Part Time PhD or Full Time; Which is better?
I am throwing suggestions on opting for full time PhD or choosing part time PhD. The best way is to go for “Full-Time Ph.D.” Full-time Ph.D. is better than part-time PhD because you can finish your PhD quickly. You can do PhD faster in just 3 years of time. You can double your salary very fast. Full-time PhD is always good just because it give lots for room to publish your papers in reputed journals. In the future, after 10 years Full Ph.D.’s will have much value due to some problems in awarding part-time PhDs with low quality.
- Full-time PhD is better
- Complete PhD in just 3 years.
- Faster increments in salary later on.
- More time to concentrate on research.
- A better understanding of PhD methodology.
- Ample amount of time to finish PhD thesis.
- Full-time PhD is credible and qualitative.
- Better communication with doctoral committee.
- Opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant.
- The scholar can easily access the scholarship program.
A scholar doing a PhD. on a full-time basis stands a high chance of having more time to concentrate on their research work. This is so because they spend more time within the university and therefore the necessary resources are readily available.
A scholar that is doing a full-time PhD. is in a position to adjust their schedule so that it goes in line with the institution where they are doing their course.
For others such as part-time candidates, they are likely to allocate less time for their doctorate because their environment predisposes them to a lot of distractions.
Such distractions are bound to consume a lot of time, and therefore such candidates may not complete their thesis on time.
One of the most common advantages of a full-time PhD. is that a candidate can complete their course in a short time. Some doctorate programs take as less as three years to complete.
It implies that the PhD. holder has more opportunities in the job market because they acquire the title much quicker than part-time PhD holders.
The latter may be forced to take as long as seven years to complete the same doctorate. By this time, the former will have sought employment and already earning.
Among the rewards of a PhD. are the title and good salary. Also, it enables one to work in their desired field, and all these benefits are available to a scholar who does a full-time PhD. in a short time.
Get your salary doubled after three years
It is important to note that a part-time and full-time PhD. and are similar in value, but the latter has some benefits that outweigh the former.
For instance, two individuals may be able to land the same job portfolio, and the salary may even be similar. However, the candidate that has a full-time PhD. is more likely to be promoted than the other.
Usually, a full-time PhD. holder has their salary increased after three years. It is not only increased but multiplied two times.
The other candidate may have to remain in the same position for a long time before their salary is increased or they are promoted. The reason for this is that a full-time PhD. holder is considered to have more experience in research techniques.
You can be in regular touch with your supervisor
Although most universities require that the supervisor and the candidate must facilitate at least six meetings per year, it is not an ultimatum, and therefore the meetings may be more.
The scholar has the advantage of being close to the supervisor, and consequently, the dissertation process becomes simplified.
Proximity to the supervisor enables the candidate to approach the faculty member any time they feel that they have encountered a challenging situation.
Areas that need changing or improvement in the thesis are easily identified, and therefore necessary actions can be taken in good time. Timely corrections are vital because they enable the scholar to finish the research paper as scheduled.
Can accomplish your research targets in time
In another article, we discussed that it is necessary to have a schedule so that the scholar can allocate the available time effectively.
It is essential to do so because it determines whether the research paper will be completed on time according to the program duration.
A full-time program enables the scholar to access necessary resources such as library databases easily and quickly with advice from the supervisor.
Maximum concentration on the thesis ensures that the scholar does not spend too much time on other things.
A full-time PhD. holder acquires research techniques easily since they are predisposed to supporting factors such as the research community which makes the dissertation process more comfortable.
Able to spend time with your other hobbies
One of the reasons why people opt to do a PhD. on a part-time basis is that they have other commitments that do not allow them to have enough time to concentrate on the doctorate entirely. This also implies that they are too committed and may not have adequate time to do what they like since they do not have much leisure time.
On the contrary, a full-time PhD. candidate can design a schedule that makes time for them to reward themselves. Though most candidates are usually employed as assistant lecturers, there is always time to attend to personal interests mostly during the weekend.
Make friends and colleagues from your area of research
One of the advantages of a full-time PhD. is that the scholar has enough time to interact with the research community.
It is facilitated by the fact that they spend most of their time within the university either working as assistants or working on their dissertation. Not only does this allow them to concentrate on the thesis efficiently, but there is also the social aspect of life.
Such scholars can meet other researchers that are either in the same field as theirs or in other interdisciplinary areas. The implication is that the scholar can benefit both academically and socially.
It should be noted that there is more to life than just working and therefore it is important to socialize.
Get experience as Teaching Assistant
Among the advantages of being a full-time Ph.D. scholar is that the university is more likely to consider the candidate for an assistant lecturer job. It enables the scholar to work and at the same time research for the thesis.
Working as an assistant relieve the scholar off financial constraints, and therefore they can concentrate on the dissertation process without distractions.
Another advantage is that working as a teaching assistant exposes the student to many opportunities for research and thus they gain significant as far as researching is concerned. It also increases their chances of being hired by the university as a lecturer upon completion of the PhD. course.
Will know more about funding & Scholarships
Pursuing a doctorate can be an expensive affair, and many potential scholars are forced to forego the idea because they lack the necessary funds to pay for the program. However, many institutions provide funding for PhD. courses. Some of the institutions include universities, NGOs and government institutions.
One of the reasons why many scholars fail to utilize such opportunities is that they lack awareness of how they can access such benefits and from which organizations.
A scholar that is partaking a PhD. on a full-time basis is in a better position to know which organization is offering scholarship and at what time of the year. This is so because the candidate is insufficient contact with the university and therefore it is easier for them to acquire such information.
Furthermore, they spend a lot of time with lecturers and supervisor and consequently they are likely to get advice on how they can secure such funding.
Can become a role model to others
It has been stated in the article that full-time students have high chances of being employed as teaching assistants. This means that they come in contact with other scholars pursuing their undergraduate or master’s degrees.
Such individuals have aspirations that they will further their education to the PhD. level, and therefore they require guidance.
For most potential PhD. candidates, they find the teaching assistant more approachable than senior lecturers and consequently they tend to look for advice from the same. The scholar acts as a role model to those that may wish to pursue a doctorate in the way they conduct themselves.
They are an example to the junior scholars because they represent that there is hope of pursuing one’s dreams. Furthermore, the scholar may choose to share their personal experiences with the juniors.
You can become more philosophical & speculative
The ability to grow more philosophical and speculative does not come overnight and requires years of dedication and commitment. This is only possible through acquiring advanced research techniques which is a skill accumulated over time.
A full-time scholar has a lot of time to develop such skills given that they spend most of their time within the campus. They can easily access the universities library databases that contain numerous research publications.
This allows them to develop research skills by conducting a lot of research and even publish many papers before they submit their dissertation.
The ability to publish research papers in reputable journals means that they have mastered speculation and make arguments philosophically.
No stress and pressure (because it is full time)
When a candidate considers doing a doctorate program, they consider many factors to determine whether they are in a position to complete the course.
One that chooses the full-time option has regarded as the short duration of the program and that they do not have other commitments that might get in the way of their research.
Therefore when they get admitted, they have adequate time to work on their paper and therefore do not feel as much pressure compared to a part-time scholar.
Furthermore, they can be hired as a teaching assistant; thus they do not have to be pressured by financial obligations while working on their research paper. Also, they get to interact with faculty members quickly, and therefore they get assistance easily in case of difficulties.
Society values full-time PhD
As noted earlier in the article, both full time and part time Ph.D.’s have the same value in the job market, but there is another aspect that differentiates the two in the real world. This aspect is society’s perception of the two programs.
The impression that the society has on a scholar often dictate the ease that one gets opportunities. The traditional norm is that the community values a full-time PhD. more than the latter.
It means that a full-time scholar considered more qualified because the doctorate decorates their personality and they are viewed as dedicated and committed individuals.
Part-time PhD. is worst. Why? 12 hurdles
The candidate is less focused because there are a lot of distractions that make it difficult to concentrate on the research paper. It is difficult to secure funding for the PhD. program due to insufficient information. Balancing academic, social and work life is difficult and could easily lead to burn out
Scholars experience inadequacy of student social life because they lack opportunities to interact with peers
The student takes a lot of time to complete their course; thus they are left behind by their peers
Procrastination is a major stumbling block because most perceive that there is a time complete their research even if they delay
It is easy to develop a negative perception that the task is difficult and that is why they have a lot of time to work on it
Scholars are enumerated less salary compared to full-time PhD. holders
It becomes difficult for the scholar to be promoted in the job market
The scholar has less time with the supervisor compared to a full-time candidate
The long course duration may appear a lot but in the real sense `there is less time for research due to other commitments
The scholar experiences a disconnection with the faculty because they are rarely in the university
Lack of interest after some days
At the onset of the program, the candidate may have a lot of enthusiasm since they are excited about the program. However, it is difficult to maintain the same level of motivation for 6-7 years, and therefore there are high chances that the scholar will lose interest in the course.
It is rational for a person to be excited about achieving a doctorate title and many start out looking forward to when their research is acknowledged.
The excitement is fueled by the mentality that one will secure a job and earn a good salary. Nevertheless, such high expectations may be crushed by challenges along the way. The candidate may come across other activities that produce quick results thus lose interest in the PhD. program.
Not able to meet the supervisor
Due to the nature of a part-time PhD., the scholar does not get meet with the supervisor more often which is a significant hurdle for a candidate.
The supervisor has the responsibility of ensuring that the scholar does not encounter difficulties as far as writing the thesis is concerned.
This role is best played when the two parties meet regularly so that they can discuss the research paper. Meeting with the supervisor becomes a challenge to the scholar since it may not be easy to schedule as many meetings as possible.
This is partly because the scholar is rarely in the university and when they are, it is not necessary that the supervisor will be available.
Less salary for many years
Scholars with the same PhD. qualification should be treated equally regarding pay in the job market, but this rarely happens.
For a part-time PhD. student, they find it difficult to secure employment especially if they are competing for the same job with a scholar that has a full-time PhD.
The reason is that society has a negative perception of a part-time PhD. and some employees regard it as half-baked.
When such a scholar manages to land a job, they are not paid well compared to the latter, and it may take many years to be promoted. Therefore, in most cases, a part-time PhD holder may work for many years without salary increment.
No knowledge about guidelines of the university
All organizations have instructions that are in place in the form of policies that relevant people must follow, and they apply to all universities.
Such procedures include rules such as quality requirements that serve to guide the scholar as to what type of research paper is required by the faculty. Others may consist of a scholarship program for funding scholars thus making the learning process easier.
However, a part-time student is rarely at the facility and may, therefore, lack the knowledge of such policies which is disadvantageous.
The candidate may also require access to privileges such as the universities resources that may be accessed freely by students, and they may end up paying for the same outside the institution.
Mental pressure and stress from current employer
In the article, it is pointed out that full-time students have high chances of securing employment as teaching assistants, but this is not the case for part-time scholars.
Since they still have to survive and go on with their personal life aside from academics, the student may be forced to seek employment in other organizations.
There is a likelihood that the current employer may assign many responsibilities to the scholar and have high expectations concerning productivity.
Consequently, the researcher may have less time to work on their thesis and spend a lot of time trying to meet job-related deadlines. The overall effect is that the scholar may end up stressed and under pressure.
No time to finish the given tasks from supervisor
Part-time scholars encounter many distractions that make it difficult to concentrate on the PhD. course fully. Other personal commitments make it difficult to assign adequate time to the research, and also it becomes to prepare an effective schedule.
Even if the researcher has in place a reasonable timetable, it may still be challenging to stick to it. Furthermore, the scholar may easily get tempted to procrastinate and delay working on the dissertation.
Improper management of time leads to the candidate failing to complete assignments assigned by the supervisor and may also lead to late delivery of the research paper.
Not able to attend meetings of the doctoral committee
All universities have a set of guidelines that stipulate the frequency of doctoral committee meetings that must be adhered by faculty members as well as students.
There is a likelihood that the scholar may not have known about the guidelines and in some cases even forget. Besides, it is also possible that when such meetings are in session, the scholar may be busy elsewhere such as job commitments or other personal interests.
Failing to attend doctoral meetings have negative implications since they are a requirement for the scholar. Furthermore, the opportunity to discuss thesis-related matters may be lost.
Besides, doctoral meetings are intended to ensure that there is a link between the student and the faculty whereby the candidate’s progress can be assessed. It is through such assessments that areas of concern such as necessary adjustments and improvement are discussed and solutions to problems recommended.
It takes 6 to 9 years to complete PhD
The significant difference between full time and a part-time Ph.D. course is the duration of the program. For full time, the scholar can complete their program in as less as three years and engage in the job market where they have higher chances of being employed.
A part-time scholar, on the other hand, may be required to take up to nine years to complete their course. This implies that they take longer than their peers to complete their studies and the situation is worsened by the fact that they are likely to experience difficulty in getting employed.
Employers do not recognize that the scholar has spent many years on the course and even opt to hire full-time scholars.
The temptation to hire someone to do your research work
In many cases, scholars are tempted to seek alternative means of completing the research, and one of them is hiring someone else to write the thesis. As much as the hired person may be good at writing research papers, it is necessary that the scholar must have a proper understanding of the research topic.
This is important because submitting the thesis is not the end of the journey. In many countries, universities require that the scholar must make an oral presentation to defend their dissertation.
This is a task that the candidate cannot manage to execute if they have hired another person to write the paper. Furthermore, the act results in a lack of research techniques necessary in the job market.
Chances that your supervisor may hate you
A part-time PhD. does not foster a good relationship between the scholar and the supervisor since the two parties rarely meet. It becomes difficult for the supervisor to understand the needs of the candidate and therefore there is a high likelihood that the former may hate the latter.
Such a relationship is not good for the scholar since they need all the help they can get from the supervisor. If the supervisor happens to hate the student, they may not be willing to give good advice to the scholar; thus they may end up withholding useful information that could help the student make their dissertation paper better.
Feels lonely in his/her research
The dissertation process is not an easy task, and that is why education systems require that every scholar must be assigned a supervisor to guide the candidate throughout the process.
There are many things that the scholar should learn from a supervisor, and if they are not in touch with the faculty member, it means that they are missing a lot. It is noticeable that research papers are published with the supervisor as the co-author.
This alone implies that writing a thesis is a journey that requires effort from more than one individual and therefore the process may be lonely for the scholar.
Chances to get thesis rejected
There are cases where scholars have spent up to six years writing a research paper only to have it declined. Such a situation leads to wastage of resources such as time, human labor and money.
The opportunity cost is immeasurable as some individuals even lose their minds. A part-time student lacks sufficient support from the supervisor, and therefore they are bound to make mistakes that can make the thesis rejected.
The sad thing about it is that such errors may be unnecessary ones that could be easily avoided if the scholar had worked effectively with the supervisor.
When you go for part-time, there are so many hurdles. The first hurdle is that your supervisor will be in touch with you. This will really put you in so many difficulties. Whenever you want to visit any university, you will feel strange there. You may not be able to meet your supervisor after long traveling. Though you may take an appointment to meet your supervisor at the university, you will not get him at the time of your arrival at the university.
These are the reasons why it is difficult to meet your supervisor even after landing in the University.
- Meeting: Most of the time there are meetings held in the University. Your supervisor, being an official representative of the university may go for a sudden meeting or a call. This will put you down when you listen to this news that your supervisor is in somewhere. You will have to wait. Meanwhile, you might have booked your train ticket in the evening. This is not a good idea. So you will cancel the ticket and book some guest house or hotel room and try to meet your supervisor the next day. This process is a very horrible experience.
- Sick: You PhD supervisor is a human being. She may fall into sickness. Exactly the day you want to meet her, you will listen to this news that she is sick and cannot meet now or today. This will again make you think why have you opted for a part-time Ph.D. course. So I suggest you personally with my experience not to opt for any kind of Ph.D. course. This may not be a good thought. A thing will not work for most of the PhD candidates and at the end, they give up or quit Ph.D.
- Supervisor Bullying: Your supervisor may purposefully do not want to meet you. She may send someone to give you information about her unavailability to meet you. This will again a nightmare to you. So never ever think that if you opt for part-time PhD you can finish your course on one fine day. It is not easy unless you cross all these struggles and come up with success. This happens only with a few candidates whose PhD supervisors are quite good to them.
- You are Occupied: Most of the time you will not be able to continue with your part-time Ph.D. if you are married and occupied with your family stuff. You cannot come out of your family due to some responsibilities with your children and wife. This is a tough part for most of the married PhD candidates or aspirants when they opt for Part-time Ph.D.’s.
Conclusion: Finally I say that full-time Ph.D. is on the safe side when you compare all the struggles that I have been speaking throughout the article. So think back again. Sit in your room and ponder deeply about how you want to go with your Ph.D. studies. Whether you want to go with Part time or full time, it needs lots of efforts and dedication and moreover patience of 3 to 7 years. It is a long process of doing Ph.D.