PhD in Middle Age?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by shar, Dec 18, 2004.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I started my LL.M. at 49; I'll be 52 (probably... maybe... hopefully... if all goes well...) when I receive the degree. I have every intention of pursuing a dissertation doctorate after that.

    Whyever not? At my age, I am thinking in terms of a non tenure track teaching appointment at a law school once I retire; this is really fairly common. It helps that I've spent more than a decade actually working in my field (criminal law) so I know that my interest is unlikely to flag.

    I've gotten my teeth into some issues that matter to me. A possible career in retirement isn't really all that important.
  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Following her Dominguez Hills MA at 40, my wife started her Ph.D. at 45, finished at 51 (Vanderbilt).

    Then, as I've reported, she learned that for the job she really wanted, teaching ethics and bioethics at Vista College, Berkeley, the Ph.D. was useless. Because philosophy is taught in the humanities department, one must have an MA in humanities -- and so her Dominguez Hills MA got her the job she loves; her Vanderbilt Ph.D. was irrelevant.

    Go figure.
  3. jackjustice

    jackjustice New Member

    I was 64 when I completed my MA Theology from Australian Catholic University. It was time well spent since it covered topics of great interest to me. I will put it to good use; for example, I am teaching two classes on the ten commandments in February to potential converts to my catholic faith.

    I completed the MBA/PhD program from California Coast University when I was fourty-seven and both degrees proved extremely useful to me both personally and professionally. The degrees enabled me to teach for seven years in an adjunct position. I loved every minute of it until I felt it was time to move on.

    I went back to school and completed a PharmD program when I was fifty and, without question, it was the smartest thing I ever did. It opened up opportunities, both challenging and financially rewarding, that I never dreamed of. In addition, all these degrees enabled me to start my own small company developing continuing education programs for health care professionals. It has been pleasantly profitable over the years.

    I hope to complete one more degree program, perhaps a PhD in biblical poetry before I am seventy, or dead, providing I find a cooperative university - and I think I will. Why do such things? That is hard to answer except that I feel very much alive when I am wondering about something I don't quite understand. So, my advice it go for it!
  4. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    Jack's comments

    This is my biggest reason. Do some teaching and mostly personal enrichment. I can easily afford the tuition, so it's actually like a hobby with future benifits.
  5. shar

    shar New Member

    Thank you for all your comments. I must say I concur with Messagewriter and Jack Justice for my reasons. While a PhD would not benefit me in my current position nor is it something I would pursue for tenure, teaching and continued learning are what I want for my post retirement “career”. As far as motivation, I feel I have the motivation to succeed, but now must determine the best program for my future.

    I think part of my “indecision” of late is the loss I am feeling at having no coursework or research currently on my plate. After 7 years of non-stop coursework, this is the first time I have had any break between degrees and I am feeling quite overwhelmed at the lack of academic focus in my life right now. I assume this is common for others as well, but it really surprised me. I have been looking forward to a little time off for the past year, and now that its here I am not enjoying it nearly as much as I thought I would.

    To you and yours, Happy Holidays.
  6. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    shar's comments


    I know what you mean about coming down from being keyed up in academic efforts. I was doing a phd at a B & M in economics. I spend my days in high level quantitative thought and discourse. When I got back to Tampa, my friends had to slap me a few times to get me back to reality. Mostly, Jack Daniels and a whole lot more sunshine and personal pursuites did the trick for me and may work for you too:)

    I just got accepted to Northcentral University and am waiting to hear from Nova. I'm leaning towards NCU because they are realistic about transfering in courses from my MS, plus it's 100% online. Try the "search" function on this board to identify word specific threads. Just about everything seems to have been kicked around. I've found this board extremely helpful.

    Good luck.
  7. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Wow. How long did the PharmD program take and where did you do it?
  8. Bill Hurd

    Bill Hurd New Member

    PhD in middle age

    One advantage gained by posting late in a thread is that one sees several valid comments, thus can address several at once.

    Personal satisfaction (as expressed by Shar & Bill Grover) is the driving force in my pursuit of a Northcentral PhD.

    Entry or exit age should not be a major determining factor. I completed my MBA at 68, became an adjunct at 70, am in my 6th course at NCU at 72, and may complete the PhD in 3 more years. As pundits are wont to say, "How old will you be in 3 years if you don't complete the PhD?"

    I was hired as an adjunct because I had an MBA and many years experience in the business world. I teach economics in an adult education program at a small Christian university in NE Oklahoma, and I love every minute of it.

    As uncle janko said, "...go for it."

    That's my 11 cents worth (it used to be 2 cents worth but inflation has taken its toll).

    Bill Hurd
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I am going for a PhD from NCU and do not "need" it for my job. I am doing it for personel satisfaction and to land an online adjunct position. Even if I did not get an adjunct position, I would still continue because it feels right.

    I am 37 and will finish in about 4 years. I am taking it one class at a time and will see how it goes. My advice...go for it.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I was 43. Middle age? If the term is defined as that period in your life when you reach its median, I hope not. But, according to actuarial tables, likely. Sigh....:)
  11. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Carpathian proverb for the Mediaeval Dr Douglas

    Cheer up, Rich.
    The great thing about getting old is sending flowers to your enemies' funerals.
    Works for me, anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2004
  12. stock

    stock New Member

    It is never to late to study. I am 36. hv one Master degree in CS and planning to do MS in IT and then MBA and then DBA or DM .. need to staisfy my inner self.. keep on going..
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I fully intend to have the letters, "LL.M. (London)" cast into the bronze plate that marks my ashes.
  14. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    It's all good!!

    I'm 43, just about to start at either Nova (DBA) or Northcentral (PhD) and have some of my friends who humorously think I'm having some kind of psychotic midlife episode. Piss on'em, I like learning and accomplishing personal challenges.

    Stock, why not do the MBA and then the doctoral degree, then see if you want to go back for another master's level degree? I'd be afraid you might loose steam after the second master degree whereas the doctoral degree after the first master degree moves you to the top of the food chain.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Carpathian proverb for the Mediaeval Dr Douglas

    Heh, heh, heh. But sending them to Mississippi and New Zealand could get expensive! ;)
  16. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

  17. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    Re: Re: Carpathian proverb for the Mediaeval Dr Douglas

    Actually it is not that difficult:

    Go to:

    And order the barbecue package (goes well with roast duck). Enter your US credit card number and for NZ$35 have it delivered tommorrow.

    (BTW: I am 55 and half way through my PhD in industrial engineering through Colorado State, so all you youngsters have nothing to complain about!)
  18. shar

    shar New Member

    Re: shar's comments

    I think I'll stick with Rum. Jack makes me a little less sociable! But seriously, thanks for all your input. Somedays I read this board and I think why bohter, and other days its YES, someone understands!!! That would be today!!!
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Re: PhD in Middle Age

    If this is your ultimate goal, I would go for a tested product. Do a google search and you will find a considerable amount of full time faculty members with degrees from Argosy, Nova and Walden. While NCU or TUI seem to be a good choice, they are not a tested product with very few graduates in full time faculty positions. The fact that these schools are 100% online also makes them less credible in academia. A tested product is perhaps the safest way to go. Perhaps the future will give more credibility to schools like NCU or TUI, but there is also the risk that this won't happen at least in the near future and you will end with a degree with a very limited usability.
  20. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    RFValve's comments

    I agree 100% as I consider whether to do Nova or Northcentral's program. I'm in Tampa making Nova's DBA an even more practical choice. As to residency, I'd have to do a full weekend per month to keep up with one course. Because I'm into Finance rather than management, I'd have to fly down to Ft. Lauderdale for three week long courses, plus some other residency things, plus go to an academic conference, etc. All with loss of income, Nova's $30k more than NCU.

    These degrees are like investments. Each degree must be tailored to a particular applicants needs. I suspect that NCU's biggest drawback is that their faculty is not well placed in academia, which can detract from the utility of the dissertation's to carry any weight. For me, if I'm interested in academia and doing NCU, I'd get some PhD's lined up and produce some quality peer reviewed research publication. The quality of a dissertation and it's utility in providing a platform for publication in the first few years is what I suspect gets one hired as an academic. For me, if I go the academic route while doing NCU, I'll pay a grad student at our local university to support me by covering his/her dissertation for a year; say $15,000. I'll get a bang up dissertation product and still be cheaper than many for residentially oriented programs. This is just me. I've got a business and life to run.

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