The Illustrated Guide to a PhD

I think I’ve seen this before, but came across it again recently and thought I’d share. I know some people who struggle with the supposed futility of scientific research. The minutia and likelihood that their research will never directly contribute to any tangible ‘good’ really bothers them. Me? I’m ok with that. I’m in this because I want to know how things work and I’m constantly amazed at just how intricate cells and microbes can be. Anyway, I appreciated the illustration and think its pretty apt. Thoughts?

The post below is stolen with permission from Matt Might.

Imagine a circle that contains all of human knowledge:

By the time you finish elementary school, you know a little:

By the time you finish high school, you know a bit more:

With a bachelor’s degree, you gain a specialty:

A master’s degree deepens that specialty:

Reading research papers takes you to the edge of human knowledge:

Once you’re at the boundary, you focus:

You push at the boundary for a few years:

Until one day, the boundary gives way:

And, that dent you’ve made is called a Ph.D.:

Of course, the world looks different to you now:

So, don’t forget the bigger picture:


Keep pushing.

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One Response to The Illustrated Guide to a PhD

  1. Maria says:

    nice 🙂

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