Thinking about dropping out of my online PhD.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by SurfDoctor, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Which one is cheaper? By how much?
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    It is a competitive program? If so and only a small number of people are accepted maybe is nothing to do with on "online degree" or that may be just part of it. If a B&M Masters would not be the golden ticket, how would you suppose an online degree is the automatic disqualifier?
  3. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Here is my two cents. You sound like you are on track by weighing things. If I understand correctly you are dipping into retirement savings, need the money, will never earn back the investment and simply want an accredited doctorate. In that case the doctorate from Aspen University at $100 per credit hour sounds more reasonable. Yes, it is DETC accredited but in light of the above that may well not be important. It still has recognized accreditation and in the end you will still be Dr. M Oliver or M Oliver, EdD. The difference is that you will have thousands more dollars in your retirement account.

    On top of all that, since you are only two classes into the program at NCU those two classes may transfer to Aspen.

    I hope you let us know what you decide.
  4. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    That's helpful, thank you. I'm also starting my 4th business venture, I may just concentrate on that. Who knows?
  5. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef


    Yeah but if word gets out that it's only you and I are the only 2 alumni, we might be busted. I'm leveraging that the 12 people reading this thread are going to go right on past without noticing a thing!

    Oh, and Randell, you know how to make a girl blush! :eek: <golly geesh>
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You're right that CHEA is not a government agency, but the U.S. Department of Education primarily recognizes accreditors for financial aid purposes, which is important for institutional accreditors, not programmatic ones like ACBSP. You suggest that the U.S. Department of Education not recognizing ACBSP means they're not a meaningful accreditor. Well, the U.S. Department of Education doesn't recognize AACSB either, does that mean they're a meaningless accreditor also?

    The U.S. Department of Education is not the source of all academic legitimacy in the U.S. and doesn't claim to be. Simply put, your saying CHEA recognition doesn't mean anything says more about you than it does about CHEA.

    As for SMC, I understand that it's not all things to all people. It might not be a good solution in this case, which is why I suggested that Michael ask his district whether one of their ACBSP accredited degree programs would qualify for the pay raise. But if they say yes, then sure, I'd recommend them as an affordable option.

    I suppose everyone is entitled to his opinion, and if you think SMC is no different from an unaccredited school, that's up to you. But ACBSP disagrees with you, and call me crazy but I'm going with them.

  7. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    Steve his (MO) thread is just not the place for us to bicker about this school. One of us needs to start a thread about SMC. All I wanted to do was make sure he was clear it does not have USDE approved accreditation.
  8. Premiere

    Premiere member

    Why is SMC allowing you to enroll in their economics Ph.D. program when your degrees are in unrelated fields?

    I have a copy of Microeconomic Theory in my house (the standard Ph.D. micro text lead authored by Mas-Colell; also referred to as Mas-Colell) and I doubt that anyone without an extensive background in rigorous math and econ could understand a single graph or paragraph.
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    What is she doing her PhD in and where?
  10. JeepNerd

    JeepNerd New Member

    Ok, my 2 cents and some change:

    First of all, you mentioned paying for this out of your retirement money and if that is the ONLY way you can pay for this degree it is NOT WORTH IT!!!

    Try this in Excel: $45,000, earning on avg 12% per year in retirement (Large Cap Stocks have earned 12.x% since the Great Depression on avg)

    How much would that $45,000 be worth in
    10 years = $ 124,788
    20 years = $ 387,574
    30 years = $1,203,746
    40 years = $3,738,655

    So taking $45,000 out of RETIREMENT account is a bad could even argue that we should all put this cash INTO retirement instead of Doctorate. But the difference being an increase in income... (which in theory you would replace into retirement account right..not just spend it.....right???)

    So that is my biggest word of wisdom, never ever ever never ever ever take money out of retirement which is building up tax free.

    To me, quitting because you "may not" ever get a 2nd job teaching is also a cop out. There is ONLY 1 way to find out, go get a 2nd job teaching NOW with your Masters? I teach with a Masters....

    I agree if there is no future return on your dollar then it is not worth it. (Then if it truly becomes a vanity thing I would pick the CHEAPEST doctorate out there that the school will recognize...if they will recognize a diploma mill that you pay $1000 then go for it)

    But if you are going to put TIME and energy into this, $20k for a DETC vs $45k for a RA, there is no doubt in my mind that is worth the difference.

    There is practically ZERO chance of EVER teaching with DETC in the future, there is a reasonable chance of teaching ONLINE with an ONLINE RA Doctorate.

    If / when a "online" but B&M with a long history ever becomes available then that is worth even more. Especially if we can find the "golden" AACSB online business doctorate for under $40k.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Most people in the program have Master's degrees in economics. And as I told them when I applied, my research interest is in the relationship between higher education and the economic development of low and middle income countries. But it's specifically a program in Austrian economics, so it's more conducive to an interdisciplinary approach.

  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This is a good analysis. In support of the decision, also bear in mind that some online schools pay peanuts for online adjuncts. I have to drop one school as an adjunct as I was making less money that my own teaching assistant. I calculated and I was making $8 dlls an hour and the job was boring as most of the course was automated so they really needed a marker with a Phd but still making marker wages.

    If you want supplementary income, get a CPA. It is cheaper to get and has a much better ROI. A typical CPA charges $100 an hour, you can work only few hours a week and make good supplementary income.

    The reality is that an online PhD is mainly good to teach online. However, the salaries at some of these online schools are ridiculous with UoP being the lowest. It is much better to get a job as a secondary teacher part time at your local school than teaching online.
  13. Premiere

    Premiere member

    It still seems sketchy to me.

    I've looked up the program website and they practically admit that its heterodox and non-quantitative.

    They don't teach you any courses that are traditionally taken by econ grad students (microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, econometrics, etc.), they require a master's degree (which is silly; none of the top schools for economics require master's degrees, in fact, most students come straight out of the top undergrad schools), they require work experience (which isn't particularly important to one training to be an economist and would signal lack of commitment), and it's designed to be completed in three years (only the most talented are able to do this at more reputable schools; it usually takes five). You'd have to be extremely special to complete a Ph.D. in three years -- someone like Raj Chetty.

    It confuses me that you would bother doing a Ph.D. that's probably less rigorous than a B.A./B.S. in the same subject at a solid college but that's your prerogative.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's because it is heterodox and non-quantitative. As I said, they focus specifically on the Austrian school. Evidently that wouldn't interest you, fair enough, but that doesn't make it "sketchy". That said, given that studying the Austrians isn't mainstream these days, I would agree that SMC should explain the nature of the program more prominently, particularly that the focus is on the Austrian school.

    Anyway, remember that I didn't suggest my program to Michael; I suggested he ask his district about SMC's DBA, which is a totally different program.

  15. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    I have started a SMC thread, lets post over there.
  16. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    Do you have data on this? Have you personally examined the curriculum? Have you read journal articles specifically addressing what you are saying? Browsing the website does not give you the proper information to enable you to make such blanket statements.

    Also, when you post, you should use the "quote" button to make sure everyone knows who you are talking to.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2010
  17. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Walden and Psychology and she is ABD and looking to defend Fall 2011
  18. jackrussell

    jackrussell Member

    I would second Aspen. Especially when you pay via lump sum payment. I took their offer for a lump sum payment for 4 courses. In fact I just finished the 4th course this week :) (took me about 10 months). I then requested if I can pay for another lump sum. They offered me with a discount for the rest of the courses. I calculated at the end of my Ed.D my costs including text books will not exceed $10k. Hoping to post a victory post once I get the results for my fourth course!

  19. Premiere

    Premiere member

    But your degree won't enable you to work as an economist in an academic or academic-type setting (World Bank, the Fed, etc.). Heck, even if it was a mainstream program with mainstream levels of quantitative rigor you'd run into problems. What you're studying is criticized by leading economists smarter than any of us. Are you really willing to study for an econ Ph.D. that wouldn't be recognized as real by most economists? If I asked an economist about the Austrian school they'd probably describe it as libertarian philosophy.

    This is the kind of DL program that makes me worry about DL as a whole.

    I understand that this is a critical comment and I'll probably be banned for posting this, but wow, this makes no sense to me.
  20. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    No, you are allowed your point of view if you can express it in a kind and mature way. Do you understand that you can argue a point without demeaning someone? Think of how you would like to be addressed and give others the same courtesy. If you do that, you will be fine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2010

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