WHY DID I BECOME A DOCTORAL STUDENT? A STUDY OF MOTIVES OF DOCTORAL STUDENTS
Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Faculty of Humanities (CZECH REPUBLIC)
The aim of the study is to find answers to the question of why young people decide to continue studying at the postgraduate level after completing their master’s programme. At the heart of the study is the analysis of motives which lead young, qualified persons that could take up employment, to become doctoral students.
Motivation for doing something is commonly referred to as a set of internal and external factors that influence the decisions or behaviours. Motivation changes at different points of time and in different situations. In this project we assessed the motives to become a doctoral student through memories of PhD graduates. A qualitative analysis concentrated on narration of 10 doctoral graduates who are currently working as instructors at Czech universities. All of them specialized in the field of educational studies and worked at a university for a maximum of five years after completion of doctoral studies. They were hired for the position of academic staff member, not for the position of postdoctoral fellow.
Motives to become a doctoral student, which were extracted from narrations, were divided into two large categories which were further subdivided into subcategories.
1. Extrinsic motives:
a) Fulfilling the wish of someone else.
b) Influence of a person who served as a model of researcher.
c) Getting financial support without being employed.
2. Intrinsic motives:
a) A wish to become a researcher.
b) A wish to excel in the professional field.
c) A wish to join the university staff.
d) Extension of student life.
The research yielded a detailed analysis of the above motives.