PhDs are an expensive route if you are considering a job in industry, including opening your own business, assuming you are planning to study in one of the more basic sciences. If you are looking to do something more applied, like clinical psychology, then a PhD is a great route for someone who is interested in more cutting-edge technologies and practices. Alternatives are a MA/MS degree (except you pay in full instead of receiving a PhD stipend) or a field-specific degree--sticking with the clinical psychology example, you could instead do a PsyD, which is more focused on practice than a PhD.
Ruth recommends the following next steps:
- Pick a field, based on what seems most interesting to you--consider your next step in addition to the long term--reading about graduate school programs will help most here, you can't study a field you find boring!
- Consider the various routes to traverse that field. Consider the PhD as well as the MA/MS or field-specific degrees.
- Find a mentor to help you along the way, someone who already does what you want to do so they can help you in your journey.