Acceptability of online masters and doctorates for lecturing in the university

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Ikemaj, Apr 30, 2019.


Are online PhDs and Research Masters acceptable for Lecturing in a university.

Poll closed May 30, 2019.
  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. Ikemaj

    Ikemaj New Member

    In recent times issues with the recognition of online degrees and their acceptability by institutions and employers have dominated most public discussions in the higher education landscape. I will please appreciate the views and evidence based information from honourable members on the acceptability of online PhDs and Masters for lecturing appointments in universities. Thanks
  2. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Please allow me to interpret the comments of out esteemed member, Uncle Steve. If the sole purpose of your obtaining a graduate degree is the become a university lecturer then you should prepare for disappointment. With a few notable exceptions, it is a saturated job market and this makes it extremely competitive. Even people coming out of well-known schools have great difficulty in finding jobs. I trust that if you are smart enough to have found this discussion board then you are also smart enough to do the research necessary to verify this fact. Now if you also take into consideration that many people consider online degrees to be somehow "less than" more traditional degrees then I think you will see that your chances are at least somewhat further diminished. Please don't hold your breath waiting for "evidence based information" from me. That piece of homework you have to do for yourself. You could start by spending a few hours reading threads on this board. Best of luck.
  4. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Anything is possible. I think you're chances of landing a job at an R1 or even R2 school will be very unlikely, but not impossible. I think a fully online school or an online dominant school might consider their own students for full-time faculty positions.
  5. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    I don't know the answer to this but I have a related question. Is there a difference between living in New York City and getting an online degree from a school in New York City Vs living in New York City and getting an online degree from a school on Los Angeles?

    That is a concern I had. I earned both my master's degrees completely online. However I worked on campus at FPU when I earned my online degree there and was on campus basically everyday. In fact I did probably around 80% of the work I submitted for my classes in the school library.

    Now my second degree from FHSU is 1500 miles away from anywhere I have ever lived.

    Would these two be looked at the same?
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The question is not formulated correctly. What is an online degree? A friend of mine was considering to completing a PhD from the university of Edinburgh as an external student, this is a top ranked school that would be respected worldwide and most likely would help you to land a tenure track position. Can it be considered online because you did not attend on campus? Also, define lecturing, adjuncts and part time instructors are lectures. Many people with PhDs from CApella, NCU, Walden lecture online and on campus so there is strong evidence that you can lecture with an online degree from an online school. Can you get a full time permanent position with an online degree from a virtual university? Can you get a tenure track position with a distance education from a top school like University of Warwick? The question needs to be defined properly.
    GregWatts likes this.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Chris and RF have made good points. Is it possible? Of course. All you have to do is spend 10 minutes on google to find people with online degrees "lecturing" at colleges. You can find some of them here on this board. You could also find a celebrity planning on becoming a lawyer without going to law school. You can also find IT/Business billionaires who never graduated college at all. This becomes a matter of probability at some point. Many, many people undertake grad degrees with the idea of becoming tenure track professors. The vast majority of these people do not succeed. I do not want to discourage anyone from pursuing their goals but people deserve to hear the full story, not just some happily-ever-after story.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  8. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    If you're already on the faculty at a smaller school with a traditionally-earned masters, the online doctorate can work. But of course, that's for someone already in the system.
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Really? I didn't think there were many schools that would hire their own graduates.
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    One or two centuries ago, when I developed the NIFI Criteria to help identify degree mills, one criterion I included was whether a school had an inordinate number of faculty whose own degree(s) were from that school. Such a situation identifies schools that are homegrown and, therefore, possible degree mills. (I intentionally left the definition of inordinate open to interpretation.)

    As a general rule, schools prefer not to hire their own graduates as full-time faculty. There are, naturally, a few exceptions:
    • Some theological seminaries like to hire their own to ensure that faculty will be compatible with the school's doctrinal positions.
    • Some pervasively denominational universities, ditto. You might find a higher percentage of homegrown faculty at schools like Liberty, Bob Jones, Pensacola Christian, etc.
    • Harvard, Yale, and Stanford are not adverse to hiring their own graduates because, after all, they are Harvard, Yale, and Stanford (ditto others of that ilk).
    • Schools, especially for-profits, that are administered by so-called education professionals that are naive.
    In short, most universities (including so-called online universities) want to diversify so they don't appear homegrown. (Appearing homegrown can also have a negative impact when it comes to accreditation reviews and renewals.)

    Finally, few schools in the big picture hire full-time faculty these days. Rather, they engage adjuncts. Even then, they're looking for diversity in credentials.

    Call me a cynic, but I hardly consider online or online dominant schools to have faculty per se. Their so-called faculties are more like graders and evaluators. Online students who feel that they have any kind of meaningful academic relationship with their so-called professors are deceiving themselves. Online education is rote education, which is why I consider most online degrees to be crap and totally online so-called universities and all for-profit universities to be bullshit schools. (Of course, there are exceptions, but I'm not into dissecting them.)

    Excuse me. What, you disagree? Um, get over it. :p
  11. GregWatts

    GregWatts Active Member

    An previous associate of mine is the President of a RA school in the US with a "distance" Phd. However, it was a research doc from a British Uni. Some of the British schools distance degrees are of a slightly different breed.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, I worked full time at an online school for few years, courses are canned and already designed, the faculty is there just to grade, answer questions and provide feedback. Most full time faculty take administration roles such as faculty managers. Also, there is no tenure system but a year to year contract with a salary increase that goes according to inflation, you lucky if you get 2 to 3% increase every year. Salaries are also very low and you work more than traditional schools, you are expected to teach 5 courses per term and take administration roles. Only few weeks vacation a year. Salary was at the low end of 65K that for a PhD is not that high with no job security. Research is almost non existing, you get few thousand a year to present at a conference and that is about it, a conference paper a year and a journal paper every two years would be enough to keep you job.
    I left for a more stable job but in the last few years, most of my ex colleagues were laid off due to low enrollments and unable to find work as an online school does not work in you resume for a more traditional job. They just found adjunct work here and there.
    As someone said, this is the reality of for profit teaching, if you are OK with this then it is fine but one should know the job.

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