What Do Ph.D. Students Look For?

What do Ph.D. students look for? We’ve got you covered! This page will tell you all you need to know about what Ph.D. students do/look once they finish their studies. Ph.D. is a well-known academic degree and one of the highest honors a university may bestow. Most Ph.D. programs include coursework, demanding assessments, and a dissertation. Before obtaining a Ph.D., one must finish years of study and publish their findings.

What Do Ph.D. Students Look For?

Steps to get into PhD:

  1. Composing a proposal for research

Your research proposal is not technically a component of your Ph.D. However, it’s a common practice in the Ph.D. application process. 

The research proposal defines the goals and objectives for your Ph.D. and the original subject and/or problems you intend to investigate.

It also clarifies why your effort is valuable and relevant and relates to your university’s expertise and goals.

Finally, a Ph.D. proposal outlines your strategies for earning your degree. This involves selecting the current scholarship to which your study will contribute and the research methods you will employ.

  1. Conducting a literature review

After starting your Ph.D. and meeting with your supervisor for the first time, the literature review is usually the first thing you do.

It’s a comprehensive review of current scholarly ‘literature’ on your subject relevant to your project or problems.

After getting advice and instruction from your supervisor, you will identify, study, and evaluate existing data and scholarship.

Your final Ph.D. dissertation will almost always contain a literature review, which sets the tone for the study before you begin to discuss and illustrate your point of view.

  1. Conducting research and collecting results

However, your major concentration will be on researching your study question.

This entails conducting a systematic study and generating findings to base your judgments.

  1. Ph.D. research types

Your issue area will influence your research plan and data collection methods:

You will conduct experiments in STEM subjects before collecting and analyzing the findings.

It’s not uncommon to have to put together and manage large numerical datasets in coordination with other laboratory members or workshop members.

Depending on what activity you’re doing, they will create quantitative or qualitative data.

Regardless of your specialty, this research project will take over your Ph.D.

You’ll have regular meetings with your boss, but you’ll control the project’s day-to-day management and growth.

In many professions, starting to write up your results as they come in, developing a thesis, and concluding each chapter of the dissertation is typical practice.

  1. Obtaining a Ph.D. after completing an MPhil

In the United Kingdom, before being promoted to ‘fledged’ doctoral candidates, new candidates frequently pursue an MPhil. After a year of full-time education (or the comparable part-time), this is a regular occurrence.

Although it may seem unusual to be needed to enroll in a ‘lesser’ degree, it is a vital element of the training and growth that a Ph.D. provides:

As an MPhil student, you may expand your professional expertise and conduct new research.

As a Ph.D. students, you’ll have the opportunity to look the next step and contribute to knowledge in the way that only a doctorate can.

When you go from one to the other, you get an MPhil upgrade.

  1. Exam for the MPhil upgrade

An oral test, similar to the viva voce after a Ph.D., is usually required to upgrade from MPhil to Ph.D. registration. However, unlike a full viva, the MPhil upgrade is more informal and simply covers a portion of your dissertation.

You’ll only submit a fraction of what you’ve previously created most of the time. For example, this might be a rough draft of your first chapter (or a piece thereof) and a literature review summary.

It’s rare to ‘fail’ a Ph.D. upgrade. However, if your institution is concerned that you haven’t made enough progress or developed a viable plan for the remainder of your project, they may urge you to repeat the process.

  1. What exactly is an MPhil?

The MPhil is a research degree with a narrower concentration than the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy). An MPhil, like a Ph.D., isn’t always a Philosophy degree.

Our MPhil degree guide has further information.

The procedure’s goal is to ensure that your research has the potential to lead to a Ph.D. and that you’re on schedule to finish it on time.

  1.  Doctoral education, conferences, and publications

During your Ph.D., you will have plenty of opportunities to teach, attend academic conferences, and publish.

Although participation is usually voluntary, it may be a really rewarding experience that will look great on your resume.

It’s usual for Ph.D. students to deliver undergraduate lectures or oversee lab students and grade work and provide feedback.

Academic conferences are a fantastic way to network with like-minded people and learn about the most recent research in your field.

  1. Writing your thesis

The thesis (or dissertation) is the essential component of your Ph.D. since it represents the conclusion of three years or more of intense research. This enables you to provide a distinctive intellectual contribution to your field.

This thesis writing guide covers all you need to know about this major research project, from organization to word count to write-up and submission.

A guide on creating an abstract of a doctoral dissertation is also included, which is a crucial aspect of any thesis.

  1. Viva vocal defense of your PhD

A Ph.D. normally does not need any written work, unlike other degrees. Instead, your dissertation will be subjected to a viva voce (Latin for “live voice”) oral examination.

This is a formal process where you ‘defend’ your thesis before a panel of examiners who have conducted substantial research on your dissertation.

Two academics usually review a Ph.D.:-

An internal examiner from your faculty and the department will be one of them.

They won’t be directly involved in your study, but they’ll have enough experience to assess your results.

The other will be a third-party assessor. They’ll be a well-known expert in the subject with a history of relevant research and publication.

What does a Ph.D. student look for?

Ph.D. aspirants have had to reassess their motivations for entering academia since job dynamics in India and other countries change daily.

Academic abilities prepare one for a range of issues and are essential in all areas of life.

After a Ph.D., the most natural job route is to become a university professor, an industrial R&D lab professional, or a startup mentor.

Following is a quick overview of the alternatives available after completing the degree:


Academia has always been a popular alternative for those with a Ph.D. This person’s job description is similar to what they did throughout their Ph.D. program.

The position entails teaching, giving lectures, creating slides, conducting research, and managing administration.

Attending specialist seminars and lectures and representing the college on several occasions.

Consultant Positions

Most consulting businesses didn’t employ MBAs a decade ago. Now everything is different! Due to the ongoing expansion of technology-based businesses, the number of PhDs hired by these companies has increased considerably.

Nowadays, management consulting organizations are generally seeking someone who can take a bird’s eye view of issues.

Ph.D. holders are given preference since they have a strong technical background and are uniquely qualified to deal with complex issues.

Fact: Obtaining a position as a Management Consultant provides doors to various opportunities, including senior management, venture capital, and entrepreneurship.

In Government sector

Look for a job in the government sector if you wish to aid the country.

You may work for one of the ministries, where you’d be required to understand complex topics and help people make informed decisions.

Another alternative is to utilize your bright mind to rise through the ranks of research for the product.

Performance and tactics for increasing a product’s economic success while determining how to phase out or terminate previous versions.

Fact: Jobs are available in virtually every technology-based industry, including electronics, aircraft, information technology and software, and, of course, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

 As a business owner 

Everyone wants to carve out their market niche in today’s world, and Ph.D. holders aim to achieve precisely that with their degree. As a result, most degree holders opt to start their own companies. Many students choose to work for a startup to get experience before launching their own company if they are not entrepreneurs.

What is the average salary for a Ph.D. student?

  • Unlike other European countries, the United States has no minimum wage or national compensation scale for Ph.D. students. Ph.D. students might earn between $15,000 and $30,000 per year, depending on the university, field of study, and location.  
  • The median postdoctoral salary in April 2022 was $57,299. 
  • Assistant professors in 2021-2022 earned an average of $85,063 a year.
  • Associate professors earned an average of $97,734 in 2021-2022.
  • Professors earned an average of $143,823 in 2021-2022.


Finally, after graduation, a Ph.D. student’s most natural job option is to become a university professor, an industrial R&D lab professional, or a startup mentor.


How long does a Ph.D. take?

A Ph.D. takes two years to accomplish, and it takes at least 12 to 18 months to defend a thesis proposal, conduct thesis research, and defend the final thesis. Therefore, a Ph.D. should take between four and five years to complete.

Is it possible to acquire an MBA while working on my Ph.D.?

No. The Ph.D. and MBA programs are separate, and Ph.D. students cannot pursue both degrees.

Is a Master’s degree or prior job experience required?

There is no requirement for a Master’s degree for admission. However, students must have finished their bachelor’s degree by the beginning of the fall semester to be considered. Admission does not require any experience in the workplace.