In general, people are motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic factors. Intrinsic means that they pursue PhDs goal based on the sheer joy of it or just for the sake of the pursuit. Extrinsic means that the pursuit is motivated by external factors such as money, fame, or accolade.
Researchers suggest that people also seek doctorate degrees for these reasons. They are extrinsically motivated by career, status, social, financial, or symbolic reasons. Others are intrinsically motivated by the sheer desire or love of learning (Templeton, 2021). In my view, extrinsic, intrinsic, or a combination of both, it matters to no one else but you.
Cally Guerin and their colleagues published a research study in 2015 where they asked Ph.D. students their motivations for doing the program.
The following are some reasons people gave for pursue PhDs degree.
- Improving career prospects
- Personal development
- Friends and family members are doing it
- Love research
- Fulfill responsibility
- A requirement for another goal
- Cognitive interest
- Enjoyment and love of learning
- Social stimulation
- Job security
- Acquisition of research skill
- Intellectual interest
- Career move
- Personal goals
- Advancement in your organization
- Consulting marketability
All these are worthy motives. No one motive is greater than the other for starting and finishing your Pursue PhDs Which ones speak to you?
Pick, remember, and hold onto those motivations. They might be what keeps you going when the going gets tough.
It is very possible that your motivations are not on the above list above. In which case, identify them. They’ll serve the same purpose as you Pursue PhDs degree.
My motivations were Personal development, Self-accomplishment, Enjoyment, and love of learning. In fact, as I contemplate another Ph.D., my family has asked me why. Why in the world would you do that? They asked in subdued shock. My answer is still Personal development, Self-accomplishment, Enjoyment, and love of learning.
I remember asking myself many times while I was a Ph.D. student; why are you here? This line of questions usually appeared when I was tackling a challenge. My motivations and reasons kept me going.
What motivates or will motivate you to pursue a Ph.D.? What’s your story?