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For many, towards the end of their studies, the question arises: Should I do my doctorate after my graduation? This may have personal reasons – maybe all of you in your family already have a doctorate or are looking for one?

For others, the question arises for professional reasons. Depending on what you want to achieve professionally after graduation and in which area you want to work, a PhD is worthwhile. We’ll ask you this question and try to help you with important information in your decision.

Different types of promotion

In general, a distinction is made between two different types of promotion: the individual doctorate and the doctoral program. Here you will find out what kind of differences exist, which type is best for you and under what conditions you can earn a doctorate.

Individual promotion

When you think about an individual promotion, you need to be aware of some points. You write your dissertation alone in a subject, and are supervised by a professor in this field. Most of the time you have to look for a caregiver yourself. This search is not always easy; Above all, if you attended the university mainly in the courses and did not contribute further in the student council or other committees, the faculty and lecturers hardly know you. You need your own idea to convince the PhD supervisor.

Often this requires an exposé of you to convince yourself of your work. It helps if you have already worked as a hiiwi in your seminar or faculty during your bachelor’s or master’s degree. So you already know many lecturers, and they know you too. You will find a doctoral supervisor more and just convince him or her of your topic.

For an individual doctorate you need a doctoral degree from the examination office. With this you can register for a doctoral program. You can divide the time yourself in the individual promotion. You decide how much you work when. For many, this offers a certain advantage over the doctoral program; they are their own boss and decide for themselves how to divide their time.

For others, however, this open type of promotion is more of a problem: Since nobody controls you, it is often difficult not to waste time. Often doctoral students who have decided on an individual doctorate, need much longer until they have written their dissertation and have their degree in the bag.

Promotion program


The doctoral program is the second often chosen variant of the doctorate. It is much more structured than the individual promotion. Many universities offer a graduate program. This is a research program that allows you to study under perfect conditions.

In a Research Training Group, several doctoral students usually work on a similar topic. Many supervisors will be assigned to you. There are also various events where you can meet other scientists and expand your own network.

The doctoral degree program is often very similar to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program. There is a fixed timetable, credit points, and overall a clear structure and good care. While many find this type of dissertation to be a great way of gaining control over time, others find the PhD program far too academic and prefer to do their doctorate on their own terms. It depends on what type of learning you are.

Why graduate?

Many Germans are still wondering if a doctorate is worthwhile. There are several reasons why you can opt for a PhD. If you are looking for a scientific career, it is a prerequisite that you have a doctorate. But in many other areas, the doctoral degree is almost mandatory, especially in the natural sciences. In the areas of physics, chemistry or biology, a doctorate is often required.

Although the doctorate is not a prerequisite for a high position in the job market, there are still many people with a doctorate in the boardroom. Many future employers see in your PhD that you have the discipline to successfully complete such a long project and finish your PhD.

Many also hope for more salary through the promotion. In Germany doctoral candidates earn on average 20% more than students without a doctoral degree. However, this is not the case in all areas. In the humanities, a doctoral degree rarely plays an important role.

Sometimes, the doctorate can also worsen career opportunities
In the spiritual knowledge, practical experience is worth more than a doctoral degree. Doctoral candidates often have worse chances because they lack the necessary work experience. It is also possible that a doctorate in some areas and companies can be considered as being overqualified and thus have a poorer job prospects.

For many considering a promotion, the cost also plays a big role. Although there is the possibility of a scholarship, but this is rare in the humanities. A promotion costs on average 60,000 euros. Often you can earn money as a research assistant at the chair or seminar.

This also has the advantage that you can make further contacts and is not torn by a job from the study. But you can also earn money from other jobs. But there is a risk that you do not spend too much time with the job and that there is still enough time for the doctorate.

Whether you should do a doctorate or not, you can not say blanket

It always depends on what you want to do after work at the university, and whether it offers a doctorate or whether a Bachelor or Master is sufficient. However, the most important thing about a doctorate is always the interest in the topic. You really have to burn for the research topic.

Because you will usually spend over three years with this one topic, and certainly have to overcome one or the other hurdle. So you do not want to throw a gun at every opportunity, you have to have a deep connection to the topic and not be so easily put off! So you end up happy and proud in the award of your doctorate.