Single, Working Parent? How to Decide if a PhD is Right for You

single working parent PhD

As a single, working parent, the thought of pursuing a PhD can be daunting. Shout out to my amazing therapist (#therapyfortheWIN) who has helped me come to the realization that I have a tendency to set high goals for myself and strive to achieve them – even at the expense of my own well-being. In this case, weighing the pros and cons of a PhD is a way for me to evaluate whether this decision aligns with my goals and priorities, and whether it is a good fit for my current lifestyle and responsibilities as a single, working parent of 4. It is also a way for me to balance my desire for achievement with my need for self-care and fulfillment.

That said, on one hand, a doctoral degree can open up new opportunities and potential benefits, from increased earning potential to the satisfaction of achieving a prestigious academic accomplishment. On the other hand, the process of applying and completing a PhD can be time-consuming, stressful, and overwhelming, especially for someone juggling the demands of parenting and work.

So how do you decide if pursuing a PhD is the right choice for you?
Here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

Cons:

Ultimately, the decision to pursue a PhD is a personal one, and it depends on your individual goals, priorities, and circumstances. If you’re considering a doctoral degree, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision that’s right for you and your family.

Some questions you can ask yourself as you weigh the pros and cons of pursuing a PhD include:

Finally, remember that pursuing a PhD is a big commitment, and it’s not for everyone. In my case, my chosen research field is a passion of mine, so I can’t imagine not taking this route, regardless of being a single, working parent. In spite of how long it may take, it seems worth it to me. But if you’re passionate about your chosen field, and committed to making the sacrifices and taking on the challenges, a doctoral degree can be a valuable and rewarding investment in your future.

 

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