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Should you do a PhD? Top 15 Reasons not to get a PhD


Earning a degree is very important not only in terms of developing intellectual ability but also it gives respect in society.

Being a scholar has changed many individuals life in terms of job, personal success, and status in the society.

There is one part of the educated sector who always wish to pursue for higher education and research to contribute to the society.

One of the milestones of earning a degree is getting a doctorate or a PhD. There are many obvious benefits of gaining a PhD. But still the way to gain a doctorate or a PhD degree is very long and tiring. Here are the few reasons to not get a PhD.

Reasons not to get a PhD

Why You Shouldn’t Pursue a PhD?

1. When you are not financially stable:

Doing a doctorate initially does not give you any kind of income. The period of completing a PhD is usually more than 4 years and you need a stable income every month for your survival during your pursue of doctorate.

Even though once after successfully completing your PhD the income might be huge, the period of completing the doctorate will be tight financially. Hence, it is not advisable to pursue a PhD when not financially stable.

2. When you are not fully interested in the topic:

As doing PhD requires lots of effort and constant research about the subject, you need to spend lots of hours working on it. Unless and until without full interest on the subject it is difficult to finish the doctorate.

Hence it is not good to pursue a PhD just for the sake of a degree as it may leave you mid way around.

3. When you don’t like to work for hours:

Constant hard work and dedicated long working hours is most needed for doing a PhD. Generally doing a doctorate will involve working under the guidance of experienced scholars.

Most of them might be busy during the day and will continue doing study during odd hours. Hence, do not opt for doing a doctorate when you are not ready to work for long tiring hours.

4. No constant dream subject:

Generally, there are few people who has a fluctuating mind who often change their love for subjects. Sometimes, for example, organic chemistry might excite them, and sometimes zoological theories. So, when there is no constant dream subject it is better to not chose to pursue a doctorate.

5. When you have a short period of time to survive:

There are few people who are very ambitious about doing research and who dedicates their entire part of life doing a PhD.

Another set of people is who are very ambitious about the research but no time for surviving the entire research.

It is natural to have many commitments, but commitments do not go hand in hand with doing a PhD. It needs lots of strength to survive without getting distracted.

Hence, people who have less time, and have more personal commitments are not advised to do a PhD.

6. Do not do for social status:

There is a very wrong notion in society about education. The more degree you hold, the more intellectual you are. Because of the social pressure, there are a group of people who always are in a move of getting many degrees including doctorates.

This will not help in the long run as, doing research sometimes might make you lose many things like personal commitments, social gatherings, etc.

Hence, if you are a person who does it for social status, then it is a waste of time as you benefit nothing out of it.

7. When reading is not your cup of tea:

Doing research merely does not only involve working with a scholar but it has a lot to do with examining a lot of the previous history of the subject. The overall history of the subject can be only examined by mere reading.

Reading is the very basic step of doing research. Hence, if you are not a person who has no interest in reading or does not spend time for literature, then PhD is not just for you.

8. If you are looking out for a better position in your career:

There is always a misconception, holding a PhD might help you move the ladder in your job. It is a very false notion as a doctorate degree has nothing to do with getting a job or advancement in job.

Do not list it in as qualification as it does not come under any kind of need in a job role. Hence, do not pursue PhD if you are looking out for job advancement and nothing else.

9. If you are a person who look out for net results immediately:

Research is a very extensive field where getting net output is not very easy. And there are many cases where the PhD study goes for years together without net output.

Hence, if you are a person who expects the net output immediate for your effort then, a doctorate degree is not just for you.

10. If you are an emotional person and you need people around:

Generally, the cost for getting a PhD degree might be not that much by currency but mentally it costs a lot. When you get completely emerged into the research there are lot of chances of getting a feeling of being isolated, feeling the pressure of society, and no connection to the family life is very common.

Hence, if you are a person who is mentally little weak and needs more attention then it is not easy to get a PhD degree.

Reasons Not to Get a PhD:

1. To extend your visa:

It has become common that students from foreign countries in order to extend their visa get into do a doctorate. This is absolutely wrong method, as you not only waste your time but also your guider’s time.

Some point of time, when there is a serious lot of work to do in research you tend to break out of pressure. Hence, do not do a PhD to escape from visa restrictions.

2. To move out of working-class:

Some people find difficulty in the routine of working lifestyle. And due to the pressure of that lifestyle, they tend to choose the option of doing research. This could be a bad idea because research is very tiring and requires lot of perseverance to work hard without tasting success for years.

So, do not try to get a PhD to move out of working lifestyle as that would be better than facing difficult times during research.

3. To sustain peer pressure:

In order to survive competitive world, most of the people tend to do whatever their peers do. This cannot do any good to you, as everyone has own level of survival among their difficulties. When coming to do a PhD it is really difficult if you do it out of peer pressure as it not only creates ill health but also mental instability.

4. To show the world about your intellectual:

Generally, people always have a notion that educated people who hold a doctorate degree or a PhD are brilliant and good in intellectual. Because of this false fame, people tend to somehow try to get a doctorate. This will leave in trouble in the middle as a doctorate degree is not as easy to show that you are intelligent.

5. Dream of your parents:

Other than the expectations of society, parents are the ones who have lot of dream on their kids. When they fail to achieve what they dreamed about their lives, they try to achieve out of their kids. This has also been pushed many of them to get a doctorate. And surely without a personal orientation towards the research getting a PhD is very difficult.


Getting a PhD is an honour, but it should not be the above cases as it will not let you good if you are doing it without interest. PhD is totally different from getting a master’s as this is entirely making things out of your own. Do a Ph.D. with dedication and own interest. Unless and until you do not feel anything oriented towards research do not do it. Hope this post gives you an idea about the reasons for not doing a Ph.D.