Whatever else you’ve had to cope with, you’ve spent long hours chasing references, and agonised over the wording of every paragraph.
To put it bluntly, a Ph D is b****y hard work and exacts a great toll on one’s character to see it through to the end.
A doctorate provides status in a society that values success.
One would have to be highly motivated and determined (or wealthy enough) to make the attempt otherwise.
To someone like me, having already established a career, the chances of becoming a mature student seemed a pipedream.
I had always harboured an ambition to do a Ph D, but it seemed unlikely that a suitable opportunity would ever arise.
Entrance to post-graduate education is increasingly competitive and expensive, and is practically inaccessible to those without some form of 3rd-party backing.
I know many people who have finished and express similar sentiments. One of the posts that caught my eye recently commented on the career prospects for the newly-qualified Ph D, especially outside academia.
Getting a job in the first place — especially in today’s economic climate — is naturally of concern.
The first of my “post-Ph D blues” is that not everyone will share your excitement at getting a Ph D, or will necessarily see the same value in your research as you do.
Those close to you will of course be pleased and share in your delight, but the wider world isn’t necessarily going to be bowled over by your accomplishment.