100 Reason Not To Go To Grad School AND PhD Reality Check

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Jul 2, 2011.

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  1. Garp

    Garp New Member

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    These two articles were posted on another board but really interesting and true in some respects. One talks (among other things) about the negative issues with grad school and even mentions the devaluing of PhD's by the less strenuous for profits which have no credibility in academia but are increasing the number of "Drs".

    100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School

    The next article talks about the reality of the job market for those earning PhDs to enter tenure positions in the humanities. It mentions something talked about here (the general grade inflation and glowing recommendations that makes everyone think they are top notch when applying for entrance to traditional doctoral programs). The author said he used to get very angry letters from applicants.

    Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don't Go - Advice - The Chronicle of Higher Education

    I think the thing is to be realistic and realize that you may spend years working towards a doctorate and not secure a tenure position but rather work in adjunct jobs OR must be willing to look for alternative employment in industry or government work.

    Many of the people on this board are not trying to get doctorates to secure jobs teaching at State Universities or Ivy League institutions but for their own personal satisfaction.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2011
  2. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

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    Thanks for the articles. It's really all old news though, no surprises. It's often said around here that the job market is bad, worse for doctorates and even worse for DL doctorates. Tenure track positions are very difficult to land for anyone and it's worse than ever in this economy.
     
  3. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

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    It's certainly true that this is old news but the message is so powerful that it's worth bringing up again from time to time. At this point I really doubt that I'll pursue a doctorate, on campus, DL or otherwise. The return on investment (time and money) simply isn't there.
     
  4. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

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    I graduate with my DPA in May. Since I started the program in 2007 the opportunities that came my way as a result of being in a Doctoral program have paid for my degree several times over. The return on investment is there, you just have to invest wisely to get it.
     
  5. me again

    me again Active Member

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    According to Mark Fiegener, the awarding of research doctorates increased by 1.4% between 2007 and 2008.
     
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    The real impact of the for-profits is not on the research doctorates like the PhD, but on professional doctorates like the DBA. It's clear that for business doctorates, the floodgates have opened.

    The USDoE "Digest of Education Statistics" has the following numbers for business doctorates over the past few years:

    Year DBAs Percent Increase

    2002-03 1,252 8.3
    2003-04 1,481 18.3
    2004-05 1,498 1.1
    2005-06 1,711 14.2
    2006-07 2,029 18.6
    2007-08 2,084 14.2
    2008-09 2,123 18.6

    Overall, DBAs are up by 85% over this time period. Schools like UoP and Capella are each turning out hundreds of DBAs per year, into a market that used to total just over 1,000 per year.

    And it's possible that the numbers will climb much higher, now that DETC schools can issue DBAs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2011
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    More detail to support that claim:

    In 2001-02, there were only 1,156 business doctorates issued by all universities in the USA combined (source: US DoE Digest of Education Statistics)

    In 2009-10, just two online schools -- Capella (260) and University of Phoenix (257) --alone produced a total of 517 business doctorates (source: USDoE College Navigator)
     
  8. Garp

    Garp New Member

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    Fascinating statistics!

    AV8R - It all depends. As Truckie noted, his doctorate paid for itself. I think the main thing as Truckie noted is to choose wisely. For instance, a DPA from an RA (B&M) school may give you inroads into higher level government jobs. Similarly, some PhD programs (even from for profits) many open doors in consulting and other work. Those may pay for themselves. If you are going to Northcentral, UofP and so on, trying to get tenure jobs in academia it may not work out so well.

    Even, Aspen's accredited EdD (or a DETC DBA) may open doors for you and may pay for itself. Even if it does not bring in cash return, it may be an investment of time (and in Aspen's case around 8000 dollars until mid July) that brings personal satisfaction for someone who always wanted to earn an accredited doctorate.

    It is sad though to see people who invested years and indentured servitude as a grad assistant to earn a PhD in a traditional program and then work in coffee shops and so on OR end up at a Community College unhappy with their lot in life (read articles about issues like that). The problem for them is often strong desire to be in University academia and on the other end employers who may discriminate and not hire feeling they are only temporarily settling for a non academic job.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2011
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    I would think that this would push more and more people toward the South African programs.
     
  10. okydd

    okydd New Member

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    Someone should do 100 Reasons To Go To Grad School AND PhD Reality Check.
     
  11. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

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    ROI and tenure track positions aren't the only important things in life. If you are earning a doctorate just for financial reasons, maybe you should not even consider it in the first place. There has got to be a deep love of the subject matter in there or you will most likely not make it through anyway. Moreover, there is a great deal of satisfaction for some in pursuing terminal study. Many would do it even if the ROI was negative.

    Also, I think we need to be careful about making too broad of generalizations about financial implications. I offer my situation as an example. My doctorate will easily offer at least a modest ROI. Combining the automatic pay raise in my profession with Lifetime Learning tax credits and almost free textbooks through Amazon, my out-of-pocket expense will end up about only $8K. I already have a couple of opportunities that will be open when I finish my doctorate, so while I agree with the dismal predictions for DL doctorates in general, there are many specific circumstances where they will pay off. Maybe not hugely, but enough to motivate one to pursue them.
     
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    Mine cost ~$3K out of pocket plus books. With the adjunct pay raise I will get that will be recouped in 2 years or so. That can never be the only factor of measure in such as huge undertaking.
     
  13. Garp

    Garp New Member

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    Encouraging post!
     
  14. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

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    For a long time I have been convinced that you have arranged the sweetest deal of anybody on this board. Way to go Dr. O. Talk about guaranteed ROI!
     
  15. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator

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    :scratchchin: Does your employer have need for an interpreter?
     
  16. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

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    I would think that this would push some people towards forgoing the doctorate and just getting several master's degrees.
     
  17. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator

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    Occupation:
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    punoɹɐ ƃuıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ
    Or finding another way to pass the time? Going outside perhaps? :smile:
     
  18. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

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    I went fishing yesterday.
     
  19. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

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    I went to the beach.
     
  20. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

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    I went mountain biking. Too crowded out there surfing.
     

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