A Ph.D., or Doctor of Philosophy is considered by many to be the most prestigious degree someone can earn. It is the highest academic credential a person can earn, and for this reason is often referred to as a “terminal” degree. While it usually takes four to six years (after earning a master’s degree) to earn a Ph.D. or doctorate degree, the financial payoff for doing so can be huge.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals who earn a Ph.D., on average, earn up to $40,000/yr more than workers with a bachelor’s degree. That’s well over a million dollars in additional income over a lifetime.
While 10% of Americans will earn a master’s degree, only 1% of Americans will ever earn a Ph.D. The Ph.D. is truly an elite degree. As such, program accreditation is a serious concern.
Prospective students should carefully review the credentials of the college or university where they intend to commit to a lengthy program of doctoral study. Any school offering a “quick and easy” Ph.D. is likely to be a diploma mill and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Why earn a doctorate degree?
Well, as we already pointed out, a doctorate degree is the highest academic credential a person can receive within a given field of study. If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, earning a doctorate is a good way to accomplish this.
Earning a doctorate degree or Ph.D. is also a good way to become an expert. Many students who participate in doctorate programs thirst for knowledge and understanding. Doctoral students are often involved in cutting edge research that explores the depths of their field of study. They’re exposed to knowledge, understanding and innovation not available through any other academic program.
Earning a Ph.D. or doctorate degree is a prerequisite for most teaching positions at colleges and universities. It’s also required for those who want to pursue a career in research with a university or corporation. Some people earn a doctorate degree for a more pragmatic reason – they want to earn more money. Earning a Ph.D. or doctorate degree increases the opportunity to obtain higher pay and opens the door to new career advancement opportunities.
Online Doctoral Degree Programs
A growing number of colleges and universities are offering PhD and doctorate degrees that can be completed remotely via online distance learning. Online doctoral programs are convenient, flexible, and ideal for working professionals who are unable to attend a campus-based program.
Since doctoral programs are typically quite specialized, it’s not uncommon for only a handful of universities to offer doctoral degrees focusing on a specific field of study. Online degree and distance learning programs make it possible for individuals from across the globe to earn their doctoral degree without relocating.
But don’t think an online program is a shortcut to earning your doctorate degree – it isn’t. Online doctoral programs are just as demanding and time consuming as programs offered in a traditional college setting. The requirements for completing an online degree are typically the same as those for earning a degree on campus. The only trade off is that you’re able to attend classes and complete assignments from wherever you’re located.
The cost of tuition for earning a doctorate degree online is comparable to the cost of earning a doctorate degree in a classroom setting, although it is a bit less expensive when you consider other factors. For instance, you don’t have to purchase textbooks and there’s no daily commute. Not only do you save money, you save valuable time. Earning your degree from a reputable school is likely to cost you a little bit more than the same program offered at a lower tier institution – but it’s worth the investment.