the most advanced standards of qualification in the field of engineering and carries immense weight in the sector.
To obtain PhD in Engineering, one has to undergo extensive research study under the supervision of a doctoral advisor and write a thesis on the subject matter of the research. The time period for the completion of the degree takes roughly around three to six years and has a defined coursework. However, the interested student must hold a Master’s degree. PhD degree holder enjoys certain academic and professional advantages appended to the degree. It opens the door to better placements in academic fields, particularly in the teaching sector.
PhD in Science (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology):
Science is the world beyond hypotheses and experimentation; it travels deep into the mysteries of everything around us. It is a fundamental subject that possesses the potential to unravel things, which every one of us wishes to know. However, understanding science is not a simple task that can be effectively completed within a couple of years. It requires continuous and comprehensive study towards it. Hence, PhD in science that gives an opportunity to dig deeper into the theories and facts about science.
A doctorate degree in science acknowledges one’s contribution in the scientific field and provides an advanced standard of qualification. Under a PhD program, one can opt for a variety of choices to research upon like material sciences, chemistry sciences, biological sciences, agronomic sciences, molecular biology, etc.
PhD in Management:
Management has become a lucrative field in the past few decades because of many fold advantages this field provides. Almost every sector in the world requires good managerial and administrative skills to bolster performance index. So, many sectors look out for best from the best. It is because of this reason that PhD in Management has become popular.
PhD in Management is the most advanced degree awarded to business students in the field of management science. It is highly advantageous to those persons, who aspire to become teachers in world class Business schools. A PhD in Management can be obtained in accounting, Finance, Leadership, Statistics, Strategy, etc. It generally takes two to four years to complete and like other doctoral degrees, it requires extensive coursework.
As mentioned earlier, a PhD in Management is desirable to enroll as a researcher or a teacher in any business school, which, these days, are investing a lot in research activities. The degree also holds high value in the corporate sector as well.
PhD in Economics:
Economics is not just about statistics; it is about understanding the entire system of flow of money across different systems of the world. It is a tedious subject to learn but at the same time, provides the immense pleasure of its own. After all, it exposes to the students the intricate world of money and its immense effects on world economies.
Today, students aspire to pursue advances research study in the field of Economics to obtain thorough knowledge and understanding of the principles of economics and its applications and that is why PhD in Economics has become a fashionable course in the sector. Students enrolled in doctoral programs in Economics undergo rigorous study on the various quantitative methods applicable in economics. Once done with this PhD, you would be considered a master in Econometrics.
PhD in Literature:
If you are bewitched with the enigmatic influence of literature on everything around you, a PhD in Literature is for you. Literature is an articulate influence, powerful enough to affect one’s convictions, beliefs or may be everything. It can shape humans, with the help of words and with a PhD, you would become capable of dwelling deeper on the power of Literature, which has been historically considered the domain of the elite.
A PhD in Literature usually concentrates on assessment of world literature, undertaking a critical analysis of popular literature pieces, comparing literature with other disciplines, etc. The students opt for a comprehensive approach towards the understanding of Literature and provide their observations. Students can choose from many sub-disciplines under this advanced degree like medieval literature, Philosophy, Romance Studies, Linguistics, Theatre and Performing Arts, Film etc. Thus, as long as your vision is to understand language and its hidden purposes deeply, a PhD will be an asset to you and your professional career.
PhD in Mathematics:
Mathematics is a subject with a rich historical past. It is deep and perhaps, infinite. It has greatly affected the human understanding of “existence” and therefore, its contribution to the development of science is indispensable. But, despite its rich, ancient history, many still find it a difficult option for advanced studies, considering the intricacy with which it lacked.
A PhD in Mathematics is for those, who are determined to take a deep dive into the complexities of mathematical equations and calculations. The general requirement is that interested students must have completed their Master’s degree or M.Phil degree. In India, students have to take a pre-PhD examination to qualify for PhD programs available in different institutions. The examination is patterned on problems relating to Geometric Function theory, Graph and Network theory, Group rings, Advanced Frame theory, Function Spaces, etc. Once having passed the examination with the minimum required scores, students become eligible to various PhD programs in mathematics and may even avail scholarship benefits based on their scores.
PhD in Statistics:
Statistics is a rigorous exercise, considering the amount of study required in numbers and their assessment. Statistics has defined the world of experimentation and observations and almost every policy decision takes into consideration statistics report. Statistics may not be accurate but it gives a substantial idea on a particular issue at hand. It is not a simple subject and requires extensive understanding and therefore, a PhD in Statistics is recommended.
Like the subject, the courseware of this program is extensive and intricate. In the courseware, a special focus is given on subjects like Designated Emphases and probability, which are integral to understanding of statistics. With the help of this, students will be able to understand the foundational aspects of statistics, followed by complex theories on statistics.
A PhD in Statistics is advantageous to students, as it may help them secure high paying jobs in the sectors like Finance, Advertisements, Pharmaceuticals, Internet Services, Policymaking, etc. In fact, government policy making direly requires efficient and knowledgeable personnel, which is particularly expert in making thorough assessment and observation on statistical numbers. So even though Statistics, as a subject, is tedious but once you have succeeded in understanding the advanced aspects of the same, you are free to explore profitable career options.
Career opportunities for PhD holders:
When a student gradually climbs up the hierarchy of academic qualifications, he learns many things. He starts from the basic essentials of a subject and slowly attempts to understand complex and intricate issues of the same. While many people generally prefer to finish off graduation and set up a decent life, a significant portion decides to study further. The higher you climb up the hierarchy, the tougher things become. It is expected out of the student that he has developed a hard working and patient temperament. This is essentially expected from a doctoral student.
A PhD is the highest academic qualification one can achieve in any field. It is indicative that the student has participated in complex contours of a subject and successfully managed to come up with a logical and thorough understanding of it. The degree requires from students a comprehensive study of the subject matter and patience. There are many instances where a student has to work on his PhD course for years before he gets the degree. The wait is, however, worth it because a PhD degree opens doorways to many career options that are not available with lower degrees.
The general perception is that a PhD degree holder can only engage himself or herself in academic professions but this perception is based on incomplete analysis of the contemporary situation that shows a different picture. The following are some of the career options available to a PhD degree holder:
Career in Academia for PhD holders :
The most popular career choice for PhD students is teaching profession. Teaching profession is high in demand and offers lucrative opportunities too. With a PhD degree, the degree holder can secure a higher position in the teaching faculty and thus, access to additional services. A PhD degree holder earns more than a regular professor. In fact, many a time a PhD degree holder is offered managerial positions in the academic departments of universities because of the undisputable weight of the degree.
There are a lot of opportunities available in India to pursue your career in academia. You can work as an Assistant Professor in any premier academic institution after getting your PhD degree. The education sector in India is growing steadily and there is a demand for highly qualified scholars. A PhD candidate is most welcomed to work in academia.
University research positions for PhD holders:
If teaching profession does not suit your taste and you wish to further your researching abilities, you can become a university researcher. Many universities in the country and across the globe offer a variety of options for researchers to conduct research. In fact, many universities provide facilities for such researchers along with financial assistance.
Such type of profession is generally popular among science PhD holders but there are universities from different academic backgrounds that provide for research labs to non-science PhD degree holders too.
Unconventional career options for PhD holders:
A PhD degree holder can engage in jobs that graduates and post-graduates do. In fact, with the degree, there shall be advantages over the latter. Other jobs that are non-academic but nevertheless, made for a PhD degree holder are setting up a business, joining the administration and managerial sector in any private and government company, undertaking the job of an education psychologist, setting up one’s own education institution, writing academic books, etc.
A PhD degree is no bar to unconventional career options. These options are equally open to a PhD degree holder but many people stereotype this degree to mean purely academic. What people miss is the degree provides room for additional but comprehensive, well –researched study and helps in shaping one’s personality to a great extent.
There are plenty of options available in many fields for PhD holders to pursue their career. The most preferred career option of PhD holders is to work in government R&D Labs or in the private R&D Labs. Alternatively, you can pursue your career in Research, Consultancy, and Publishing etc. If you want to be more independent you can become an entrepreneur.