The Guardian

Should I do a PhD? You asked Google – here's the answer | Rachel Hall

Every day millions of people ask Google life’s most difficult questions. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries
‘Ross Geller would also probably be so busy writing research grant applications he’d have no time to hang around in a coffee shop.’ Photograph: NBC via Getty Images

There are lots of good reasons for deciding to do a PhD. Deepening your knowledge of a subject you love is an excellent one. Wondering what to do with the next three years of your life and finding out your university will pay you to stay isn’t so bad either. But seeing it as a fast track to a cushy academic job probably shouldn’t be one of them.

PhDs are often glamourised in popular culture. If you grew up watching Friends, you might recall Ross Geller celebrating getting tenure at New York University.

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