Choosing a venue for a PhD is an important decision which requires proper thought. Opting for a University based on simple criteria such as its reach to your hometown or the fact that it is located in an exciting city, are simply not enough. Much more to concentrate and academically focused questions need to be asked. Here are important questions to keep in mind when selecting a suitable PhD program.
- WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF FINDING A JOB ON PHD _This is primary consideration, as no one really does a PhD for the pure fun of it? Unless they are very wealth indeed. When you have completed your PhD, you will need work which properly compensate you for the time spent completing the PhD. Ask University what their employment rate, is like for post graduate students. It might also be worth enquiring as to how strong the University links to prospective employer are. A University which has strong link with private companies is likely to offer more chances of future employment.
- HOW FLEXIBLE IS THE PHD PROGRAME _The amount of flexibility in a PhD program often depends on the subject area in which you are working. Management, Humanities & Arts tend to offer a great degree of flexibility than more science orientated program. You need to see whether you can pick and choose elements which suit you or whether the whole program is prescribed from start to finish.
- WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE FOR RESEARCH _The second part of your PhD program will involve researching major dissertation? You therefore need to know that there are plenty of available resources which can support the research you will be compelled to undertake. This goes far beyond simply having a well stocked library and good computer networks available. You also require lab based administration support, photocopying services and a whole host of other things to ensure your success. Any University which is lacking in any element of support should be avoided. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to complete work due to an issue with administration or a lack of research materials.
- HOW VERSATILE IS THE DEPARTMENT _Versatility is a relative concept, but it is worth investigating. Some department may have a strong tradition of favoring one research method over others. This might not suit your way of working. Other departments at other venues may prefer a more radical approach and welcome the introduction of new research methods or teaching styles into their program. A broader tradition of research methodology may suit you or you may prefer the security of knowing exactly what is expected of you. Larger departments tend to provide a wider spectrum of methods and potential areas of study.
- WHAT ARE THE NON ACADEMIC FEATURES OF THE UNIVERSITY LIKE _As well as the academic facilities on offer, it is also worth taking a close look at the other types of amenities available at a particular University. If you have a keen hobby, such as playing a team spot, than it is good idea to see if the University offers facilities which will enable you to continue with it throughout your period of study. Smaller towns tend to offer less in the way of cultural of social amenities. There may also be issues with disabled provision at smaller Universities in smaller towns. You are going to spending a significant amount of time in a place, so never neglect this aspect of University life