What’s my purpose of obtaining Research Higher Degree?

Over a weekend, I was invited to attend a birthday party of kids of friends. It was a circle of friends who grew up together for about 10 years. We were all singles then eventually few married and started their family while few remained single at this time.

I was having a chat with three boys: two in IT field; and one in healthcare and doing a postgraduate degree. We were discussing the intention of obtaining research higher degree (RHD). We discussed whether completing RHD will give you better odds to obtain a secure job. The answer was NO. We shared few episodes of people who obtained RHD but discontinued their research after that. For example, a common friend completed her doctoral thesis in skin cancer and she is now running her own business in food industry. I know another story where a person obtained his doctoral degree abroad then returned home. He applied for a job in rubbish bin collection and said because it is a secure job.

We were discussing about different perspectives between western and Asian countries in relation to qualification. At the current era, Asian countries asks for your qualification rather than experience. In comparison, western countries are more likely to ask for the experience rather than qualification. Obviously, there are differences between their education systems and applicability of their learned skills during their undergraduate years. For example, two IT boys said that those who migrated to Australia from Asian countries need to further develop critical thinking skills.

This chat was enough for me to reflect on why I have chosen to study RHD. My journey started with my grandparents. Then, I realised that I was living someone else’s dream. Only recently, I am aware that research is my life path.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.

Albert Szent-Gyorgy

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?

Albert Einstein

Research is formalised curiosity.

It is poking and prying with a purpose.

Zora Neale Hurston

I remember about 10 years ago, I was constantly telling my supervisor that I hate research. I told her that I can’t see the significance of my own research and I am not confident to conduct a research. However, her passion towards research had invaded then challenged my fear towards research. Now, I love research which fulfills curiosities and craving for new knowledge. That’s probably why I am a information gatherer.

For me, research is a passion, a lifework. I can imagine myself doing research for the rest of my life, regardless of where I am, beyond my academic life. I probably had developed a habit of research. Everything can be fascinating and interesting.

What are you researching today?
What are you discovering?
What did it inspired you?

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