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I have a very basic doubt. What is the purpose of career objective in a Ph.D. admission form especially when the applicants are from a wide variety of a subject backgrounds? For example take the case of a PhD admissions in computational biology where students from even electronics background are allowed to apply. The prior knowledge from masters is not going to help them much.

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    I am having trouble understanding your question. I thought career objective is what you want to be able to do. If you don't think you can do it, why do you want to apply?
    – Nobody
    Feb 27, 2014 at 11:47

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There is no single answer for this question and must be determined on a case by case basis. I will rule out the career objective section of your CV since it's a matter of personal preference. Assuming you're asking about a section in an official application form, there are number of ways to address. In most cases, the career objective will indicate how your future research and/or potential research project relates to your long term career goals. It becomes significant when the application is for a funded PhD and/or the research project is related to industry. Most universities are interested in the publication of research in top journals, so you can address this issue by demonstrating the potential of your proposed research. In this way, you also implicitly address the question of becoming a future academic. Finally, if you are coming from industry to academia, then you can mention your transition from organizations to academia. The last point is somewhat trivial unless the proposed research is in industry as well.

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