What is a PhD?
A Doctor of Philosophy degree, abbreviated as Ph.D. Degree, is the highest academic degree. It was formerly considered as a prerequisite for a professor’s position in a university. Over the years, the meaning of the term Ph.D. has undergone humungous changes. Now the Ph.D. degree has much wider career opportunities outside of academia which is evident from the fact that many of those possessing a doctorate degree, Ph.D. degree do not hold academic teaching posts. With the boom in the medical and IT sectors, a number of pharmaceutical and IT companies are now investing heavily in Research & Development (R&D) functions. Doctoral graduates or Ph.D. Degree holders in other fields such as humanities, management is in demand in NGOs and research firms.
The Ph.D. degree is considered Magnus opus by most of the doctoral degree aspirants. Many people choose to pursue a Ph.D. degree owing to several factors such as prior experience, specific interests, peer & societal pressure, fulfilling others’ expectations, etc. However, in reality, one needs to have clear and concrete reasons for pursuing it. It is not about new discoveries; rather it focuses on painstakingly conducting a detailed investigation of past discoveries. It demonstrates one’s research competence involving strong academic background, mastery of the subject, capacity for independent research, discipline and the ability to interpreting the results connecting it with a broader discourse.
Pre-requisite for a Ph.D. Degree
Mastering a subject:-
Each university establishes general guidelines that a student must follow to earn a Ph.D. degree, and each college or department within a university sets specific standards by which it measures mastery of a subject. Usually, in preparing for Ph.D. work in a given field, a student must earn both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (or their equivalent) in that field or in a closely related field. To demonstrate complete mastery of the subject, a student may be required to complete additional graduate-level courses, maintain a high-grade average, or take a battery of special examinations. In many institutions, students must do all three.
The essence of a Ph.D. Degree can be summarized in a single word: research. In scientific disciplines, research often implies experimentation. However, research is more than mere experiments. It means interpretation and deep understanding leading to the discovery of new techniques, abstractions, approaches, algorithms, principles or new mechanisms. :-
To complete a Ph.D. Degree, each student must present results from their research to the faculty in a lengthy, formal document called a dissertation (more popularly referred to as a thesis). The student must then defend his/her work in an oral examination
Why pursue a Ph.D. Abroad?
India might not provide you adequate resources and technology to specialize in a particular field. But your career goals can be fulfilled by doing Ph.D. from abroad due to multitudinous options being available around the globe to suit your requirements. Some reasons to study abroad for PhD degree are listed below:
1. Duration of Ph.D. course
In the UK and in other parts of Europe, the duration of a Ph.D. course is quite short; generally 3-4 years in duration. In the US or in Sweden, the typical duration is 4-5 years, although there is no prescribed period in the US.
2. Teaching opportunities
In the US, you get an opportunity to pursue teaching assistantship along with your Ph.D. degree. This provides relevant experience and also helps you manage your cost of living in the US. In the UK, the Ph.D. course is primarily focused on research and no assistantship is offered to students
3. Research environment and advanced methods
A student gets exposed to new researches and technologies available in his/her field of interest necessary for mastering a subject in phd degree. For instance, Germany is the hub of automotive industry in the world. Hence, a student interested in this field should ideally prefer German universities to pursue his/her PhD degree as it will provide an ideal industrial environment to research in this field
4. Academics with different perspectives
You can get an opportunity to be in touch with researchers and academics that have specialized in related fields and have published their research; such as Scott J. Shenker, professor at the University of California Berkeley is well known for his research in computer science and David Brainard, professor for Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. You can network with professors based on your research interests
5. Enhancement of career opportunities
Universities look for professionals with understanding of global perspectives along with an expertise in a particular field. Considering the recent trends, even in the corporate sector, companies recognize the value of PhDs which has resulted in many employment opportunities in the Research & Development segment
Process of Enrolling for a PhD Abroad
- Take the standardized Tests (GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/IELTS)
- Find professors in universities of your choice whose research interests match yours. Network with such professors and discuss your goals and research interests with an objective to get their approval and recommendation. Once you receive a positive response from the professors, you can decide the universities you intend to apply for phd to and commence the application process accordingly.
- Fill in the application form for phd degree completely.
- Prepare your recommendation letters, SOP/essays and resume highlighting your academic excellence, research interests and credentials and your objective for pursuing a PhD degree from abroad. In certain universities you would have to submit a detailed research proposal as well.
- Prepare your financial documents.
- Visa is the most crucial of all. You need to be very careful as a small neglect can lead to visa rejection.
The Role of MEPL in Assisting Phd Aspirants in Their Application Process
MEPL boasts of its tremendous placements of PhD students in top universities such as Carnegie Mellon University, Rice University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University and Nanyang Technological University. It is actively involved in assisting students in the entire process of enrollment by providing.
1. Test Preparation
Help in preparation for standardized tests with the help of US Trained and Certified Faculty ensuring standard teaching methodologies and delivery of course content.
2. Admission Counseling Services
Provide assistance in deciding most suitable universities based on your profile, academic/research interests and networking with the professors of desired universities. We support you in the entire application process including financial documentation.
3. Resume Editing Services
Render expert editing service by assisting you in creating your resume, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, essays and research proposals to suit the specific course and university requirements.
4. Visa Counseling Services
Our in-house team of well-trained visa counselors helps students in preparing of documents for visa and acing the visa interview process.