By my interpretation, a PhD symbolizes a person who is able to identify problems or questions and design practical approaches to addressing them. I prefer to think about it in this general way because I feel it allows me to apply myself more broadly than just my areas of specialization, neuroscience and molecular biology.
From the moment that I first entered graduate school, I feel like I’ve been struggling for an intelligent answer to this question. It seems like whenever you enter another stage of higher learning, everyone wants to know what the point of it all will be. What career will come out of your elected major in college? How will that Master’s degree you slaved away at count for anything in the future? And what career will you pursue once you can put those fancy letters behind your name?