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Is a PhD Worth It? Ten answers to that age-old question

If you’re considering a doctoral degree, you may already be exploring on-campus and online PhD programs. But if you’re on the fence about whether to get your PhD, you may be stuck in a holding pattern wondering, “Is a PhD worth it?”

If you’re in that category, then you’re in luck. From pursuing meaningful research to professional networking that expands your knowledge base, we’ve identified 10 benefits of earning your PhD.

Is a PhD Worth It? Ten answers to that age-old question

  1. Qualifies for new career opportunities.

    A PhD degree demonstrates an individual’s desire to learn, advance, and improve themselves. As such, it helps qualify you for a wide range of career opportunities, including leadership positions within corporations and institutions. Equipped with a doctoral degree from an on-campus or online PhD program, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to pursue fulfilling new professional avenues.

  2. Connects to the latest research.

    A significant part of any PhD program, online or on campus, is research. A doctoral degree helps you stay connected to the latest contributions in your field, keeping you current and knowledgeable.

  3. Take advantage of natural networking opportunities.

    On-campus and online PhD programs provide natural networking opportunities. As you move through your PhD program and earn your doctoral degree, you’ll form professional relationships with fellow students and professors that will last for years to come—and help you in ways you never expected.

  4. Stay ahead of the competition.

    A doctoral degree is a terminal degree—the highest you can receive in a field of study. When it comes to the job market, a PhD degree helps put you ahead of those who stopped their education at the bachelor’s or master’s level, and equips you with the expertise that may help you advance within your organization.

  5. Increase your chances for getting published.

    If you’re interested in getting published in respected professional journals, earning your PhD degree can help you achieve your goal. Whether you’re reporting on your own research or making connections between the research of others, on-campus and online PhD programs give you the tools and expertise to write about complex topics in compelling, scholarly language.

  6.  Earn respect in your field.

    A doctoral degree requires a significant commitment of both time and effort, including coursework, a dissertation, residencies, and more. It’s well known that PhD programs, online and off, are challenging—and you’ll be respected in your field for your academic achievement.

  7. Qualify you to speak at conferences.

    If you dream of presenting original research at professional conferences or receiving the honor of being a keynote speaker, a doctoral degree can help get you there. A strong research paper written during or after you’ve completed your PhD program enables you to apply to present your findings as an expert in your field.

  8. Boost your professional confidence.

    The extensive education garnered through a PhD degree program equips you with the skills and knowledge that lead to greater confidence in your professional pursuits. Backed by a doctoral degree, you’ll speak and write about important issues in your field with increased self-assurance based upon the background you’ve acquired.

  9. Enjoy the potential for a higher salary.

    A doctoral degree can qualify you for higher positions that pay more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those with a PhD degree earned nearly 20% more than those with a master’s degree in 2014, and almost 50% more than those with a bachelor’s degree.*

  10. Conduct meaningful research.

    When you’re passionate about a subject, there’s nothing like the opportunity to conduct original research on it. Enrolling in a PhD program, online or on campus, provides you with the unique opportunity to become an expert on an issue through a dissertation.

Ready to start exploring PhD degree programs? With 20 accredited online PhD programs to choose from, Walden University is ready to partner with you to get your doctoral degree—on your own schedule. Discover how Walden can help you find out for yourself that a PhD is worth it.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Employment Projections, on the Internet at