The Value of A Doctoral Degree

I’ve been pondering about my future plans after earning a Ph.D. and the value of my degree. While the financial reward (s) is not my sole motivation for pursuing a doctoral degree, career advancement and the future job market are definitely big factors. In terms of employment outcomes of doctoral degrees, there is a widespread belief that Ph.D.s in humanities and social sciences have limited job prospects.

As I work to craft my research and dissertation topic, I am looking at linking my research to future employability factors in my field of practice. My goal is to build on the strength of the Planning, Governance, and Globalization program to bring insights from the social sciences and humanities to focus on a multidimensional study. With the flexibility and opportunity to structure and develop an individual Ph.D. program of study, I hope to explore courses that cross disciplinary and departmental lines as I pursue my research interests.

For me, as a non-traditional student, the value of the doctoral program starts with the flexibility and opportunity to develop and structure an individual study program that advances my career aspirations and delivers on my research interest in the applications of decision-support systems in transportation organizations. Assuming nothing, I will say the term value is subjective and varies over time based on individual needs and circumstances. The value of a doctoral degree to me is to successfully complete my Ph.D. research interest, create new opportunities for innovation and stay relevant in my field of practice.