Is an Online PhD Worth It?

Is an online PHD really worth the time and effort spent to obtain the degree? This is a question that is certainly on the mind of many potential PHD candidates that would like to study online. Statistics prove that more and more people are considering studying online for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Of course, it is important to realize that the degree will take a lot of devotion, time, study, and funds to complete. However, it is still worth considering because the classes are online and this is a very convenient way for busy people to earn their degree locally, or at a distant college without commuting to a traditional college.

Is An Online PhD Really Worth The Effort?

Well, the answer is complicated. A lot depends on the type of degree under consideration. Recent job market reports noted that a distinct shift in majors existed. More candidates were graduating with degrees in the sciences, engineering, and education. Therefore, the job market is very tight for those that are thinking about earning an online degree in those disciplines. The candidates that earn a PHD in a field with less competition are on the right track and an advanced degree is certainly worth the effort.

Research Online PhD Programs

First, it is important to research online and determine if online study is available in the selected discipline. Next, make sure that the online university is a fully accredited institution. This is a process that all institutions of higher learning go through to validate their programs, demonstrating the program meets certain standards set by a governing body. It is also important to stress that some online PHD programs are not fully accredited or accepted by employers. Those programs are simply a waste of time and money. Always use due diligence and thoroughly research any online program selected. For best results, make sure the program is accredited and affiliated with a traditional university like these top online PhD programs.

Online PhD Program Advantages

The PHD candidate is able to easily organize their life around their study online. Often, a traditional learning program interferes with the candidate’s daily life. They must arrange to commute to classes, make time for study, complete work during a specific time frame. However, the online student is able to work their study schedule into their daily life. They might study in the evening or early in the morning. In addition, studying online presents a unique opportunity to save money in several ways. For example, the student saves money on commuting, lunches, parking fees, clothing, and more. A great advantage to the student on a budget, is the ability to continue working at their present job while earning an advanced degree. The online student is able to continue working, cover their present debts, and provide for their family.

Online PhD Program Disadvantages

Certainly, there is a down side to earning a PhD online too. It is important to remember that a lot of the advanced online degree programs are not accredited. The best course of action is to search for a program that is affiliated with a traditional university. Affiliation with a traditional university is assurance that the program is accredited. It is also important to note that certain specializations in medicine, biology, and psychology are not accredited, due to other factors. For example, the need for lab studies and obtaining clinical experience.

Finally, the potential student should realize that online study is a great opportunity to advance their career in the right direction. However, it is important to base their final decision on the facts gathered. For example, is the program accredited? Is the program affiliated with a traditional university? Is this the right time to obtain an advanced degree?