Characteristics of a Good Ph.D. Candidate

So, you have a Master’s degree, and now you want to make the big leap of obtaining your Doctoral degree in your area of specialization as well as in your university of choice?
Not many persons decide to take this step because of various factors, so you deserve a high-five! I can already tell that

  1. Are you good at managing your time? There is no doubt that most persons, even you, maybe working and/or managing a family when you decide to pursue your doctorate. Having to face the complexities of everyday ‘normal’ life and then having to do evening or weekend classes, plus the assignments that come with them is no easy feat. That is why it is important that when you are considering becoming a Ph.D. student, you have sufficient mastery of time management so that you can efficiently complete your assignments and have time for your other obligations.
  2. Do you need to be ‘spoon fed’? Pursuing a Ph.D. means that you’re in the big leagues, and at this point, you are the only one who is going to be accountable for your work. There will be no lecturer reminding you of due dates (as often as an undergrad), and no group members to rely on to pull off the work with. You have to operate under minimal supervision to ensure that your work is done, and done properly. Your advisor will be there to guide you, but not do the work for you.
  3. Are you open-minded? As a great Ph.D. student, you have to be willing to dig deep, question findings, and search for solutions. Having an open mind and a willingness to learn new things is a well-needed trait of a Ph.D. student. During the research, you will discover things that you didn’t even consider before, and your inquisitive mind will allow you to seek out more to come to a solution for the problem you are working on.
  4. Communication is key! You must be able to communicate both verbally and in written format as a Ph.D. student. The documents you have to prepare for research, assignments, and projects need to be written properly to read and understand your message. Verbal communication is vital as well because when interviewing others for research, and your speech for your dissertation, you will need to be able to speak well for others to understand.
  5. Are you passionate about what you are doing? There is no doubt that there are going to be days when you don’t feel like continuing the journey, and you question the reason for taking up the mighty task of reading for your Doctorate. In those times, your passion for your field of study will motivate you to press on. Spending the money and time pursuing something that you don’t care much for seems like a waste, and you will not enjoy your time at all. So, ensure that your passion is in the right place and keep going. So, do you have what it takes to pursue your doctoral degree? Evaluate these qualities against your own to see if you do, and if it is that you want to pursue this degree, start making the changes, and go out and achieve your dreams!

About the author

Dr. Muchelule

He Is an Alumni of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT) and a Grasshopper faculty member (U.S.A), PMI Certified member (U.S.A), Microsoft certified IT professional, ISO-certified Internal Auditor as well as an External examiner of Azteca University in Mexico and Canada, a scholarly friend to African University of Zimbabwe an author of various academic literatures globally and a consultant in ICT and project management fields locally and globally.

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