This is a question that many people ask me. And one that I ask myself, in those wee hours of the morning when I am trying to finish writing a paper before a deadline.
(I'm sure you're wondering what the Heath Photos at the top has got to do with any of this. No I'm not a crazy fan. Well. I am. Just not crazy. not that much. Anyway I'll get to that at the end)
I know that some people do a PhD just for the sake of doing it - as in a pay raise or a promotion in the academical career. But in my case I did not even have an academical career, being employed in the industry for more than 2 years before I started on my doctorate.
So why? Well, I got bored in the industry. And I wanted to do research. To have a career as a 'Researcher', you need to prove to your prospective employers that:
a) you are capable of spending months tackling an interesting yet difficult problem
b) you have patience and perseverance to learn from failures
c) you're disciplined and focused…