(Posted elsewhere, repeated here) Earned doctoral degrees are made up of several types. The one most are familiar with is the scholarly doctorate, which is typically the PhD. The PhD is designed for entry into academia. However, many mid-career adults go back to school to earn them. Another type is the first professional doctorate, which has no dissertation and is designed for entry into particular professions. The MD, DDS, OD, and JD are examples. Then there are the professional doctorates. These are somewhat scholarly in nature, but their emphasis--especially in the dissertation--is on practice, not advancing scholarly theory. These degree titles include the DBA, EdD, DM, and others. Many times, mid-career professionals earn these degrees. (But not exclusively.) Confusing things is the fact that some professional doctoral programs are every bit as scholarly as the PhD. They're really just PhDs with alternate titles. For example, some schools only award the PhD in arts and science disciplines, and professional titles for applied disciplines (like education and business), even if they require a scholarly dissertation. (An original and significant contribution to the theory of the academic discipline.) The two national accrediting agencies who accredit degree-granting schools and are talked about most on these boards are DEAC and ACICS. Both of these accrediting agencies have their roots in tertiary trade schools. They subsequently began accrediting trade-related associate degrees, eventually moving on up to academic degrees--bachelor's, then master's, and finally professional doctorates. Because these degrees come from schools that are not regionally accredited, there is some diminished applicability at RA schools. (The degree to which this is true is hotly debated.) Students and graduates sometimes find it difficult to have their credits and degrees accepted at RA schools, either for transfer or for entry into a higher degree program. Again, the extent of this schism is hotly debated, but the available facts point this out. The same situation exists in the employment sector, where such degrees are not always acceptable to hiring managers and HR departments. Again, the extent of this isn't certain, but both anecdotal evidence and what empirical evidence exists points to a real difference. However, there are anecdotes to the contrary. It's just not know how significant these are in the larger scheme. Still, a strong case can me made for the mid-career professional to consider taking a professional doctorate from an NA school. These are: -- The professional doctorate is more suited for mid-career practitioners looking to advance both their careers and their practices. -- Employers are less likely to reject such a degree, while academic institutions almost universally do so (for professorships). -- Professionals in private practice don't even have employers to answer to, making it even less likely the source of their doctorate will be problematic -- NA schools are geared towards educating mid-career practitioners. (True for some RA schools and false for many, many others.) -- NA schools are almost universally less expensive. Now, the same case could also be made for degrees from unaccredited schools, but it is a much weaker one for several reasons: -- Recognized accreditation ensures a baseline of quality and acceptability; these are hugely hit-and-miss for degrees from unaccredited schools -- These degrees, even from legitimate and rigorous schools--are like time bombs, waiting to go off. There is a much greater potential for them to cause embarrassment. -- While there are a few long-standing unaccredited schools, a persistent lack of accreditation can doom many schools--and make the degrees they've issued less valuable if the school fails -- The general public (and employers) make much clear distinctions between "accredited" and "unaccredited" compared to "RA vs. NA." It's huge. -- There is almost never a legitimate reason to pursue a degree from an unaccredited school these days. Some long-standing, very "niche" schools in California and that's about it. Otherwise, the market has now evolved to serve almost everyone else. Because the benefits could outweigh the limitations for some people, I think a mid-career practitioner looking to advance his/her career and/or practice by earning a professional doctorate should seriously consider taking one at an NA school.