With a dream of being a part ofthe future academia, PhD candidates voluntarily join the league of researchers with a vague idea of the uphill battle ahead.However, this fervor doesn’t last for long as soon they feel demotivated to move ahead and instead choose an easier option.According to a recent study, it has come to notice that more than 35% of PhD candidates quit their PhDs in between.
Themajor discouraging element during their PhD journey remains inadequate support system. Advisor - Advisee relationship is an obligatory quandary which each candidate has to experience. Candidates have also claimed to have been exploited as unpaid as skilled labors very often by their supervisors. Having sufficient knowledge in their domain, they come handy as lab assistants or temporary student- teachers. Treated as cheap labor, they have to multi task between these odd jobs and their research to shed some load off their supervisors.
Encountering writer’s block and multiple paper rejections is like another brick in the wall. Social isolation jeopardizes their personal well – being. Very often, it takes a toll on their health. One out of sixPhD candidates develops some type of mental disorder.They also have to face the issue of insufficient financial aid. As compared to the fields of Science and Technology, Humanities receives lesser financial aid. PhD candidates from Humanities therefore take longer to finish their degrees. Though companies like Regent Editing and Thesis Clinic offer relief by editing and allied services, the burden is still huge.
Moreover, after looking at their seniors getting settled in ordinary profiles and making insignificant progress in their careers, they become even more cynical of the PhD success.Moving ahead in a directionless, uncertain and insecure manner, they find little contentment. And as a result, look for a better life outside the Library, Reading Rooms and Laboratories.They adopt a pragmatic approach and move towards a rewarding career.
Fortunately, many candidates get hold of lucrative jobs in top tier companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google etc. Once they get a taste of a successful career and regular paychecks, they feel motivated to renounce the grueling PhD life with no financial freedom.
This is how the significant attrition rate is comes into the picture.
PhD scholars are academically able to perform path breaking researches in their area of interests, but the situations surrounding themare unamiable. It is evident that there are issues in the system. Some exceptional researchersdo reachthe summit of academic excellence with the virtue of perseverance. But, for those who can’t cut the mustard, quittingremains the only option.