Pin Me

Motivating Yourself to Get a PhD

written by: BMeredith•edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch•updated: 5/10/2010

Just finished your master's degree? Maybe you've been done a while, but are contemplating a career change which means continuing your education? Either way this motivation letter for a PhD will hopefully inspire you to take the plunge and get that PhD.

  • slide 1 of 1

    Motivation to Get A PhD

    Higher education and today’s world have taken on many new and challenging changes. The advent of technology and the online learning environments have added new perspectives to both content delivery and availability of higher education goals. The end result is more adults are enhancing and even changing careers, which means enhancing and improving their educational portfolios. In the U.S., only 12% of the higher education population achieves PhD statuses. So you may ask: why bother? This writer believes that it is no bother at all. Let me explain the motivation for a PhD.

    Anyone considering pursuing a PhD has already mastered (pardon the pun) an advanced degree. While the content and requirements are different between the master's and the PhD, the format and discipline for success remain constant. So what might be getting in the way?

    Cost? In today’s environment, there are a number of programs that make furthering your education more affordable. While this will be a major investment (about 38 to 45 thousand dollars) there are government programs and grants that can make this attractive and available. In addition the average salary for a PhD will put you very close, if not over six figures (100,000), giving you the resources to meet those financial obligations. You should talk with your school of choices financial aid to find out what is available for you.

    Fear of the unknown? This can manifest itself in a number of ways. There is the fear that one will not have enough time to keep up with the course obligations including reading and writing. This depends largely on the type of environment you decide to engage in and your support from others around you, both personally and professionally. The adult learner can take two courses of action. One is of course the traditional brick and mortar environment where you must find time to attend class a few evenings a week or a weekend or two. The second, and this writer’s choice, is the online environment. This environment goes directly to this particular fear in that you have the flexibility to hold a full time job and visit the course room at your convenience. You must be careful here however: this is no place for a procrastinator. The other obvious fear is the seemingly daunting task of writing and defending the dissertation. Just remember that your university is as invested in you as you are in them. They want you to succeed for a myriad of reasons including their own demographics. As long as you maintain a dialogue with them they will present you with all the resources you require to successfully complete this degree.

    So what are you waiting for? If you have come this far, you are already a lifelong learner with a commitment to critical thinking and learning. This will be the final step to realizing and obtaining both financial and intellectual well being. However, this writer has found through his own studies that many are engaged in the PhD because they have a passion for their subject and see it as an opportunity to make a real difference in their lives and the lives of others. Is it for everyone? Probably not, but if you are contemplating it at all you are in the perfect place to take the plunge. Come on in, the water’s fine!