The benefits of having a PhD and how it opens doors

Published on LinkedIn by Irena Lovrenčič Držanič Technical Associate (Institute of Media Communications - UM).

The benefits of having a PhD and how it opens doors

PhD can bring significant benefits to its holders if they know how to properly utilize it. Even though PhDs are rarer than people with lower educational levels, they can still be unemployed unless they know how to successfully apply to jobs in the industry.

Experience shows PhD candidates develop:

  • Research skills
  • Analysis and problem-solving
  • Innovation
  • Competitiveness
  • Teamwork abilities
  • Leadership skills
  • Networking experience
  • Critical thinking

Doctorate represents a unique advantage over other educational levels partly due to its rarity. Currently, less than 4% of students in tertiary education are studying for doctorate degree.1 Some of the other advantages that you will get from finishing a PhD are:

PhDs have great research skills: They have spent years working on various research projects that demanded them to get acquainted with previously unfamiliar topics and research large quantities of materials. These skills can also be used in the industry, especially if you will work as a researcher in the R&D department (research & development).

They excel at analyses and problem-solving skills: A large proportion of research projects and thesis preparation were analyses of large quantities of data and solving of complex problems. Both skills can benefit companies when they are faced with issues that need to be addressed urgently.

They are innovators: PhD is a synthesis of independent and teamwork that resulted in new findings and improved the common knowledge about the topic.

They are competitive: Competitiveness has been trained by PhDs when they applied for project funding along with hundreds of other PhDs from different countries. Another instance of highly competitive activity is the publication of scientific papers that are a prerequisite for completion of PhD.

They can work as a team: Despite common thinking that PhD consists of only independent work, a large portion of it is done in teams of two up to ten people. Years of teamwork have build them to be a great team member who knows how to communicate efficiently to project partners and accomplish the set goals.

They know how to lead people. Working in teams has also trained them to take the initiative and lead other team members. This skill will be highly beneficial when applying to managerial positions, but also in other aspects of life.

They have networking experience. Numerous project meetings, conferences and other networking activities have been a part of every PhDs’ life. Apart from showing great networking experience, these connections could also be used to advance your job searching process. Inquire if they know of any open positions that you could apply to.

They are critical thinkers: PhDs have learned to read and evaluate lots of papers in order to single out the best ones. This qualifies them as exceptional critical thinkers who can analyze, interpret and reflect on proposed ideas.

Eurostat - Tertiary education statistics, available at:

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