Are you thinking about getting a PhD or other doctorate? In the wide variety of doctoral programs available, you can earn anything from a doctorate in education (EdD) to a PhD in accounting. How many years it takes to earn a doctoral degree depends on the type of program you choose. For example, some executive doctoral programs can be completed in three years while more traditional PhD programs can take much longer.
If you’re wondering whether a doctoral degree is worth it, we’ve compiled some high-level potential benefits of earning an advanced degree to help you weigh the options.
1. Increased potential earnings: The U.S. Census Bureau states that the lifetime earning difference between a master’s degree and a doctorate degree is $900,000.
2. Lower unemployment rate: The same report from the Census Bureau shows that unemployment among those with an advanced degree is lower than the national average. Though the below chart ends in 2010, the trend continues.
3. Enhanced skills: Doctoral programs help you to build stronger analytical and critical thinking skills that are transferrable to many different industries. Critical thinking is often listed as one of the most valuable business skills, regardless of industry.
4. Proven project management skills: It takes strong time management and project management skills to earn a doctorate degree. You have to be self-motivated and goal oriented. These are two critical areas that employers are looking for. A Harvard Business Review article cites that 61% of employees feel that they have been held back for a promotion because of a skills gap. Advanced education can help close that gap.
5. Expanded professional network: Many part-time doctorate programs are cohort-based, which means you can build a close network of colleagues over the course of your studies. Even in traditional programs, students have extensive research partnerships with their faculty that help build connections before graduation.
Getting your PhD or EdD is not just for academics. Consultants, pharmaceuticals, government agencies, and biotech companies look for job candidates with advanced credentials for everything from sales to business development.