This article is by Matt Might. What an excellent way to view a PhD! Using my situation as an example, I’ve read all the research on the glutes, I’ve conducted my own experiments, soon I’ll be collecting and publishing my data, and I’ll have expanded the boundaries on glute training. But in the grand scheme of things (taking the cosmic-overview, as my grandmother used to like to say), it’s just one small aspect of knowledge.

This is why we need all sorts of individuals pushing the boundaries in their particular areas of focus, so we continue to broaden the sphere of knowledge. Strength training research requires so much additional research and is slow-growing, but nevertheless we manage to make considerable progress each and every month (see HERE if you’re interested in strength and conditioning research). I hope you enjoy the pictures.

The Illustrated Guide to a PhD
By Matt Might

Every fall, I explain to a fresh batch of Ph.D. students what a Ph.D. is.

It’s hard to describe it in words.

So, I use pictures.

Read below for the illustrated guide to a Ph.D.

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.

The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D. is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 LicenseThis post originally appeared at Matt Might’s Blog.

This post originally appeared at Matt.Might.Net. Copyright 2014.

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