Doctoral Programs

Online Doctoral Programs: What’s Out There

Many people in today’s marketplace are looking to advance their careers. One of the most popular ways people have found to make themselves more marketable is to obtain advanced degrees.

However, unlike years past, many master’s and doctoral students are nontraditional students, with families and jobs beyond school. No longer are they able to stop their outside lives in pursuit of higher education. This shift, along with society’s shift to being much more mobile- and Internet-dependent, has led to the development and promotion of online doctoral programs.

What about these programs? Who offers them? Are they quality? Are they cost effective? How do they compare to offline degree programs? We are going to look at four popular areas of study and see how the online programs for these disciplines answer these questions.

Business

Prerequisites and Skills Needed

Candidates for a PhD in Business must have an undergraduate degree in business or a related area. Preference is given to individuals who hold a Master’s Degree. In addition, candidates must attain a passing standard on the GRE or the GMAT, with the GMAT being preferred. Strong math skills and knowledge of business theory are essential to success.

Course Requirements

All coursework is research-driven. The first two years are primarily held for general math and business coursework. Years 3 and 4 are typically spent teaching and conducting research. Finally, the dissertation itself can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to complete, making total course time between 5 and 7 years.

Careers

We are all familiar with many careers in business, from Accounting to Business Administration. A doctorate in Business Administration will prepare the student for a career in teaching business principles or a career in researching business practices.

Salary

Salary potential with a Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management, research and developing new management theory, ranges from $110,000 starting to as much as $150,000 as a full professor. Potential with a Doctor of Business Administration, applying already established management theory, ranges from $140,000 starting to unlimited earning potential on the upper end.

Online Universities

Below you will find some of the most well known, highly respected universities that offer a doctoral business program.

Capella University

www.capella.edu

For more information:
Capella University
Capella Tower
225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552)

University of Phoenix

www.phoenix.edu

For more information:
Central Administration
University of Phoenix
4615 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Online Campus
University of Phoenix
3157 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (866) 766-0766

Walden University

www.waldenu.edu

For more information:
Walden University
155 5TH Ave S Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2511
Phone: 1-866-492-5336

Education

Prerequisites and Skills Needed

Specific requirements will vary from school to school but typically candidates maintain a high overall GPA in undergraduate work, achieving academic excellence. In addition, candidates must either be in their last year of undergraduate work, achieving a degree in education or hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s in an accepted field. Satisfactory scores on the GRE are required, along with references from professors, supervisors and/or colleagues. Knowledge of the field of education, as well as the specific concentration of the degree program are essential.

Course Requirements

Coursework for the EdD or PhD programs is a combination of classwork, field experience, and research/dissertation. The specifics for a educational doctorate program vary widely, depending on the school and the chosen concentration.

Careers

Individuals who possess a doctorate in the field of education most often go into careers as professors or educational researchers. They may also hold positions as administrators at the local, system, or state level.

Salary

For a professor the salary will range between $60,000 and $90,000 yearly. For administrators the range is between $50,000 and over $100,000, depending on the position and the school system.

Online Universities

Education doctoral programs are highly competitive, but they are also plentiful, especially at online universities. A few of the most well-known, well respected online institutions are listed below, with contact information.

Capella University

www.capella.edu

For more information:
Capella University
Capella Tower
225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552)

University of Phoenix

www.phoenix.edu

For more information:
Central Administration
University of Phoenix
4615 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Online Campus
University of Phoenix
3157 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (866) 766-0766

Walden University

www.waldenu.edu

For more information:
Walden University
155 5TH Ave S Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2511
Phone: 1-866-492-5336

Psychology

Prerequisites and Skills Required

As with all the other fields of study listed here, admission to a doctoral program in psychology is highly competitive. Appropriate candidates will have a stellar GRE score, usually above 1200, maintain a 3.0+ GPA in their undergraduate courses, and obtain experience in their chosen field, paid or unpaid. In addition, solid letters of recommendation are always an added bonus to any application. A solid knowledge of psychology theory and practice is a must have skill when entering any doctoral program as well.

Course Requirements

Most psychology doctoral programs require 75+ hours of course credit. This is a combination of concentration focused courses, elective courses, field work, and research and dissertation. Most programs run from 5 to 7 years.

Careers

A doctorate in Psychology qualifies an individual for a myriad of possible careers. Among these are counselor, clinical psychologist, professor, researcher, government employee, school psychologist, or work in a medical facility. The most common choice is to work in a private practice as a clinical psychologist.

Salary

Salaries for psychologists can vary greatly, dependent on the area of concentration. School psychologists will earn the lower end of the salary scale while clinical psychologists in private practice will tend to earn at the top of the range. The salary range for practicing psychologists range from $40,000 to $110,000. For professors and researchers the range is somewhat different, $80,000 to $110,000.

Online Universities

Doctoral programs in psychology are very competitive to get into. The addition of online universities has increased the availability of open positions for candidates. Some of the most well-known, highly accredited are listed below.

Capella University

www.capella.edu

For more information:
Capella University
Capella Tower
225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552)

University of Phoenix

www.phoenix.edu

For more information:
Central Administration
University of Phoenix
4615 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Online Campus
University of Phoenix
3157 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (866) 766-0766

Walden University

www.waldenu.edu

For more information:
Walden University
155 5TH Ave S Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2511
Phone: 1-866-492-5336

Engineering

Prerequisites and Skills Needed

As with most doctoral programs, the competition to obtain a spot in a quality engineering program is fierce. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in an accredited field of study. In addition, they must have an excellent GPA in said undergraduate work and qualifying scores on the GRE or the GMAT. Solid, above-average math, technical and theoretical, and scientific inquiry skills are essential to success in any post-secondary, graduate-level engineering program.

Course Requirements

Typically, doctoral students are required to take a specific track for their degree. Within each subdiscipline of engineering there are specific course requirements. All programs usually require a certain number of core classes, a certain number of content-specific classes, and a certain number of elective classes.

In addition, doctoral students are required to teach a number of undergraduate courses, conduct research, and write a doctoral dissertation. Specific requirements will vary, based on the school of choice.

Careers

The field of engineering offers the most options when it comes to careers for advanced degrees. One of the most common engineering PhD jobs is research and development. An individual who earns a doctorate in engineering is required to conduct new research so research and development jobs make logical sense.

In addition, current technologies are lending themselves to a career in optical engineering. Development of fiber optics, lenses, optical storage, magnifiers, microscopes, and telescopes is at the core of a career in optical engineering. Many engineering doctorates choose to teach at the college level as well. Many of these individuals develop a desire to teach due to graduate assistant positions.

Salary

Engineering salaries can vary greatly. R&D salaries range from $70,000 to $105,000 yearly. An engineering professor can expect to earn between $45,000 and $120,000 depending on the facility and the position.

Online Universities

The field of engineering is an ever-expanding field. As new technologies develop, new jobs are created. In order to meet this need online universities have developed extensive doctoral programs for the field of engineering. Listed below you will find a sampling of the most well-known, respected online universities.

University of Phoenix

www.phoenix.edu

For more information:
Central Administration
University of Phoenix
4615 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85040

Online Campus
University of Phoenix
3157 E. Elwood St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Phone: (866) 766-0766

Walden University

www.waldenu.edu

For more information:
Walden University
155 5TH Ave S Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2511
Phone: 1-866-492-5336

Offline Comparison

While online universities have grown in popularity and made undergraduate and postgraduate work manageable for more and more people, some individuals prefer offline, face-to-face classes. How do the two compare?

Traditional Campus Highlights

  • Costs can be markedly higher, factoring in food, housing, and transportation.
  • Quality Education
  • Set schedules, specific times for specific courses
  • Social networking and environment, a place to meet people and make connections with others
  • More traditional students, 18-21 demographic

Online Campus Highlights

  • Costs are lower, considering the savings in certain fees, housing, and travel.
  • Quality Education (comparable to traditional education)
  • Flexible schedules, students work through class at their own pace, with a deadline in mind
  • More isolated, not much face-to-face interactions with classmates or professors
  • Nontraditional students, adults, older students

Conclusion

Traditional versus online, who’s to say which is better? The point is, find the fit that is most comfortable for you. Online doctoral programs can offer many more choices, more flexibility, and a faster matriculation time. Faster turn around means higher salaries and more rewarding work in a shorter timespan. The key is to know what you want, do your research, take your time, and make the choice that makes the best sense for you.

3 Responses to “Doctoral Programs”
  1. Philip van Rensburg
    10.14.2010

    Achieved a masters degrees (cum laude) in clinical psychology. Would like to do my doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

  2. Asuman Watara
    11.20.2010

    I am a holder of MA in ICT in Education and a teacher.
    I have great interest in History of Begho. Begho was a very important city which served as a market town and important entrepot for trans-sharan trade between the north and south of Ghana. In the earlier years it served same capacity for West Africa, Middle-East and Spain and part of France.
    I would be happy if I am allowed to write on the subject for my PhD

  3. Biju.R
    02.02.2012

    Madam, I am from India i have completed my MLIS here in Indiaand i wish to do online phd.


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