August 28, 2014

How to Choose an Online PhD Program

One way you can boost your earning power, as well as enrich your mind, is to get another degree. A PhD can help you demonstrate your expertise in a certain area, as well as possibly get you a raise. However, it can be difficult to attend a university to get your degree, due to work schedule, family life, and restrictive budgets. This is where online PHD programs can be of use. You can study on a flexible schedule, and an online education tend to be less expensive, since it does not require the same campus resources.

It’s vital to research online programs for a PhD carefully.. If you get a PhD from a program without the right credentials or credibility, future employers may questions your authority in the field. As you choose an online PhD program, here are some things to consider:

Accreditation

One of the most important things you can do as you vet online PhD programs is to make sure that your choices are properly accredited. The process is voluntary, and any school that decides to submit to it can gain proof they offer services of a certain quality. The process includes a review of faculty, course content, admission procedures, and other factors. Schools are expected to make improvements if the review doesn’t meet established standards. Check with the Department of Education, as well as with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, to see whether or not your preferred program actually has the right credentials.

Individualized Instruction

One of the myths surrounding online education is that you won’t receive personalized instruction. However, this is not usually the case, especially for this type of degree. While you might not spend as much time meeting an instructor in person, there is a good chance that you will be able to receive help through instant chat, email and other means. A good online PhD program will employ instructors that you can reach via email or phone, and that will include question and answer sessions.

Additionally, you might still be required to attend classes in person for some portion of the program. This type of rigorous education can work in your favor, indicating that you are, indeed, getting a PhD from a reputable program. On top of that, individualized instruction can be of benefit to you. Remember that a good education benefits you in terms of your own knowledge as well as showing others your qualifications.

Cost

Of course you also need to consider the cost of the program in question. Unaccredited online PhD programs might be cheap, but they might not have the right kind of credentials to get you a proper pay raise. The key is to find a program that offers good value for your money. There has to be a balance between a good education and a reasonable cost.

There is student funding available for PhD programs. You can get financing from the program, or from government grants. There are also federal student loans available for PhD programs. However, you have to be with an accredited program in order to get funding from reputable sources. Look for low interest loans. You might also be able to get scholarships based on need or on merit.

It is important to be choosy about your online PhD program, and do your research. Make sure you find a university that is reputable, and that will offer you the education and skills that you need.

by Bryan Tice is an education writer for Universities.com—a resource site to compare online PhD programs

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  2. [...] How to Choose an Online PhD Program One way you can boost your earning power, as well as enrich your mind, is to get another degree. A PhD can help you demonstrate your expertise in a certain area, as well as possibly get you a raise. However, it can be difficult to attend a university to get your degree, due to work schedule, family life, and restrictive budgets. This is where online PHD programs can be of use. You can study on a flexible schedule, and an online education tend to be less expensive, since it does not require the same campus resources. [...]

  3. [...] How to Choose an Online PhD Program [...]

  4. [...] Individual Instruction One of the most common misperceptions about online school is that students don’t get one on one time with instructors. However, as reported on by eLearning 3.0, this is not the case. They even report that a “good online PhD program will employ instructors that you can reach via email or phone, and that will include question and answer sessions.” [...]

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