Part Time PhD Programme: Am I on the Track?

Are you a part time PhD scholar, who is sailing in more than one boat at a time? Yes? In retrospect, when you see what you have accomplished in your programme so far, how do you feel? Do you compare your PhD accomplishment with the accomplishments of your co scholars who started around the same time as you? If they are on a full time programme, unlike you, do not do injustice with yourself by comparing. Know that your timelines are different and it doesn’t work similar as a part timer as it works for a full time scholar. Having done her Master’s programme as full time student and now on a part time PhD programme, Anna knows there isn’t any wisdom in doing comparisons. They could be poles apart like chalk and cheese. It was her deliberate, well thought over decision to get into a part time programme. Being there at two places, a full time job and a research scholar, the balance is hard to strike. It has its own set of challenges. There could be various tips to deal with this, but the most important key is to be fair in your expectations from self and accept before you begin that you would take longer than others and it is a choice you have made for yourself.

By now, we have understood that being a part time scholar isn’t easy. But if you are one of those, then just realisation of this may not help the purpose. To successfully accomplish your herculean task of a part time doctoral along with other personal or professional commitments, you need to use the skills you may have developed in your professional life or develop those skills, if you lack them. You need to learn to work around:

1. Setting deadlines
2. Being more focused and task oriented
3. Organised in your work habits
4. Multitasker
5. Scanner or as we called a skim reader

You have all these above mentioned skills. You are a seasoned and mature part timer who knows how to balance and multi task efficiently. If it is in your agenda to enrol into a part time programme, remember to go through this checklist and evaluate your key strengths so as to foresee whether it is a wise move for you or you need to first, like I said, work around your skill set.

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