Online Doctoral Degrees
Completion of an Online Doctorate Degree is quite rigorous and may require several years of study and research by the student. In general, those seeking this type of degree will be required to complete an additional two to three years of course work beyond the Masters Degree level. Once this course work is completed, the student will be required to undertake original research for the completion of the Doctoral Dissertation. The specific course requirements and time required for research vary based on the area of study and the institution where the degree is sought. In some instances, completion of the Doctorate Degree can take as many as 10 years.
Benefits of a Doctoral Degree
The benefits of pursuing a Doctorate Degree are typically personal and professional. Although the acquisition of a PhD can increase the graduate’s earnings, the reality is that most professionals with a PhD do not earn considerably more than individuals with a Masters Degree working in similar professions. The decision to pursue a PhD is one that requires a considerable amount of time and dedication on the part of the student. As such, the acquisition of the Doctoral Degree is often done as a result of a personal desire to obtain knowledge and understanding in a particular field. Individuals that pursue a Doctoral Degree typically have a deep level of curiosity and a desire to contribute to an academic community and provide service to others. Individuals that seek Doctoral Degrees may also have a desire to enter into the highest level of their profession. For instance, most college professors must possess a Doctoral Degree to provide students with undergraduate and graduate education. The acquisition of a Doctoral Degree may also be needed for licensure in a particular field. For instance, professional psychologists that wish to maintain their own practice must hold a Doctoral Degree in order to obtain a license to practice.
Types of Doctoral Degrees
Although the Doctorate of Philosophy or PhD is the most commonly awarded Doctorate Degree, the PhD is not the only type of Doctoral Degree that can be sought by the student. Students seeking an Online Doctorate Degree may also choose to pursue a DBA or Doctorate of Business Administration Degree. Although the two degrees focus on increasing the student’s knowledge in a particular area of study, each degree is used differently for pursuing research in a specific field. Generally speaking, students pursuing a PhD will conduct research with the intent of developing a new theory or paradigm for their field of study. Individuals with these types of degrees typically pursue careers in academia and are interested in expanding the existing knowledge in a particular area. Students pursing Doctorate of Business Administration degrees, on the other hand, typically seek to apply what they have learned in the area of business to improve business practice. Students seeking a DBA are more focused on the practical application of their knowledge. Both Doctoral Degrees will require original research in a particular area to advance knowledge and understanding in the field of study. The primary difference is the way in which the findings from the research are utilized.
Possible career choices for individuals that acquire a Doctoral Degree may actually be limited. In general, there are few occupations that require a Doctoral Degree for entrance. Overall, Doctoral Degrees are desired when individuals must seek licensing in a particular field, e.g., engineering or psychology. Doctoral Degrees are also needed when professionals are seeking positions at the highest level of their career ladder, e.g., college professors. A Doctoral Degree may also be needed for professionals seeking to work in the highest levels of government, e.g., directors of certain departments or agencies. Because of the limited number of positions for graduates with a Doctoral Degree, the number of programs offered for students is also limited. When determining whether to pursue this degree, students must carefully weigh their career aspirations with the need for this type of education. Acquisition of the Doctoral Degree is such a substantial undertaking the many who achieve this degree may find that it may not have direct application to their career goals. Students that complete this degree and cannot apply it to their chosen career may find themselves somewhat dissatisfied with their careers. Individuals that posses a Doctoral Degree in a position that requires nothing higher than a Masters Degree may feel grossly overqualified for their position.