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Choosing the Right Doctoral Program for You

Choosing a Doctorate program will be one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make as a graduate student. There are so many choices out there after all. Doctorate programs range from architecture to zoology and everything in between. With so many choices, it can be hard to make a decision. So, how do you decide which program is right for you? Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your choices and pick a program that’s right for you.

Look at your hobbies and interests first. Explore the things you already enjoy and see if any programs include these things.

If you like nature and collecting rocks, maybe you should study geology. You love to write, get a doctorate in Creative writing. Love animals, study veterinary science or zoology, or marine biology. See, there may be several different programs for any one of your hobbies and interests.

Make a list. Choose several of the subjects that interested you and write them down. Do some research on each subject and see which ones you find the most interesting and which ones you lose interest in the fastest. This is a great way to narrow your choices down to three or four subjects.

Research the job market. Listen, you don’t want to do all the work a doctorate requires and not be able to find a job after you graduate. It’s important to know who is hiring and what they are hiring for. Find out which job markets are growing, and which are in decline. This is a great way to narrow down your search and find a program that will guarantee you’ll have no problem finding a job when it’s all said and done.

It’s all about the money. For some people this will be the deciding factor. We want all our years of school and hard work to pay off, don’t we? Absolutely. We have kids to raise, groceries to buy and bills to pay. Who knows, years down the road we may be paying their tuitions too. So, make sure you do your research and make sure you know what kind of salary you will be making. Now, not all of us are worried about making money, some people just want to do something that inspires or something where they can help others. These goals are awesome too.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s right for you. Don’t worry about what other people think or want you to do. YOU are the only person who should be making this choice. Don’t let others influence your decision or you’re likely to pick something because you feel obligated, and you’ll be more likely to fail. When you are pursuing something, you are interested in and that you’ve put a lot of though into, you’ll be more likely to stick it out and succeed. You’ll also be a lot happier when you graduate and find a fun, fulfilling career that you love.

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