As inventor Thomas Edison declared, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” After your Masters, a vast number of options are available to anyone with an imaginative mind and a willingness to do some hard work. Joining a company, starting your own venture, becoming a social worker, taking on a career in art and literature or continuing to spend years on technical studies are all par for the course. The world is truly your oyster! But I know nothing about a career in art and literature or in the financial sector for that matter. I do know a little about doctoral studies. And I certainly know about the reasons I chose this path. If you are looking into continuing your education after your Masters, you should be able to do it. It may be the perfect option, even for a few people who had never considered it before. Mind you, the path requires dedication and hard work. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
In Germany, there are two types of doctoral programme (PhD): structured and individual. Structured PhD programmes have a team of supervisors who tend to a group of doctoral students. As a rule, it is possible to complete a doctorate in three to five years. The individual path to a PhD is probably the most common one. An individual doctorate is where one student is guided by a single supervisor. This form of PhD study offers a great deal of flexibility. However, it requires a lot of personal initiative as well.
A must for every aspiring scholar is having financial resources. Usually, you will have little to no time left for part-time work, since your research will be a priority. Scholarships are offered by several different institutions and sometimes even by the government. They all have different conditions for qualification, and a few of them require you to submit the application a year before the programme starts. If you are a foreigner, your scholarship might require you to reach a certain level of excellence in written and spoken German.
The most important factor is the right supervisor for your work. It is essential not only to find the perfect field of study, but also to find a guide who will be willing to take you on as their student. The temperament and willingness of both the student and supervisor should match well. This is what I consider to be perhaps the most important factor.
I am sure that there are a lot more factors to consider. If you have anything to add, please leave a comment below.
(Study programme Electrical Engineering and Information Technology)