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Is a PhD in Engineering Right For You?

Saturation of the job market has caused many to seek options in making themselves more attractive to employers. Garnering additional qualifications, academic and professional alike, are paths often tread upon. Since the pursuit of a PhD in Engineering requires a substantial investment in time, cost and effort, it is best to do some of your own research. If the returns are worth the outlay, hand in your application for admission.

Obvious factors for consideration by potential PhD candidates are normally prestige and salary. Although the order may interchange for some people, it pretty much revolves around these two aspects. The matter of prestige is apparent in the choice of institution from which to obtain said PhD. Despite the many places offering doctorate programs, there are the elite few which lend a certain weight when listed in your portfolio. Scholars of PhD in Engineering from these schools tend to command a higher level of respect from the crowd, similar to a scenario of separating the sheep from the goats. Employers and headhunters thus zero in on these postgraduate students with the purpose of getting the cream of the crop. This translates into a better remuneration package. Employment opportunities for PhD students are most often offered by private companies, focusing in areas of research to improve their products and services. Other areas are in the teaching field as professors and instructors in various academic institutions, as well as attachments to governmental and non-governmental organizations. A number have also branched into private practices, offering consultancy or contractual services on project basis.

Although we live in a time whereby gender differentiation is supposedly a thing of the past, a doctorate program in the Engineering field is still not balanced between both sexes. Perhaps the choice of employment opportunities for PhD students has some bearing on the statistics. A common factor amongst these jobs is the need to conduct extensive research within the confines of laboratories as well as in field work. As such, some may not be willing to sacrifice family life for the sake of a job requiring this type of PhD credentials.