This is just the right question to be asked to self before making a decision to go for PhD. Being eligible is entirely different from being suitable. There two different questions one need to ask oneself before making a decision about PhD. The first one is am I suitable for PhD and the next question is when the right to start it?
As I said in previous post (what is phd) about my plan for doing PhD was very clear from B.Tech and I also mentioned about my motivations for that. After years, when I sit and see what and when to start PhD and whether I was suitable or what could have been done to improve my research contributions? I feel there was definitely a great scope of improvement. To share with you, in 2006 I was awarded, IBM outstanding researcher award.
Doing PhD is not like M.Tech or MS, because of the time it takes and future prospects after it. It’s kind of bet on career when you are not sure if you are suitable for it. IF you think you are suitable then what is the right time to start.
I feel any student who has a desire to learn limitless and improve. Anyone who even not best in classes ever but have the passion to learn and even refer back to books that we read years before is perfectly suitable for PhD. Here I am not talking about people register in PhD just for formality or having a degree and a Dr. before their name. This about the students and learners who really want to do something in their areas or at least ready to give a sincere effort to learn what they could not do in past.
What is a suitable time to start PhD?, this a million dollar question. The answer for this is when you feel you have enough work experience to contribute to scientific development. This you will realize after working few years in industry. There are gaps in technology that are limiting the growth or technology and industry is not giving you enough time to address them. This is the best time to give it a try. Another indication is you want to learn and had not being perfect in basics and it’s time to catch up. There can be many other factors like promotions and in govt. and academia. But later cases are usually lead to a name sake PhDs and cannot make best out of it.
If you are really looking for a change and take a challenge with little risk, though i never felt it as a risk, PhD is best for you. Just keep the best work going, be honest and give an excellent contribution to research. Though you will never feel satisfied about research in PhD because it’s just a beginning of a long and sincere effort and you decided to choose it. For me finding a job was all secondary I never thought about it until got out of IIT. I took a descent break of 3 months after PhD working different parts of India.
Take time to take a call for PhD, but once decided just jump and enjoy every bit of it. Life it do amazing things. Be prepared for it and be honest about your desires and passions. Things would follow, awards, jobs, career will come to you on the way. Don’t ever worry about it. Best is to give your best and take a call at best suitable time.
Wish you all a great luck ahead.