Online schools- are they worth the money?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by lyssadubay, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. lyssadubay

    lyssadubay New Member

    I would really love to get my PhD. I am young and have two children. Would like to work in the federal government.
    I have read good things about Capella and Walden....
    I have been debating with Capella, Walden or the University of the Rockies-
    My question- Will a PhD from any of these university get any respect?
    When a job wants someone with a phd... would this degree count?
    Will people look down at me for getting my PhD from an online school?

    My bach and mast are from state unive so i am capable of traditional coursework. I just want to go to an online school.-- personally I don't see any difference--
    Share you opinion on this topic...
    Also-- which school would you pick.

    I am interested in Crim Justice

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    Yes, it does; but also depends on the workforce environment such as academia. Although a Ph.D from any of these schools would satisfy requirement to become a research professor; however, competition with top schools are harder.

    If the job requires a degree, then as long as it is accredited. So, is counted.

    They might have a little puzzle from your school location and your job location in resume. For example, Capella University is in St. Paul/MN; and as the same time you live and work somewhere in Flordia. Just use the don't ask don't tell theory.

    If you fear that people would judge on your degree because it is distance learning. Then find a school with B&M campus. You can't go wrong with that.

    Good Luck!
  3. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    I notice on your post that you would like to work for the federal govt. I'm a federal employee and based on my personal experience a ph.d won't necessarily make it any easy in getting in. Getting into the federal system is extremely competitive considering so many people have vets preferrence and other special hiring factors. As for obtaining a ph.d online I think that would be a great idea. A lot of federal employees have obtained degrees through external or distance learning programs. In my area schools like CMU, Liberty and Wayland Baptist seem to be very popular for govt folks. Just find a program you like and ensure that its consistent with your short/long term goals.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm a federal employee and I can assure you that your education level has a tremendous impact in your selection, especially for higher grades. I entered as a GS-15, and having a Ph.D. was most assuredly vital in that selection.

    It varies from situation to situation, of course.
  5. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Amen to that Rich. These days with the economy it's real competitive. It's not uncommon to have GS-7 and GS-9's running around with multiple masters degrees even ph.d's! But I would rather have a ph.d then not have one.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    There is bias against these schools for some positions at traditional schools but you also have schools that see the PhD from an online school as a plus if the job requires distance learning experience.

    Some people do well with PhDs from Capella and Walden, these programs are designed with the working professional in mind so they have high completion rates compared with traditional programs.

    If you are intimidated by the low reputation of the online schools, you have prestigious schools that offer PhD or DBAs overseas in distance flexible format. My favorites are Henley School of Business, Grenoble and University of Manchester.
  7. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Yup, you are looking at one of them. I start Monday as a GS-7 as an 1102. I could have started as a GS-9 in another agency, but the job and location were more appealing to me. I'll be a 9 after a year anyway.

    Eventually I hope the PhD will help me reach a higher level, but for now, I need to learn the ropes of the federal system.

    I know someone who recently started as an Revenue Officer (i.e. Bill Collector) for the IRS. He said there were several PhDs in his training class.

    Rich, you started as a GS-15? What series are you in? Did you have fed experience before that?
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Step 10 at that. Go figure.

    I'm a 0340, Program Manager. If I was in a lower grade, I'd probably be a 17XX type. But as you move from supervisor to manager, you often move into the more generic 0340.

    I didn't have Fed civilian experience, but I qualified for the position.
  9. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Nice. I'm going to have to do some reapplying!
  10. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Same here. I have two graduate degrees when I started my federal career and I only started off at a GS-7, well now I'm a GS-9. I'm highly considering pursuing an online doctorate, NCU looks pretty good.
  11. heimer

    heimer New Member

    WOOOOW, very nice. But where do you go from here? SES in your future?
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't think so. The problem with the SES is that you have to leave what you're really good at in order to function at that level. Being at the top of the GS scale has incredible advantages in terms of getting work done. I'd rather keep moving "up" in terms of positions performed and stay at this pay grade.

    Coincidentally, until recently, the team I managed operated an SES Candidate Development Program. I'm very familiar with the requirements for certification under Criteria A and B. I think it would be possible after I complete the job I'm about to be offered, but I don't want to move back to Washington, DC, where most of the SES positions are located.
  13. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Rich, I know you probably been a fed much longer than me but I have a quick question if you don't mind. Since you're a manager what particular areas of study would be most beneficial for someone pursuing an online doctorate degree? Although my job is considered investigative/compliance it involves a lot more. I'm looking at NCU in the OL focus but not sure if this would fit the needs of the govt, if you know what I mean.
  14. workingmom

    workingmom New Member

    You guys need to start a federal employee thread. I've recently applied to some jobs and would love to find out more information on how this all works. :)
  15. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    It seems to be a very tough nut to crack, even with degrees and vets preference (speaking of my own experiences). You have to hit it at the right time, be a good fit, and keep your fingers crossed.

    Try the forums here.

    Lots of good discussions by people in the system and those on the outside looking in.
  16. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    If you plan to stay in public service, the Ph.D. (assuming you complete it and the degree is conferred) will have almost no utility for you. Have you considered writing a book or earning a second masters degree?

    Or you could do something simpler than a Ph.D., such as earning a law degree (J.D.). These degrees are more like a masters degree (cf. Master of Divinity) and are far easier to earn than a Ph.D. and sometimes qualify you for the same pay. Sometimes JD holders pretend that they have earned doctorates, that they are qualified to teach criminal justice courses, and even ask to be called "doctor". The J.D. is a pretty good, high yield scam for getting into higher education.

    My advice is to spend your money on educating your kids. Spend your time with your kids! Don't waste five, six, seven or eight years of your life working on a degree that is almost useless to you, working in government.

    Now, that said, if you plan to change careers into teaching and research in higher education, the Ph.D. could be very useful for trying to land a full time teaching position and getting enough published to achieve the rank of associate professor.
  17. workingmom

    workingmom New Member

    Thank you!
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't know how long you've been a Fed. I've been one for 18 months.

    I think a doctorate relevant to one's government speciality might be helpful in some situations. But I've also seen people do well with a less-relevant doctorate, especially if it's been followed by substantial work experience and other training/education.

    It's a good idea to pursue a course of study that will define your future work, irrespective of prospective employer. You only get one chance to be you, so try to maximize it.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It is tough, even for veterans. But the VEOA opened things up a bit, allowing veterans to apply for positions restricted to people who already have status as government employees. (The idea was to combat the incestual nature of restricting so much hiring to people already in the system. I qualified under VEOA.)

    Things really depend upon the hiring manager. He/she chooses whether or not to open up the job to outside applicants, and how much he/she is willing to consider them. It's not as structured as some people think.
  20. Ron Dotson

    Ron Dotson New Member

    Specialized experience...

    From what I have seen while trying to "escape" from the Department of Agriculture, a combination of specialized experience and education can go pretty far. I have accumulated a good deal of specialized experience in the past 25 years that has kinda kept me "stuck" in the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). I managed to reach GS-9 before completing my Bachelors and was upgraded to GS-10 a couple of years ago. I am unwilling to relocate at this time (grandchildren) but I have found in the agency I work for that willingness to relocate will speed ones advancement a great deal. A willingness to accept a position nationwide seems to work well for new hires too, at least in FSIS. Sorry, rambling a bit! I think it might be best to search for a position by qualifications rather than by agency in order to maximize your "hire ability".

    Has anyone had an opportunity to check out the new USAJobs website? It is supposed to be much easier to navigate.

Share This Page