why is a PhD usually structured to take about six years? Are there ever shortcuts to take less time?

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Was talking to some friends about pursuing a PhD and some got turned off after learning it is 6 years because they say it would be exchanging the best years of your working life for someone that may not even guarantee a job you want

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Clarification: average time to degree in non-lab fields is *even longer*, because you have to do fieldwork or archival research to collect the information for your dissertation (which, in every academic specialty, requires original contribution to the shared body of knowledge). Also, US degrees often take longer because of the reliance on graduate student labor for teaching (not just research assistance).

Some countries have doctoral programs “by research” that assume you’ve done the relevant coursework prior to tackling the dissertation project. That’s not really a shortcut so much as it is a higher bar to entry into the PhD program (you have to do the same prep, and it takes the same time)

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