The Illustrated Guide To A Ph.D.

Thinking of getting a Ph.D.? University of Utah professor Matt Might draws out what that’s like.

1. Matt Might is a computer science professor at the University of Utah. Below is how he describes the work of PhD researchers to those considering grad school:

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:

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By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:

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By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:

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With a bachelor’s degree, you gain a specialty:

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A master’s degree deepens that specialty:

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Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:

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Once you’re at the boundary, you focus:

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You push at the boundary for a few years:

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Until one day, the boundary gives way:

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And, that dent you’ve made is called a Ph.D.:

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Of course, the world looks different to you now:

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So, don’t forget the bigger picture:

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Keep pushing.

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14. For more thoughts on entering academia, check out A PhD Is Not Enough! or visit Matt Might’s site.

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