Which degrees are higher than a doctorate

In the past, you got a doctorate if you wanted to become a doctor or pursue a scientific career at university. Today, the majority of academics with a doctorate can be found elsewhere: in business, politics, in the cultural sector. A doctorate is the key to professional advancement, no matter where. According to the latest data from the Federal Statistical Office, a total of 28 147 university graduates subsequently completed their doctorates in 2014 - more than ever before.

An important reason for doing the additional work of a dissertation is the expectation of a higher starting income. In fact, it is. The higher the academic degree, the higher the starting salary. In its study "Graduate Remuneration 2015", the personnel consultancy Kienbaum determined an average starting salary of 60,500 euros per year for graduates with a doctorate. Graduates with a master’s degree receive around 46,300 euros, colleagues with a bachelor’s degree a good 3000 euros less. The suffix "Dr." in the first few years usually also increases the chance of moving up the company hierarchy more quickly.

A high starting salary is not everything in career planning. After all, it usually takes a few years to complete a dissertation. You can't make a lot of money in that time. Scholarships are comparatively rare. A job as an academic assistant keeps many people afloat, but there is often the risk that their own work fades into the background in favor of work that has to be done for the chair or, in the worst case, is abandoned after many years.

One way to shorten this long process is through research training groups. These are institutions of the universities to promote the next generation of scientists within the framework of clearly defined research programs. They are funded by the German Research Foundation. The doctoral students not only get good working conditions here. The scholarships also allow you to concentrate fully on your work.

One way to live comparatively comfortably during the dissertation is through a doctorate in industry. Many corporations advertise research projects for young scientists. In doing so, they specify the topic of a dissertation, but they also ensure the financial independence of their doctoral students. Another advantage is that you can gain practical experience on the side.