If you are already doing a PhD, you can A) either skip this article, or B) read it and compare it to your actual situation / progress since you’ve started.
If you are thinking about applying for a PhD, think about it twice. Do you really know what it takes to finish a PhD? Do you have what it takes?
Doing a PhD is nothing more than concentrating on the same thing long enough. As with any other long-term project, perseverance is key.
If you only want to do a PhD to become a “Doctor”, you may suffer & never finish. Getting the title shouldn’t be your primary reason. Ever.
If you think a PhD may help you advance in your career… well, you better be working in academia, then. There are very few sectors outside academia where a PhD gets you an advantage. A doctorate may even be considered a “labor market disadvantage”. If you weigh up the costs and benefits, you may never recover the lost wages of all those years spent in a doctoral program, not talking about the actual costs of your studies.
OK so might ask by now: if there are so many cons, where are the pros? Should anyone do a PhD at all? Oh yeah… if you can contribute to science, if you want to solve a real problem and you love doing research, you should do a PhD… but again, a degree is only a means to an end, not the end itself. It’s not the title that will get you recognition in academia in the long run, but the quality of your publications.
If you have done research during your undergrad years, a PhD is definitely for you. If you haven’t done research yet, but you have an original research idea: go for it! Just make sure you find the right thesis advisor, and have the necessary funds to cover your expenses. A PhD is tough, but rewarding, if you have the guts to finish it.