Best Doctorate for teaching (online)

Discussion in 'Education, Teaching and related degrees' started by Mdtrey12, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. Mdtrey12

    Mdtrey12 New Member

    Looking for any advice or input:

    Almost done with my MBA (FIU). I am active duty military with about 7 years left until I am eligible for retirement. One of my plans was too pursue a Doctorate and teach online (in-class maybe one day)when I retire from military. Pick up a few adjutant courses to add income, and get to work from home.

    Wanted to know what was the best "Doctorate" degree to pursue if this was my goal?

    PHD, Ed.D, DBA, DPA, ? Which ones are most sought after or usable for this goal.

    BTW: FIU's Corporate MBA is awesome! AACSB, no GMAT required, no residency, 2 classes at a time, 8 week terms, 18 month program! FIU Online Corporate MBA | Florida International University Online
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    The best "Doctorate" degree is the one you have a passion for. A PhD, DBA, DPA, EdD are all labels but the work involved is not for the faint hearted. You will be married to your research and learn to love it and hate it at the same time. Would a CPA and PhD in Accounting open a lot of door - heck yeah! BUT if you hate accounting it doesn't matter because you probably will not survive the process.

    What is your experience? To get an unrelated doctorate to your experience might not be the best move. Would you hire someone with 20 years operations experience if they got a PhD in Healthcare Admin and had no practical experience?
  3. Mdtrey12

    Mdtrey12 New Member


    Totally agree! As a Signal Communications Officer in the Army, most people lean towards IT fields/degress. I am NOT interested in staying in the IT field after this life! But I will have 20+ years of organizational leadership, project managment, Command (CEO of 150 people), etc and I do like to teach and train people. Have been looking at Docorate's in Leadership, Org Leadership, Education. I do love to research topics, I get consumed by it often, the reason that I am digging into it now, a few years out. I just wanted some other people's opinion on the type of terminal degree to pursue.
    In my research, I have seen the hundreds of jobs on sites like that some ask for PHD, and some just say Doctorate.
    I appreciate the feedback.
  4. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    I concur with Randell - do the doctorate in what you love! (Because you WILL be married to your topic.)

    If it were me, I would go with an Organization/Management degree and go as heavy as possible with leadership. I don't know that if I would get a doctorate in Leadership, because that could limit your possibilities, especially at smaller schools where you may need to be somewhat of a "jack of all trades."

    The PhD is probably the preferred degree for many institutions. Smaller schools (like mine) won't care if you have a PhD, DBA, DPA, or an EdD - as long as it is in the subject area.

    Also, you might want to consider doing some networking now. Since you are in the military, you might want to consider writing a paper proposal to the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society Biennial Conference: Calls for Papers - Notices - IUSAFS

    I'll be happy to give you some specifics on the conference if you are interested - send me a PM if you are.

    Good luck!
  5. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    The attrition rate for doctoral students is 50 percent once they hit the dissertation stage. Having said that...

    Get a doctoral "specialization" in the field that you want to teach. The "specialization" will qualify you to teach in that particular field (but not in other fields). Specializations are more important than what people realize. Specializations include:
    - business administration
    - management
    - accounting
    - leadership
    - public administration
    - etc.

    Some doctoral designators are completely moot, such as:
    - PhD in business v. DBA in business
    - PhD in public administration v. DPA
    - PhD in education v. EdD
    - PhD in educational leadership v. EdD in educational leadership

    Harvard University created the DBA doctoral designation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2014
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    PhDs are normally preferred for academic jobs over DBA, DPA, DM, etc but it also depends a lot on the reputation of the institution. I would rather have a DBA from a traditional reputable school than a PhD from a low profile virtual school. The issue is also flexibility vs reputation, online for profit schools are very flexible and programs are designed to be completed in short periods of time while traditional schools are more burocratic, less customer service oriented and difficult to deal with so this might extend the length of your studies. However, bear in mind also that the reputation of the school will also have an effect on salary you make as an adjunct, a low profile PhD might limit the options to low profile schools that pay little money to adjuncts while a better PhD opens the doors to more reputable schools with better salary schemes.

    The subject of the PhD matters a lot, if your PhD is in Business ethics, you are not going to have many job offers but if the specialization is in a technical (e.g. IT) or quantitative field (e.g. Accounting) then you will be getting some work. Some technical fields like IT are tricky because the demand always changes, this means that you have to keep yourself up to date and earn IT certifications (e.g. CISSP) that might change over your career, this creates an extra over head. More stable fields such as Finance and Statistics seem to be easier to maintain and create less over head.

    I agree that you need to go with your heart but also need to be realistic, if your goal is to make a living as an adjunct, you cannot expect to make a living just teaching subjects that have little space in a business curriculum (eg leadership, business ethics).

    There are plenty options now and there is evidence of people that make a living as an online teacher. I personally did it for few years but the amount of work that you need to do to maintain a decent living is incredible as many schools pay you as little as 500 a course. Most people teach from 5 to 10 courses per session just to make a living. I burned out after 2 years, my highest income was 70K by teaching at 4 different institutions. I believe is a decent option for retirement or to supplement income but not so easy for a full time career.
  7. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Harvard PhD v. Harvard DBA

    Is a Harvard PhD superior to a Harvard DBA? Or is a Harvard PhD preferred over a Harvard DBA?
    FAQs - Doctoral - Harvard Business School
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Harvard only grants DBAs and not PhDs in business. In this case, there is no need to compare because there is only one option.

    However, Walden offers both a DBA and a PhD. A DBA is 60 credits while the PhD is 82 credits. So for Walden standards, the PhD requires more work and therefore superior in terms of requirements.

    Many schools have both programs and sell the DBA for practitioners and the PhD for academics. So in short, the PhD was meant for academic careers and therefore preferred for this type of positions.
  9. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Realistic Approach to Online Teaching

    1. Maybe but any advantage of having a Ph.D. over other titled degrees is hard to tell. I haven't noticed this effect so much as I thought it might exist.

    2. No, I think I disagree about this as I think that working face to face with your dissertation chairman makes them more accountable. In an online program, it is really hard to ascertain when your chairman is acting out some narcissistic fantasy or has an untreated mental health condition.

    3. Perhaps, a more reputable school leads to better teaching opportunities, but since you are not competing for online teaching opportunities with a Harvard DBA, who knows? Publications are very important.

    4. I don't think the subject matter of your Ph.D. matters very much. A Ph.D. is a trained producer and evaluator of knowledge, so perhaps only the distinctions between theology, medicine, physical sciences, and social sciences really matter.

    5. Yes, do what you like, and study what you like. I agree.

    6. I'm not sure about the future opportunities as an online teacher with a Ph.D. There are reports of a major university that is going down the tubes because it is run by people who don't know anything about teaching or research. One of their final acts has been layoff faculty with doctorates, so they don't have to pay them more to teach classes or deal with the seniority of those instructors. There is still life in the online business model, but not if you don't understanding teaching or research.

    My opinions. Your opinions?

    Hi, by they way... it has been a long time.


    Dave, Ph.D.
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Well, 2 of the schools that I used to teach went out of business. I teach still for 2 for profits schools and are struggling to survive. One school just laid off few faculty managers and chairs.

    The problem is that in a bad economy, a degree is not worth much. With too many schools offering degrees, only the strong will survive and weak ones will die.

    There are some good news, for profits are dying but traditional schools are offering more online courses so there are always opportunities for online teaching. On the other hand, there are more people doing PhDs with the same objective as the OP. So bottom line is that you need to get the best you can get to be competitive enough in this business.

    I've been doing this for a while, to the OP, my advice would be to do a solid doctorate from a good B&M non for profit American, British or Australian school. It might be a bit expensive but people will respect your degree and will leave the options open for consulting and working at regular Universities.

    People with PhDs in Engineering. Finance, Accounting etc have always the option to be consultants. A PhD in Finance can easily charge $150 an hour for quantitative financial analysis, you might not even care about online adjunct when you find few companies that hire you on a part time basis to do this.

    The best strategy would be to do a PhD with the option to work on the side as a consultant. The reputation of the school would help you to land some consulting work.
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Welcome back Dave!
  12. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Yes, this is true, and this phenomenon is making the online schools work harder...
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, although I cannot predict, with so many online programs offered by places like Stanford, Harvard, etc at similar prices, I don't see why people will continue taking these courses.

    Some schools are just expanding their programs offering as the number of students decrease with the hope that more programs will compensate the lack of students.

    In any case, I must say that there are many ways to supplement a salary or to have a job after retirement. The ROI and risk of online teaching is a bit uncertain so perhaps other options should be considered such as buying a business, becoming a real estate agent, etc.
  14. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Again, I think you will not be married to your topic, as there will be many research and teaching topics, that will come and go... I see very few full professors who are yaking about the specific topic of their dissertation. More likely than not, your dissertation topic will run its course in publishing and then your discipline will move along, and your new research topics with it.
  15. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    This was all meant as married to it during the process. Once they call you "doctor" it is time for a divorce from the topic!
  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    In theory, a PhD should adapt to any new field, in practice the field of graduation matters. Most schools ask for a transcript for an online adjunct consideration, if your PhD is in general management and you want to apply to teach finance, a person with the "finance' major in the PhD with most likely get the job over you.

    The major does play an important factor in employability. otherwise why schools would grant majors for a PhD?

    Try getting a job as a professor in Accounting with a PhD in leadership.
  17. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Leaving the dissertation topic...?

    Yes, I think so. I have some articles forming about my dissertation topic and other research as well... I prefer "polygamy," when it comes to research...
  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    True. Nobody cares what a person's dissertation was in (for the most part), other than maybe knowing the title of it (but that's about it). Most people do not want to know the intricacies of a dissertation, possibly because it's boring to them. If a person has a glazed look over their eyes, then it's time to move on to the next conversational topic. lol
  19. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I completed mine in December of 2010 and never looked at it again! I want to burn it for stealing 6 years of my life that I will never get back!

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