Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by Kizmet, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Yes, it makes sense. Also, is there an assumption built in to this question? Are thy assuming that, in the student's mind, the goal is fulltime teaching? Surely there is a sizable percentage of people earning doctorates that have no real interest or intention in teaching. Especially not full-time teaching. So I could do a study that demonstrates that a very small number of doctorates become astronauts...
  4. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Active Member

    I don't know about the percentage, but no, fulltime teaching was never my goal.
  5. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

  6. jhp

    jhp Member

    Is there a presumption that Ph.D. means the goal is full time professorship?
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Ummm. Maybe. That was my point.
  8. apriltrainer

    apriltrainer New Member

    My boyfriend is part of that 19% . His undergrad is from U Penn and his Phd is in cell biology from Rockefeller University, and he isn't teaching. Not for lack of trying though. That was his end game. He just didn't realize how many Phd's were being pumped out and how few positions are out there. He is now 37 and going back to school. This time he is going to med school.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm not so sure. In 2014, a bit more than 54,000 people earned research doctorates. Of the top 50 doctorate-awarding schools, Walden is at #18 (563 awarded). That's it. No other DL school appears on it. That would indicate that it's only a small percentage of doctorates awarded overall.

    However, as I've pointed out numerous times, a DL degree is NOT a ticket to academia. Here's an interesting article that came to the same conclusion about 10 years ago:


    Typical citations of mistrust of DL degrees, mixed with the lack of traditional experiences traditional doctoral students enjoy on campus.

    So, DL degrees certainly contribute to this, but it's a mere ripple.
  10. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    Do you think that's true? Really? I wish there were data on this, because I can't wrap my head around more than a TINY percentage of people going into a PhD program without academic/teaching aspirations? What else are they going to do with a PhD in ANY liberal art? T
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    No, actually I have no idea. The only thing I can tell you is that if I were contemplating earning a PhD I would do a whole lot of research about whether it's worth it, including the prospect of landing a teaching job. It just seems like common sense. Of course I know there are people who will go the whole route and then be shocked that then can't find a university teaching job. To me that just proves that smart people can do very stupid things. So . . . you've asked a good question but I'm afraid that I don't really have an answer.

    "But should you seek to earn a PhD at all? Apart from mercenary motives, or ego gratification, or the desire to be taken more seriously by others for not altogether relevant reasons, go for a PhD only if you really want to do research, or teach in a university, or take a leading role in developing policy based on research, or some combination of these goals. The best reason of all to enroll in a doctoral program is because you want to become more intellectually engaged with and more critically sophisticated in the study of some issue or field."

    Why Get a PhD?
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What you're describing contributes to the fact that the vast majority of doctoral degrees offered by DL schools in the US are in professional subjects (engineering, psychology, business, nursing, etc.), rather than scholarly areas. A DL degree is NOT a pathway to an academic career. It can facilitate the transition from practice to scholarship for a very few, but this seems to be on a case-by-case-by-exceptional-case basis.
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    This is just what I was going to say. Psychologists might go on to be practitioners. Some fields that don't seem applied on the surface, such as archaeology, history, and anthropology, might have doctoral degree holders working for museums and other non-academic research organizations. Biological anthropologists might work for a medical examiner's office. Some liberal arts PhDs will go on to federal government jobs that require or prefer a PhD. Some social scientists go on to work for think tanks such as the Rand Corporation. Physical, life science, and mathematics PhDs (because these are also liberal arts) might work in industry.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Someone I know recently told me that there are a fair number of people working for the FBI/CIA who have PhDs in the Liberal Arts. Text analysis, data analysis, interpretation, etc. all that sort of stuff.
  15. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    hold up- let's keep 2 piles. Professional doctorates clearly don't have teaching as a first choice, I mean it may be in the back of their mind as an "I can always teach" thought, but a PhD is a research degree....I'm thinking besides academia, there would be consulting, speaking, but what else? Shift manager at IHOP? ;)
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Only if it's a DBA.
  17. rootuser

    rootuser New Member

    I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I have the opportunity to get a PhD but it also means ~3 more years out of the job field. I think it's easy to get caught up in the allure of a PhD, especially if you really love doing the research, etc without thinking about "what am I going to do if I don't teach". A lot of my peers have gone into government after their PhD.
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I explained in this post.


    When I took my proseminar course at the beginning of my PhD program, my professor asked my cohort if we wanted to work at a teaching college, a research college, or a think tank. People do get a research degree with the purpose of only conducting research. One does not have to be a professor to work as a researcher. Besides, the PhD in school, clinical, or counseling psychology is a research degree, but it is also intended to meet licensing requirements. In the psychology field, it is still more common for practitioners to have a PhD rather than a PsyD.

    Companies hire PhDs in STEM and even some social science fields to conduct research for their own products. As others and I have stated, the government hires PhDs to conduct research and analyze stats.
  19. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    you have to research where you can get paid. If you can get funding to do research outside of academia, more power to you.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I guess my point is not getting across. There are think tanks, such as the Rand Corporation, that hire researchers. Colleges and universities are not the only organizations that hire full-time researchers. Think tanks pay a salary. The government pays a salary. Besides, everyone applies for research dollars. Professors at universities apply for grants all the time.

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