Doctorate Programs - how old is too old?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dachorn, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. dachorn

    dachorn Member

    I would really like to complete an online doctorate program in humanities rooted in Great Books of the Western World. Faulkner University has what I'm looking for (and I have a masters degree that would dovetail into that nicely). My hesitation is age. I certainly wouldn't expect an ROI at my age (mid-50's). I love structured learning and the coursework has me salivating. So, I believe the work I would put into the program would be strictly for self-gratification. Sure, I may make a few bucks along the way but my main goal would be to learn the material and get the degree. Teaching would be great but the atmosphere at most universities seems to be toxic. Can one get a doctorate simply for self-satisfaction or will that premise be rejected by the acceptance board?

    Help me work through the pros and cons. Cons? Money spent with little expectation of seeing it again. Pros? Not sure. Writing, I suppose would be one avenue. Maybe I'm not seeing the forest for the trees. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    If you're not dead yet, and your brain still works, you're not too old. Good luck!
  3. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    You are not too old. First mid fifties is not old. We had a guy here who completed his doctorate at around 70? (Bill Grover). You DO need to consider cost unless you are well off. In your mid 50s (or even 40s) you are not likely headed to tenure track at a State University. Not impossible but not likely. It may benefit you in your career (non academic or adjunct or advancement if you are already in academia somewhere). Maybe it is simply for achievement and personal development. So, you probably don't want to quit a job and go 90,000 in debt. On the other hand, if you find an affordable program that you are enthused about, go for it. No point in spending the rest of your life wishing you had. You will have the knowledge and be "Dr." for the next 25 years of your life (finish at 59 and life to 85).
    RoscoeB and dachorn like this.
  4. dachorn

    dachorn Member

    Excellent advice, all. My primary goal is not to teach at the university level but at the local or regional church level. Cost could be a factor but I have a job and could swing it if I'm careful. Thanks for the input. It is encouraging.
  5. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Active Member

    If you want a specific age then I'd say 120 might be too old? But don't listen to my uninformed and worthless advice. Wait 70 more years and then do it. :)
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    How old will you be if you do NOT do it?

    Instead of worrying about ROI, think instead about ROE (return on expectations). What do you want to get from the experience and the degree? What is the likelihood you will achieve it? What would you be doing if you do not go for it? (Hence, my question above.)
    dachorn likes this.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Mid-fifty is not too old. They say, " 50's in the new 30's"; therefore, I just celebrated my 17th birthday. So, you are in the mid 30's....go fo it. Even Nola Ochs was not too old for college.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    60 may be the new 40, but 10pm is the new midnight. ;)

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