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Are doctorate degrees worth it?

We've all heard doctors make a lot of money. In a lot of cases, they really don't, especially if you take into consideration the fees they pay like insurances, and student loans. In addition, having a doctorate doesn't save you from being on call or working awful shifts. Are the student loans and other woes worth the stress of earning a doctorate? Is it fulfilling, and can you make a comfortable income to become debt free?
#doctorate #debt #salary #studentloans

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Dr. Aisha Wright’s Answer


I think this is a personal and professional decision. It all depends on your desires. For instance, I love learning, school and the intersection of my profession HR as a practitioner and the theories related to adult learning and HR as a field. So, it was natural for me to be interested in an advanced degree in Human Resources and then a doctorate. I think if someone was interested in a doctorate you have to be in the mindset of a marathon and not a sprint. Pursuing a doctorate is a personal journey with the support of your selected program (and its faculty). I see value in my degree from my everyday job in Human Resources and other avenues I could pursue in the future like teaching or research.

To address your questions that are more financially related this is also very personal. How much debt your willing to take on and related costs are something to really think about. Take into consideration working while in school, scholarships, etc. Specifically regarding working while in school this can be at varying levels- part-time or full time. I worked full time while pursuing my masters and doctorate after working for a few years. This helped reduce some of my debt. I was also able to manage my finances to pay off any debt within a reasonable time. With any choice you make there are benefits and drawbacks. Taking a a look a difference scenarios to consider them would be helpful - while keeping in mind that you won't cover 100% of all scenarios, it will give you move information going into making a decision that not.

For me, my doctorate was 100$ worth it!

I hope this is helpful!

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Ken’s Answer

The achievement of any level of education should relate to the individual's career goals and be relevant to the application of that level of education in that career field. Too many people have achieved an advanced degree without proper research regarding its application and found that they could not put it to use, as they had skipped some important steps along the way, which would have made a great deal of difference. During my many years of Human Resource Experience and College Recruiting, I have developed the following steps, which could help to understand the relevance of an appropriate level of degree to their career aspirations.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##