I want to work in science - is it necessary to do a PhD?
It’s all about the type of work you want to get into. Doing a PhD allows you to specialise in one area of research. But there are many jobs in science that don’t require a PhD, such as working as a field or research assistant, technician, science communicator, tutor, or researcher.
On the other hand, a PhD in science will make it possible to work as a research scientist in the lab or field, head of laboratory, university lecturer, or head of department. If you want to be an academic a PhD is usually standard, (but not always!).
Doing a PhD in science generally involves researching an original topic, looking into the literature around the area of research, doing experiments or fieldwork to collect data, recording and analysing the data, and writing up results including a thesis and papers to submit to journals. It usually takes three to five years but it can take up to 10 years.
Work can be very intense, and the pay not so great, unless the PhD is industry funded or you can obtain a scholarship or grant. Scholarships are tax free, so they're not quite as low as they seem.
For some types of work, a PhD is a prerequisite, for other types of work you could put it off, or not do one at all. Think carefully what area of work you want to end up in and ask get advise from people in the industry you want to work in.
If you go ahead with it, you might want to take some time to make sure the subject is right for you, or spend a year working beforehand (after all, who wants to be poor for another three to five years after uni), and think carefully about which uni and which sponsor you choose.
Check out a few people who did or are doing PhD in science and reckon that they’ve got an Ace Day Job.