Last week, my school took place an event called a recruitment event to introduce PhD programs to potential students. There are 6 potential students coming to the event. You have been accepted by the school, but you are still considering options. This event is an opportunity for the school to “boast” and persuade you to put pen to write “agree” on offer letter. The activity that I find most interesting is the exchange between potential students and our “contemporary” students. You can ask any questions about the curriculum, research / teaching activities, about professors, about life in Tucson city, and so on and so on. One of you asked, “How about studying PhD is different from university and master, do you encounter many difficulties and difficulties in the” transfer “process?”. That really is an interesting question! And today I want to share on my blog my thoughts about the difference between PhD and other levels. Although I only managed to get a tenth of the way in a graduate student, I gradually understood the characteristics of studying PhD. Hopefully the article will be useful for those who are learning about the path of graduate students, especially in the US!
Dr. is actually a professional training
Friends in Vietnam often ask me “how do you learn so much?”, “Study forever, isn’t it boring?” In fact, a doctoral degree is not a type of study like university and masters. Doctor is a training process for you to become a professional researcher. In the US, research is like a profession. Only thing, to become a professional researcher, you need to go through long-term, extreme training. Training time may be longer than other professions, but the salary is not higher.
In the first 2-3 years, we have to go through the difficult training process of research methods and the theoretical basis for study. We go to class like normal masters and university students, but different ways of learning. For methodological courses, we must understand the theoretical foundation and learn how to apply. For example, I am studying quantitative research methods, namely two-variable regression analysis or multiple variables. He explained how we can understand the theory behind every recipe, how to explain the model, how to find the most suitable model. On the other hand, we have to do a lot of programming exercises with specific data. Learning is not easy, but I find it interesting. Whenever we worry about grades, professors will say, “At the doctoral level, points are no longer important. When applying for a job, employers only see if they are capable of doing research. I hope, after this course, the whole class is at the same level, so that we can use R and analyze the data ”. Last post of our period is also very research-oriented. We had to find a set of data, and analyze that data based on our research questions. For substantive courses (specialized subjects), we only go to class to discuss. There is no such thing as a professor and a lecturer like a university and a master. He will deliver the readings (VERY MUCH) before each lesson, and our task is to read them to discuss in class. The way of discussion is completely different: we have to learn how to discuss with criticism. We learn how to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the article. He always said, “Now, you learn how to criticize other people’s articles, so that you can prepare yourself later when your article is criticized and learn how to defend your thesis. After 2-3 years of hardship, I hope you can confidently stand in front of the “crowd” presenting and protecting your research. ” After 2-3 years, if you pass the hurricane exam, you will be certified to do research, and you will begin the process of writing a thesis. In the US, the thesis is also called a market paper job, because this is the product you use to “sell” yourself when applying for jobs at universities. Some years of hard training first let you confidently present your job market marketer!