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Why you shouldn't apply for a PhD

Simon Clark Follow
  • Video description
  • 2 years ago
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Over the years this channel has inspired a lot of people to think about doing PhDs. It's time to change that.

Of course, this title is a touch hyperbolic, but it's also an accurate (albeit negative) summary of the video. There are lots of reasons to not do a PhD, and doing one is really, really hard. Do not apply for a PhD if you want to earn lots of money, or want an easy continuation of university, or a cushy job, or even if you want to call yourself a professor one day. The only reason you should apply for a PhD is because you love doing something specific academically, and want to do that all day for three years. It's that simple.

Something which didn't come across too well in the final edit is that the point of the PhD then isn't to become an academic, or do anything for that matter, other than what you are passionate about. When you finish your thesis and submit your research to the wider world, your contract with society is up - having returned on their investment - and you decide what you're going to do next.

Lots of people decide to stay in academia because at the end of the PhD they still value doing the thing that they love more than they value lots of money or an easy life. Being an academic allows them to continue with what they're passionate about. But plenty of people leave academia after graduation because their priorities change over the course of the project, or discover something new that they're passionate about. My PhD afforded me opportunities to pursue my video making interest, and got me to the point where it was feasible for me to pursue it full time - which I did after graduation, because I valued doing that more than anything else. I'm one of a vast number of PhD exits, because there is no one 'right' thing to use a PhD for!

You can support the channel by donating at http://www.patreon.com/simonoxfphys

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Music by ProleteR

Filmed on my Canon 80D: http://bit.ly/simonvlog80D
Editing done in Premiere and Audition.

Huge thanks to my supporters on Patreon: Dan Hanvey, David Efird, Charles Bray, Elliot Conway, Syafiq Kay, Xavier Chesterfield, Jay Wright, Myles Kornfeld, Louis Gillet, Michael Phillips, Neudys Almonte, Fraser Birks, Martin Hermes, Anh Duong, Luca Schumann, Rhys Rickard-Frost, Cameron Matchett, Lachlan Woods, Tim Boxall, Simon Vaes, Gabriele Mozzicato, Jawad Alalasi, Gaia Frazao Nery, Kodzo, Josh Ruby, Claire Anthony, Eve Dillon, Rowan Gow, Matthias Loos, James Bridges, James Craig, Angela, Sanaa Al Derei, Mark Anthony Magro, Liam, Theresa Wang, Kieran Kelly, Wendover Productions, Kendra Johnson, Caitlin Louise.

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Vlogs from Oxford students - http://www.youtube.com/oxvlog
My twitter - http://www.twitter.com/simonoxfphys
My facebook - http://www.facebook.com/youtubesimon
My insta - http://www.instagram.com/simonoxfphys
My goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/simonoxfphys

Thanks to Vlogbrothers for their sponsorship of this video. Money from the Foundation to Decrease Worldsuck contributed to equipment used in this video.
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