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For years many people believed that all you needed was a university degree in order to succeed. In truth, this is far from the case. Research shows that there are five myths surrounding success in modern academia, and the sooner people stop believing these unthruts, the faster the experience of academia can improve. 


Myth 1: You can get a Ph.D. without any practical experience.

This means that you need to have the ability to research and perform experiments in an unfamiliar field and then interpret these experiments correctly into something valuable and applicable. That’s ridiculous! Research has shown that only with real-world experience in your chosen field will you have the required skills to use the skills you learn through the Ph.D. program effectively.


Myth 2: You can get work experience while doing a PhD.

Research shows that this is not entirely true. While it is possible to do an internship or even a part-time job during your Ph.D., it is certainly not advisable and should only be done if necessary. There are two reasons why:


  • Most internships/jobs will ask you to give your full attention and dedication to the task at hand, which is fine for a part-time job, but not during your Ph.D. You don’t have the hours available like you do in a 9-5 job, so you’d have to spend time outside of work to work on your Ph.D., which is not possible.
  • Professors are not keen on students who do side projects during their time studying for a degree, and most would certainly frown upon such behavior. A proper mindset when joining the academy is that you should be concentrating fully and entirely on your Ph.D. studies without anything distracting or impeding your success.

Myth 3: You need to complete a Ph.D. to get work experience and earning potential.

Research shows that this is, sadly, not completely true either. Though you’ll gain valuable experience now, the only way to excel in modern academia is to climb up the ladder of degrees and do more advanced studies such as a Master’s and, eventually, a Ph.D. The most successful person in academia is typically someone who’s collected education over time.


Myth 4: You need advanced degrees to become successful in academia


Research has shown this is not the case either. It certainly helps to be more competitive and attractive to universities as a candidate, but many researchers have attained success in academia with a Ph.D. This is most certainly not the case for those who hold an MA or any other advanced degree. You need only a Ph.D. to compete with Master’s level candidates.


Myth 5: There are no positions available in modern academia.


This is a tricky one. While you might stay in academia without a Ph.D. or MA, it certainly helps to have these degrees to get better positions. Unfortunately, since there are only so many Ph.D./MA spaces available for students every year, it means that most posts will go to those with advanced degrees. This means that if you choose to stay in academia without a Ph.D. or MA, you will most likely find yourself struggling to get any position. So yes, there are positions available in modern academia for those with advanced degrees.