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5 Ways a Career in Research Benefits the World

An online PhD program can help you blaze a path to a fulfilling research career.

The job of researcher may not appear on every list of careers, but perhaps it should. Researchers’ work changes the world and touches our lives in innumerable ways every single day. If you’re thinking of shifting career pathways, earning a PhD online can help prepare you for the journey.

Let’s look at five ways research benefits the world:

Cascading Benefits
While studying motion sickness, NASA research psychologist Patricia Cowings developed an autogenic-feedback training exercise (AFTE) to help astronauts control approximately 20 physiological responses—including heart rate and blood pressure—and short-circuit motion sickness. “What were previously considered involuntary, or autonomic responses, are in fact under voluntary control if you are taught properly,” says Cowings.Her findings went on to benefit a wider population. Doctors at the Morehouse School of Medicine and in other hospitals have used AFTE to help patients manage high blood pressure and other conditions.2

Education Innovation
Experiential learning, multiple intelligences, and spiral curriculum are some of the research-based theories that have changed teaching. Just browse through the scholarly articles in the Journal of Education, the oldest education journal in the United States, to find peer-reviewed articles that may similarly influence or transform teaching strategies, K–12 curriculum, and education leadership in the future. They may help inspire your own research proposal and career.

Global Sharing
The best research transcends borders. KiVa, a research- and evidence-based anti-bullying program developed at Finland’s University of Turku, is a good example. Wales, Estonia, and Italy are some of the countries using the program, which is derived from decades of scholarly research and built on a model of prevention, intervention, and monitoring. Research shows KiVa decreases bullying and anxiety and increases motivation and achievement.3 Further research, from UCLA, supports these findings, citing KiVa as one of the world’s most effective anti-bullying programs.4

Fosters Social Change
When you earn a PhD in business, information technology, sociology, psychology, nursing, or other fields, your original scholarly research is showcased in your dissertation. And once added to the ScholarWorks database, it is available to the world at large. Your research topic may inspire others looking for data and ideas to help foster social change and build a better world. In a recent year, there were over 3 million downloads from Walden University’s repository of intellectual capital.

Molds Messaging
We know from our own experiences—and research—that words matter. “Psychologists are finding that even slight variations in wording can shape behavior powerfully, making it important to write the right kind of message on the right kind of signs,” the American Psychological Association says.5 One example: Researchers tested phrases to determine which ones prompted hotel guests to conserve resources by reusing their towels. They found describing a positive social norm—“Join your fellow citizens in helping to save the environment”—worked better than messages like “Help save resources for future generations.”5

A PhD as a Path to a Research Career

You can make your own beneficial contribution to the world by earning a PhD degree at Walden University. Walden’s online PhD degree programs can help prepare you for excellence in research, teaching, consulting, or whatever career pathway you choose.

Choose your online doctoral program from dozens of options in fields that include business and management, counseling, criminal justice, education, health and health sciences, nursing, psychology, public policy and administration, and social work and human services.

Walden, a pioneer in distance learning, offers working professionals the student support services they need to earn a PhD, a respected, terminal degree. As a PhD candidate, you’ll participate in academic residences and skills labs. And you’ll have access to Doctoral Writing Workshops, the online library, Writing Center, and much more.

And with Walden as your online learning partner, you can work full time while you earn a degree and enjoy your personal life. Set your own weekly schedule and work on your studies and scholarly research when and where it’s convenient for you.

Make a lasting contribution and create positive social change through the research you do while earning your PhD online—and in your career to follow.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online PhD programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,