The DSC that's not a D.Sc.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Wonder what the impetus was for adding 'strategic' into the name of the degree program. Course listing doesn't show anything that stands out of different from more typical communication doctorates. A marketing goal to have their program stand out?
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    It does have a nice ring to it.
  4. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I think Liberty and Regent are competing with each other. I know Regent already offered a Ph.D. in Communication so I don't understand how this professional doctorate will be different. Liberty offers a Ph.D. in Communication and a Ph.D. in Stategic Media.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I suppose it could be said that all communication is “strategic” and so the name seems a bit redundant to me. I would think they’re just trying to appear distinctive in some way, not trying to be deliberately misleading. I’m a little surprised anytime a new doctoral program appears that is not a PhD
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, the term "strategic" has been warped into new meaning. It's used as a way to say something is better, enhanced. So "strategic communications" (whatever that is) must be better than "communications." Okay, but no.

    I've even seen it used as "strategic management," which is a blatant oxymoron.

    Nor is "strategic" just bigger in scope.

    "Strategic" has to do with the future. It also has to do with complexity, not just simple or complicated. Finally, it has to do with the unknown.

    You don't need a strategy for going to the grocery store and shopping. You know the way, you know what they have, and you know where they keep it. If you have any doubts about any of those matters, you can resolve it quickly by asking. All of it is either known or quickly "know-able." Tactics--even tactical planning--are required. But not strategy.

    Strategy is for what Heifetz and Linsky call adaptive challenges--things that arise (or will) that we don't know how to solve, don't know what will result, don't know where they will take us, etc. It's much more about inner resiliency than specific plans. As one wag put it, "Strategic plans suck, but strategic planning is essential."

    Strategy is about taking on complexity--challenges that we don't see coming, and will require new thinking to resolve. It is common for us to reduce complex challenges to simple (or complicated) issues and solutions. But it is a mistake. Politicians do this all the time with sloganeering--giving people some simple idea they can relate to. Gun control is a classic example of a complex problem that is routinely reduced to simple ideas (on both sides of that issue).

    Strategy also involves what Michael Patton calls developmental evaluation--where we're on a strategic path towards some desired outcome. But, because the outcome is complex, we really don't know the exact way to get there. So we have to check along the way to see not just if we're on track--because there is no track--but to see how we're doing and if where we are is a good place. With strategy, you'll end up where you're supposed to, but not necessarily at your original destination.

    Contrast this with your car's GPS. If you stray from the route it has laid out for you, what does it do? It re-routes you. And it will keep doing this, incessantly, until you stop. At no point will it ask, "Are you going someplace new?" It won't learn from your changes in route--it expects you to comply. That's the antithesis of strategy. And I say it is the them of most organizational life and work.

    So, strategy is not bigger. It's not bolder. It's not just an adjective. It's a way we can begin to resolve complex issues. It's a different way of perceiving the world.
    Maniac Craniac and SteveFoerster like this.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    That makes sense.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I doubt there will be a lot of confusion because I doubt many people know what a DSc is.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Great point, Steve. I think that degree is almost obsolete.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  11. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I noticed that Dakota State changed his D.Sc. it's to Ph.D. a few months back. I think the D.Sc. or Sc.D., as it is sometimes called, is mostly honorary in the U.S.
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    All right, I'll say it.

    It really doesn't matter. The reason is that this doctorate is what I refer to as a "Doctor of Unemployment."

    Super low completion rates (because doctorates are kind of hard, yo) and if you look at who tends to be signing up for these things it's often split between mid-level professionals who don't really NEED a doctorate for anything or the overeducated/underemployed who need to stay in school to keep their loans in deferment.

    The mid-level professionals drop out because, well, they don't need this degree. It's a lot of work for very little reward. They tend to do it because they want to be "Doctors" of something. But if you've got nothing else going on you'll sign up and probably see it through. Then we see you at a protest where you're begging for forgiveness for your crippling student loan debt or better working conditions for your very part-time adjunct work that you rely on as your sole source of income.

    I keep seeing these programs popping up. And yet, the number of qualified applicants who have completed them is almost nill. It's as if the programs don't exist at all in hiring pools.

    While I think we look at these and assume they are most attractive to the Rich Douglases of the world, we should probably acknowledge that our very own Doctor squared is more an exception than a rule. The target demographic of these programs is not the seasoned professional who feels that this doctorate will enhance their expertise as a practitioner of their chosen field. Their target demographic is the vain who want a title and are adept at convincing themselves that this next degree is the one. Just one more degree and it will all get better. There's no way they'll be able to not hire me with a doctorate, right?

    Of all of the problems arising from this whether the post-nominals will get a bit confusing is the least of the worries.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go sign up for my Professional Strategic Yodeling Doctorate.
  13. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Sorta like a vanity license plate for your resume? Keep us updated on the Strategic Yodeling thingy.

  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You can leave me out of it. I'll speak for myself, if needed.

    It's funny; you never ever hear these criticisms from some who has actually done a doctorate. If it is such a vain and empty pursuit, where are the posts about regrets?

    I appreciate and respect the perspectives Neuhaus brings to this board, about both HR specifically and distance education in general.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I think doctoral degrees are great and I hope I earn one someday but, to be honest, I can't immediately imagine having the time to do it because I know how much effort it takes. In any case, here's something about PhD regret (or lack of it)
  16. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. I meant a distinction about the kinds of people on this board--people in careers who'd gone on to do a doctorate. I should have been more specific.

    I have no doubt there are many people who pursued a career in academia who regret it--which is the focus of that thread on that forum. The fact that such a pursuit often has a sucky outcome is well known to us all, but hardly germane to this board's purpose.
  19. copper

    copper Active Member

    Taxi driver was taking a passenger to the airport terminal and inquired why the passenger was so happy. The passenger replied, "I finally graduated with my PhD today". The driver stated, "Congratulations! I remember the day I earned my PhD."
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Don't forget to add that the taxi driver earned his Ph.D. from Florida Metropolitan University.

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