For many people, obtaining their doctoral degree is a life long dream and the pinnacle of their academic achievement. Not long ago, the process of obtaining this coveted title involved years of intensive research and hours in classrooms and libraries.
While this process may be no less intense today, the proliferation of Internet education has created an environment where learning on a flexible schedule is one of the greatest selling points of the program.
Examining the requirements and rigors of some of the more popular programs makes it apparent that, although convenient, a distance learning doctorate still requires a substantial amount of work to complete.
As an example, doctoral degrees in nursing are a valuable, but hard to achieve commodity. Nursing students choosing to continue their education do so to keep up with ever-changing licensing requirements, but nursing degrees also have a clear advantage. The more education one has, the higher the salary commanded.
This direct correlation is substantial, and worth the additional time and money spent to obtain the doctoral degree. A student taking courses towards their doctorate online can expect to spend at least two additional years studying, and a majority of that time in clinical education hours with their chosen preceptor.
Psychology is a field that reserves the best positions for those who have obtained their doctorate. Because of this, education beyond the Master’s degree is almost a necessity, especially for those who wish to teach at the university level, or obtain tenured positions.
Specializations are individually constructed to supply the student with the means to pursue their chosen specialty, which is a necessity if the education is to be immediately put to use outside of the classroom.
Before setting out to complete a doctorate degree, students must have a specific goal and use for their degree in mind. Licensing requirements and prerequisites to taking board certification exams depend on accuracy in constructing the doctoral program. To be prudent, the individual should research these requirements to ensure their chosen school meets their needs.
These considerations should extend to the value of pursuing the doctoral degree, with serious thought given to the return on a large investment of time and money.
A distance learning doctorate can be a noble and valuable pursuit, but it is certainly no easier to achieve, nor any less expensive than a traditional classroom environment. Many programs will require a minimum of two additional years of education, at an expense averaging from $750 to $1500 per unit.