Looking for ways to make an impression? Then forget fast cars, Prada handbags and Apple Watch Edition. The most ultimate status symbol today is an academic degree.
Nothing conveys your expertise and intellectual authority like letters after your name — just call a doctor and ask them. And let’s face it: Anyone can accumulate a collection of expensive gadgets and other material status symbols. All that separates an imbecile from a Ferrari is a lottery win or a substantial inheritance. An academic title, on the other hand, is something you have to achieve on your own. It says “this person is not only doing well, but also has it in the brain department.”
It Pays Off to Be a Doctor
But Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates never obtained a college degree, I hear you say. That’s correct, and admittedly it seemed en vogue for a while for billionaires to be college dropouts, especially in the tech sector. Yet the numbers speak for themselves: statistics show that, on average, someone who holds a doctorate earns more than three times as much as a high school graduate ($103,000 vs. $31,000). Obviously Gate’s and Zuckerberg’s billions are only two of a very few exceptions to that trend.
Yes, an academic degree also pays off financially. And the higher the degree, the higher the return one can expect. Those with a PhD, on average, make 40% more than those with just a master’s degree. And if that isn’t enough of an incentive to get your dissertation started, think about how smug you’ll feel once you’ve accomplished it.
“It’s Stephen, with a PhD.”
Living through the hardships of an academic program and obtaining a degree will give you something money can’t buy: Self-esteem. Holding a copy of your own dissertation for the first time is a feeling that is second to none, bar becoming a parent.
As the author of a dissertation or thesis you prove your expertise in a certain field, and you also add new knowledge to it. Hence your dissertation is a timeless testimony of your contribution to human progress which will forever be stored in your university’s library. Besides that, the feeling that says “I’ve done this” is priceless and will last a life time.
Invest In Your Academic Career
An investment in your academic career is always an investment in your future. Don’t waste time — enroll into college and make it happen! And if you already hold a BSc or MA: aim higher. Don’t worry if you lack the time or money to pick the college program of your dreams. There are plenty of ways to move your education forward for little to no money and in your own time. For example, you might want to pay The Open University a visit.
Do you think you have been away from academia for too long or that you lack the time to study while holding down a full-time job? You can manage the balancing act. If not on your own, there are academic coaches and experienced scientific authors from all fields out there who offer a multitude of tailor-made solutions that will push your academic career forward.
Of course it takes a lot of perseverance to finish a degree. But if you focus on the benefits of it — the financial upsides, the esteem, and not least the sex appeal — you will be able to achieve exactly what you want.
J.C. Zeller is a journalist and media geek with a strong interest in all issues related to technology and science. After studying linguistics and media studies at the University of Aberdeen (UK) and the University of Queensland (Australia), he returned to his home in Graz, Austria, where the headquarters of his international media consultancy operation are located. Favorite spare time activities include climbing and exploring the night skies with his telescope. He currently pursues a PhD in media and cultural studies. Follow him on Twitter here:[https://twitter.com/jc_zeller].