Is it necessary to have a PhD

In which departments does a doctorate make sense?

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A doctorate is usually associated with prestige, greater knowledge and better career opportunities. But is that always the case? In which departments does a doctorate make sense?

General information about the doctorate

Before the question “In which departments does a doctorate make sense? “Is answered, first some general things about the doctorate are presented. Generally speaking, a doctorate means that a PhD degree by a qualified person University awardedbecomes (usually universities or equivalent universities). The term "doctor" is then added to the respective subject area in which the doctorate was obtained (e.g. Dr. med.). The way to this award is called PhD procedure. In this, the person must prove that he / she can work independently and scientifically or is able to do so. So the doctorate is exclusively scientifically oriented.

During the doctoral process, a Dissertation made the one independent research performance that should lead to new results. The dissertation should be essential in the specialist discipline contribute to the progress of scientific knowledge. The doctorate is initiated when this dissertation has been submitted by the doctoral candidate. If this has been accepted and assessed positively, the next step is one oral examination or a scientific dispute. The doctoral thesis is defended orally. Most of the time, this defense is public. This oral exam must be passedto be able to do a PhD.

After the overall assessment, it is usually the case that the dissertation released must be given in order to receive the doctoral certificate and thus to be entitled to use the designation "Dr.".

In order to be able to do a doctorate at all, one is usually required Master’s degree or equivalent necessary. However, there are also exceptions in which admission with a Bachelor's degree is also possible. You should find out more about this in advance. For this purpose, a corresponding qualification process must be completed.

A doctorate is not something that can be done just like that. The doctoral phase extends much more over several years and is of a high Time and effort required shaped, which is why perseverance and self-discipline are essential if you plan to do a doctorate. You should also be familiar with Financing options deal, because the work involved in the doctoral process is high.

The general information on the topic of doctorates was thus presented. But in which departments does a doctorate make sense?

Doctorate and various departments

Now we ask the question “In which departments does a doctorate make sense? “Closer look. In the following, various departments are listed and explained to what extent a doctorate in these areas makes sense or not. Generally speaking, before starting a doctorate, you should be aware of what professional goal you are pursuing and what are the prerequisites for this. Who towards research and University teaching would like to go, for whom a doctorate is usually not optional, but a must. Read more about how to become a professor here.

Otherwise can do a lot for or against talk about a doctorate. The following information on the respective departments and doctorates is rather generally and should only be used as a Clues be taken. In each individual case, it should always be decided individually whether a doctorate makes sense or not. So, in which departments does a doctorate make sense?

Science and Mathematics

In the Natural sciences do a doctorate more graduates than in any other department. Chemists, physicists and biologists all very often do their doctorates, the rate is at least 70 percent. The proportion of PhDs is highest among chemists. These high numbers are hardly surprising when you consider that a doctorate is essential if you are in the field of research want to work. It is precisely in this area that many of the natural scientists who have obtained their doctorate want to go. But also in the economy A doctorate usually helps natural scientists. A doctorate in this field is worthwhile in both business and science financially. The starting salaries are usually higher for people who have a doctorate than for those without it. And a doctorate is also beneficial in terms of unemployment, because among them are far less unemployedthan in the national average.

One to be cited disadvantage At this point it is that doctorate in science more often fixed-term employment contracts have than average. This is because scientific positions are usually only limited in time.

Also mathematician still do a doctorate relatively often, here it is around a third (minus student teachers). The same applies to them as to natural scientists. They too can usually expect a better starting salary than their colleagues without a doctorate.


A doctorate in medicine is also widespread. Here, however, the dissertation is different than in the other departments, often written while studying and that in only a few months, which is why the doctorate in this department has fallen into disrepute in the public domain. Nevertheless, the doctorate is still practically part of the standard training in the medical field, especially at university hospitals.


Engineers, on the other hand, do their doctorate far less often. Here, too, a doctorate is particularly worthwhile if one Research- or College career is strived for. In business, however, a doctorate can also be a hindrance, as it could be associated with overqualification. That is more the case in small and medium-sized companies. In Companies with more than 500 employees engineers with a doctorate are more in demand than smaller ones. Here they are often in demand in management positions. A doctorate for engineers is worthwhile financially, because the starting salaries are significantly higher here than those for engineers without a doctorate.

law Sciences

A doctorate is also a clear benefit in law Salary advantage with himself. This is not least due to the fact that lawyers with a doctorate are more likely to work in Large law firms work where the starting salaries are anyway higher than in smaller ones. Apart from that, a doctorate in this field is particularly worthwhile if you want to work in research or university teaching.


In economics, having a doctorate is also with Salary benefits to be expected. A doctorate is particularly important for large Management consultancies Welcome. in the Financial sector however, is a doctorate less crucial for how good the odds are. The same applies here: anyone who wants to do university teaching or research must aim for a doctorate.

Social sciences

In the social sciences, a doctorate is also beneficial Salary benefits, even if not as high as in other departments. Here is a doctorate in general rather less often represented and not necessary in many areas. In the point Management positions that do not fit the classic job description, however, the doctorate could be an advantage, because it can compensate for an imbalance with interlocutors if they come from a different subject area. In general, however, are in this department Practical experience usually more important than a doctorate. Unless, of course, you want to go back to research or university teaching.

Linguistics and cultural studies

In the linguistic and cultural studies, a doctorate pays off mostly not financially really off. Nevertheless, this is also a prerequisite here in research and university teaching.


The question “In which departments does a doctorate make sense? "Cannot be answered in general, because whether a doctorate makes sense or not depends largely on what professional goals one pursues. In any case, a doctorate is required if you are in Research or university teaching would like to. Otherwise, in many cases, a doctorate also brings you one Salary advantage with himself. But this is not always the case. A doctorate is particularly widespread in the natural sciences and medicine, as is still relatively common in mathematics. A doctorate can be particularly important in the natural sciences. But a doctorate can also bring advantages in the other subject areas presented. If you are considering pursuing a doctorate, you should first of all be clear about where you want to go professionally. For this you should then look closely at the requirements inform and whether a Doctorate in this field is regarded or not. So whether a doctorate makes sense or not is usually one Decision on a case-by-case basis and the question “In which departments does a doctorate make sense? “Cannot be answered across the board.

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About the author J Bohlken