PhD Thesis| Ways of thinking it through

Are you considering enbarking upon a PhD ? Consider different ways of approaching your decision to study and complete a PhD.

One approach is to consider it in business terms. Perhaps students find this nearly impossible. Being surrounded by academia does not help. University lecturers may not have the business mindset. This affects the romantic and honourary view that can fully surround any talk of embarking upon a PhD. However, the business mind sees right through this.


The Business Approach

The business-minded person sees right through the praises and honorary titles of academia. The bottom line speaks loudly from the outset. The business approach asks the question: What is my ROI (Return On Investment). Students and university lecturers may not see it as a venture. ROI may not be on their radar. However, the business approach sees ROI as the prime equation to solve. 


Is a PhD an Investment?

It can be seem to be clearly an investment. Here is one way of calculating the amount of cash that will be invested. Adjust as required.

University Fees/year $4K (or adjust as required) + cost of educational resources and materials $1K/year = University Costs of $5K per year.

This is where students perhaps will stop short. The real major cost is not yet even considered. In addition to these university costs is the much larger cost of Loss Of Income for 3 years. If a graduate with a masters degree can earn $50 K in their first year, then multiply that by 3 years to get $150K loss of income. Add this to costs already calculated to get the real cost of your investment, $5k per year x 3 years = $15K costs.

Total $5k in university costs/year + $50K loss of income/year = $55K per year x 3 years = $165K investment. This is how much you are investing in the venture. It is a serious investment. If you are borrowing to invest this then it is even more serious.


When is Break-even?

Break-even is the point in time when the income (profit) you expect to make from investing $165K is hopefully recovered and from that time on, all is profit that you would not have had if you have stayed with a masters degree. Perhaps you’ll earn an additional 10% in income with a PhD.  Break-even then, is based upon subtracting that 10% each year from your total investment $165K. When does it zero out? 

Include interest of 4% on your total investment, after all, if you had invested the money in the bank you would have had a $6,600 ROI on it from 4% interest. More actually, as you’d be getting compounding interest (interest on your interest) too. Interest is a real cash loss that you know you could have had, if you had invested it in the bank.


How important is it to you?

How important is the research to you? If someone said ” I can sell you the results of that research for $165K, right now, would you go into student debt for (break-even) years just to have that information. If not, then you probably don’t really want this investment. Is having that knowledge personally, worth going into debt for all that time.


About The Author

Henk Ensing coaches couples in skills for joyful, lasting, relationships.

Skilled in role-plays, he coaches couples who want to restore their connection and make their love last. 

Henk applies daily use of the key relationship skills, with Jenny, the girl he married over 33 years ago. Henk offers Relationship Coaching via Zoom across New Zealand. He helps couples in conflict by empowering them with skills right from the first session.

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