History of the PhD – its origins
History of the PhD : The PhD was developed in the nineteenth century in Germany. Previously, the highest degree indicated a master’s degree with mastery in the body of the community. However, the focus has shifted towards the creation of new knowledge and ideas. The PhD degree appeared for those who had the necessary expertise in a specific area of interest. The University of Medieval Europe organized academics in four faculties such as Arts, Theology, Law (Civil/Canon) and Medicine. Most importantly, all faculties offered intermediate and final studies. At the time, master’s and doctoral degrees were offered interchangeably for the final degree. Moreover, the doctorate was only a formality for masters or teachers of art.
However, in the Middle Ages the titles Doctor of Theology/Divinity, Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Laws were standardized in most places. In 1810, Germany’s academic situation changed through educational reforms. Also, the Berlin University model was established by the Prussian government. For the award of the final degree, the Faculty of Philosophy required research contributions documented by a dissertation. Therefore, it was originally equivalent to a master’s degree in art in Germany.
In the UK, research degrees appeared in the late 19th century in the form of DSc/ScD (Doctor of Science). The University of London first introduced the Doctor of Science degree in 1860 as an advanced course in science after the B.Sc. This scenario changed after some scholars went to Germany to obtain PhDs in natural sciences and humanities. Accordingly, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Princeton University began awarding the degree over the next two decades.
Why should you do a PhD?
A doctorate is one of the highest degrees in academia. It means achieving the highest level of competence in a certain field of study. Moreover, it also implies the research and analytical skills of the PhD holder. The long journey of a PhD also includes training in methodology, research and analytical skills for the student.
Before completing the studies, the student must know the features of doctoral studies. The duration of doctoral studies is a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 5 years. In addition, students should have a postgraduate degree to apply for PhD courses.
A few important points before deciding on a PhD:
A PhD course is a higher degree that focuses on a specific area of your study. Therefore, PhD candidates must focus on specialization and continue research.
Different career options
PhD is one of the highest degrees in India and abroad. Likewise, students with the PhD degrees can have a very good career opportunity in life. Students must have the skills and knowledge to excel in their careers. The most popular job option after a doctorate is teaching at a university. There are other job opportunities like R&D, industry professionals and start-up mentors etc. Many industry organizations consist of PhD groups for their research activities. They help in designing new products and strategic planning. There is a wide range of career opportunities for the PhD holders. Students can find employment in research and development, research industry, start-ups, academic publishing, etc.
A knowledge-based degree
A PhD can give you in-depth knowledge of a specific subject. In addition, it verifies the student’s ability to conduct individual research. During doctoral studies, one must successfully complete a term paper and a dissertation in order to receive a doctorate. However, after completing the course, students must qualify for a comprehensive exam, the purpose of which is to test the student’s basic knowledge. The student must strive for a good publication in a professional journal during the life of the PhD.
Possibility of long-term study
Some PhD applicants aim to the pursue long-term career goals. Those interested can continue their studies. A postdoctoral position is the most traditional step into academia, after which PhD students can use their postdoctoral years to publish well, gain experience, and build a professional network.
Development of additional skills
There is much more to a PhD than a dissertation and a viva. A student can learn presentation and public speaking skills by presenting their work at seminars and conferences. Apart from this, the candidate can also learn about time management. In addition, they can develop a fruitful network of academics during this time.
Contribution to the field of research
Students will also have the opportunity to contribute their knowledge to their chosen research area. It can shed light on a new angle of the subject. In addition, a new paper can improve research and guide future researchers in your subject of interest.
Duration of PhD in India
The duration of doctoral studies is usually 3-5 years in full-time and 5-6 years in combined mode. However, a PhD is a purely research degree, unlike undergraduate and postgraduate studies. In modern times, the PhD has become very diverse and consists of different qualifications in different components. The degree moves to different degrees.