Many people choose to further their education by going back to school to obtain their PhD. Although there are many traditional schools that provide various PhD degrees, online programs are becoming increasingly popular recently. However, are these programs different than traditional PhD programs? Are online PhD programs well respected?
Why Choose an Online PhD program?
Online PhD programs are becoming more and more popular because they allow the student to obtain a degree on his or her own schedule. Unlike traditional programs, a student can take classes and do research from the comfort of his or her home or office.
This allows many people to continue working while gaining their PhD. All they need is a laptop and they can begin the process of obtaining their degree. A PhD can be great for career advancement but is also necessary if you want to teach in higher education. According to US News & World Report, more students are considering online PhD programs.
But, are online PhD degrees respected?
The reputation of a particular school depends on a number of factors, including, but not limited to the quality of the faculty, admissions process and strength of the degree programs. There are a variety of well-respected public and private schools that offer top online PhD programs. These schools offer a wide variety of challenging courses and have world-renowned faculty who will guide and support the student through the entire degree program. They offer online platforms that are user friendly and conducive to learning.
When deciding to choose a program that is more respected, consider the degree opportunities available. Are there certain degrees that receive more attention and are higher ranked? Are there some that are more selective than others?
Also, look at their application process. Most respected online PhD programs have a similar application process than other traditional ones. The school should require transcripts and GED scores for admission. Every year, US News and World Report ranks the online programs using a complex methodology and they believe that there are a number of quality online PhD programs available.
In most cases, your dissertation is a very important factor when achieving your PhD. If you write a strong dissertation, it will look very impressive to employers even if you enroll in an online program. A well-respected program will support you through this arduous, yet exciting process. You may want to ask the perspective school if they have past dissertations available for your perusal.
If you go to a quality school, many employers recognize and value an employee who obtains a PhD, no matter if it is online or at a traditional school. However, if you are still wary about the reputation of a particular school, then ask the students who have graduated from the program. Did they have trouble finding a job in their desired career? Do they think the PhD program enhanced their lives?
If I decide on an online PhD program, which schools should I avoid?
When deciding on a PhD program, make sure to check the accreditation of the school. If the school is not accredited by any governing body, then you should be very wary of that particular school. Also, make sure to check other important statistics, such as graduation rates and student reviews. If everything checks out and these numbers are high, then consider the online program. There are some quality PhD programs but there are also some that are scams so be very careful and do your research.
Ultimately if you are considering a PhD program, there is no reason why you should not obtain one online. Since the world is changing, more and more employers understand that not everyone has the time to go to a traditional university. Many PhD programs can provide you with a challenging education that will help you succeed in the future.