Not so long ago, we presented you with the interesting results of the Final Four if schools advanced based the number of accounting research papers produced. This may or may not have piqued your interest in the possibility of ditching the grind of 9 to whenever you get off for the friendly confines of a college campus.
For those of you that are interested, Professor David Wood of Brigham Young University passed along a link that compiles information for anyone giving serious thought to going back to school. We also got some of his thoughts about his own experience as a professor.
Other than everyone calling you “Doctor” there are three benefits that professors enjoy that is listed on BYU’s “So You Want to Get a PhD.?” page. Granted these don’t apply to just those in accounting but to anyone looking to dive into higher ed instruction:
Professors are constantly learning – “Professors spend the majority of their time teaching and researching. Both of these acts are rooted in learning and sharing your learning with others.” Learning? You mean people enjoy learning? Constantly? Yes, it’s true that some accountants are in it for intellectual stimulation as opposed to the glamor, riches, and title. Professor Wood wrote to us in an email, “Every day is filled with exciting new challenges—from thinking about how to improve business through my research to trying to better communicate and reach students.”
Professors want to make a difference in the world – “In the classroom, professors are role models to their students and teach students how to make the world a better place.” Yes there’s some mushy stuff but that’s good, right? Being able to guide future accountants by showing them different paths that careers can take, what opportunities exist now and what the future holds is a rewarding part of a professor’s job. Professors have the amazing opportunity to inspire young minds to want to make a difference in their chosen career. As Professor Wood told us, “College students are at an important cross road in their life and professors can help provide clarity and information for students to make well-informed, good decisions.”
Life as a professor is full of flexibility – “Not only do professors largely work when and where they want, but they also choose what they do.” This is the stuff that most can only dream of in most corporate/Big 4 world – work when you want, where you want, time for hobbies and other activities. Sure you had to work hard at researching and teaching the new wave of CPAs but there’s a lot freedom that comes with it. Again, Professor Wood, “I don’t know any other career that offers the flexibility of academics without bearing substantial financial risk.”
There you have it. Lots of learning, you get to inspire young minds and you basically can live the way you want. Of course it involves some work too but we’ll touch on that later. Meanwhile, you can ponder.
So you want to get a Ph.D.? [BYUaccounting.net]