What's better: PhD from a .com school or a DBA from a B&M?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by SurfDoctor, Aug 14, 2010.

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  1. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I fully agree. In the same way, I wouldn't recommend that (for example) MIT use the same approaches as (for example) DeVry.

    I like your restaurant analogy. But your example was a "gourmet" company acting like a "fast food" company. Now you are suggesting the reverse: that a "fast food" company could act like a "gourmet" company.

    Here's my point: McDonald's obviously can't compete with Ruth's Chris, unless it completely changes its approach to the business. McDonald's would have to vastly upgrade its food, its staff, and its restaurants -- just about everything. You agree, right ?

    Now, does McDonald's really have any motivation to do this ? McDonald's makes a great deal of money, and has been doing so for decades. So is McDonald's using its profits to move their restaurants upscale, so that they can compete with Ruth's Chris ? If not, why not ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2011
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Correct, I guess I do not understand the point you are making beside MIT is different from UoP.
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    It goes back to post #207, where we were discussing whether or not MIT was operating at a loss.

    If MIT made money on every student, then it would make sense to accept as many as possible. And this is exactly what some schools (like UoP for example) do. Educating students is profitable for UoP. If they enroll more students, they make more money.

    But MIT clearly doesn't do this: they accept 1,500 students, when they could be accepting 15,000. Why don't they accept more? Because educating students is unprofitable for MIT. If they enroll more students, they lose more money.
  4. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    On matters of for-profit operations, my experience has been with Sullivan, not Phoenix, so I cannot speak to Phoenix. I did have a chance to see some operations of a publicly-traded corporation that owns colleges and I did not like what I saw, so I can understand why some in private sector leave themselves open for criticism. I cannot defend the "bad actors" of the private sector, but not all of us are bad actors (there are also plenty at non-profits, too). My institution does not do the same things as Phoenix. It is not publicly-traded--it is family-owned. It has been around for 50 years and has all of 6,000 students. Our Chancellor likes to brag that we are the slowest growing of the for-profits--by design.

    What upsets me is when people lump all private-sector colleges and universities into one "money grubbing for-profit" lump. I expect that kind of ignorance on Inside Higher Ed or the Chronicle of Higher Education. I am more disappointed when I see it on Degreeinfo, since there are more opportunities for interaction with those who have some experience in this area.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Good points by you. Some of us know the difference but others are at different points on the learning curve. Have patience.
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    MIT and other major research universities receive millions each year in grants and government contracts, not to mention the holy fortune that the ones with Division I athletics make from their sports programs, so tuition revenue is hardly the dealbreaker for them.
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member


    A lot of our discussions are mainly academic. In practice, I really don't think it makes a difference if someone has a degree from Sullivan or University of Idaho. It is not like you are going to list it as PhD Sullivan U. (for profit money making school).

    There are pros and cons to everything. If I were to do an undergraduate degree in business or computers, I really don't think it makes a difference if the degree is from Sullivan or a non for profit such as Excelsior. A PhD is a bit different but as you said; if you just need it for a pay bump, a credential for consulting or to become an adjunct, a PhD from Sullivan would do just fine.

    I had conversation many times with adjuncts from Devry at national conferences and many regret not getting doctorates from AACSB accredited schools. I really don't think it makes much of a difference if the degree is from Sullivan, NCU, Walden or a non AACSB accredited school for practical purposes so I wouldn't really worry much about the for profit aspect but AACSB accreditation.

    If Sullivan gets AACSB accreditation, the issue of being for profit would be irrelevant. Sullivan might not be accredited at this point but if they continue doing the right thing, they might achieve it one day.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2011
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    By the way, I looked at the PhD in Management in IT management and it doesn't look that different from any other credible doctorate. It is too bad that it did not exist 10 years ago as I probably would have joined this program. The school looks credible enough because it has a large variety of programs and it looks like it has been in business for long time. It is not a pure virtual school and it has a campus for face to face classes. I don't think many would care about the for profit aspect.
  9. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The words "for-profit" seem to blind some people here, regardless of the school's B&M presence. The University of Phoenix has branch campuses all over the country, including a campus one town away from me, and besides having RA and ACBSP (and other specialized) accreditation, they also had to undergo approval from the MA Board of Higher Education, which is probably one of the most rigorous approval processes in the country.

    In spite of the regional accreditation, the specialized accreditation (business, nursing, etc.), and the large B&M presence all over the country, there are still some here who want to dismiss them as a glorified degree mill, simply because of the words "for-profit". UoP wouldn't be my first recommendation for most programs, but neither would I automatically exclude them. From my experience in teaching there, I can say the academic rigor is definitely there, but they're quite pricey for what they are.
  10. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    So if I understand this right - profit vs non-profit and B&M vs online does not really matter. It is all about AACSB vs non AACSB, right? If so, I would assume an EdD would not matter at all since it removes the AACSB portion. Is that correct or should schools offering EdD have an AASCB accredited business program?
  11. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    RFValve's observation regarding secondary accreditation through AACSB is very important for those seeking full-time faculty positions at colleges of business. As has been discussed in many Degreeinfo forums, it absolutely makes a difference in the discipline of business. Those applicants to our program who have stated that their primary goal after graduation was achieving that first tenure-track assistant professor position at a brick & mortar university's college of business, have been steered by our Associate Dean to AACSB programs (think about it, a "for-profit" actually turning away paying students!)

    Right now, our research study in progress is looking at whether the D.B.A. is, in fact, a viable degree for business faculty.

    For non business-related programs, secondary business accreditation (AACSB or IACBE or ACBSP) does not matter at all.
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The problem is that EdDs are a dime a dozen. Competition for Education faculty positions is fierce, I know few people with EdDs from good schools that cannot even get part time teaching gigs due to competition. May work as trainers or educational technologists.

    Most Universities have 50% ore more of their students in business departments so the demand is for business teachers.

    Most business faculty positions require an AACSB accredited doctorate. A non AACSB accredited doctorate has limitations even if earned from a B&M school. At least this has been my experience.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    My experience is that DBA vs PhD is not a real issue. The PhD title is more recognized but in practice the DBA is considered equivalent as long as it comes from a AACSB accredited school. Most schools would look at your research profile more than the degree designation. There is no point to have a PhD instead of a DBA if your publication record is very poor.
  14. okydd

    okydd New Member

    "That said, the notion that online study is inferior study is not borne out by the evidence. “There is a growing body of evidence that suggest that the quality of online learning outcomes — how students test — is actually better than that of face-to-face instruction,” says Peter Shea, former head of the online education system for the State University of New York. Shea points to a Department of Education report released in August. Examining a 12-year span of studies completed mostly in college and adult-education programs, the report shows that students in online-learning conditions performed better on tests and earned higher grades than those who received face-to-face instruction." CBS.

    This is on interesting conversation about the value of online degree vs b&m. What's an Online MBA Worth? - CBS News
  15. Cyber

    Cyber New Member

    The article says University of Phoenix is an online-only school. That's incorrect. If UoP is an online-only school, what are the Capellas, the NCUs, the Tridents, the Waldens, JIUs, etc. then? Some good points were made - the crux being that even in the world of online MBA, there is class. The high end or high value programs being online MBAs that utilize synchronous technologies (like video conferencing software or skype) from B & M schools that have programmatic accreditation, and are selective in admissions (using GMAT scores, for example). The low end coming from no-name online schools that care more about profits, than hiring top notch business professors who can deliver quality, not part-timers who grade papers after their real day time jobs. In short, schools that invest in program quality not student quantity.

    Anyway, I like this part from the article:
    "Moreover, one of the biggest career benefits of a full-time MBA program isn’t the time spent in the classroom but the personal network you create. Would Sergey Brin and Larry Page have bonded over Skype the way they did in their Stanford dorm room? Would Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy have dreamed up Guitar Hero and Rock Band had they been teleconferencing rather than sharing ideas at the MIT Media Lab?"
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2011
  16. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Anthony and RF Valve bring up good points; however, it is possible to earn a tenure-track teaching position with a non-AACSB doctorate. However, if you are planning to go down that road, you should obtain whatever teaching experience you can (including important committee work), present papers at conferences, etc. You should also realize that your options for teaching at the university level will be limited. An AACSB accredited institution probably won't look at a non-AACSB doctorate candidate unless there is something extraordinary about the candidate.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, but there are also competition and salary considerations. For examply, Devry's salary for a full time professor is the 60s while the typical AACSB accredited schools is in the 120s.
    Getting a full time position at Devry for example is not easy, I tried few times and the outcome was hundreds of applicants for one position.
    As you said, if you are reallly good and willing to work at a non AACSB accredited institution for a lower salary then the non AACSB accredited doctorate might work for you.
  18. okydd

    okydd New Member

    In Canada the salaries in almost all degree granting institutions are governed by collective agreements. Few Canadian institutions are aascb accredited. I am not aware of anyone in canada deciding on a Canadian institution because it was aascb. Those institutions with aascb can drop it with no noticeable perceived diminish quality. This is my observation. My guess once they become aascb they change their hiring practice regarding non-aascb degrees. This is more in meeting aascb requirement than in improving the quality of the education. The education is basically the same in aascb and non-aascb institutions.
  19. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    There are some many considerations with all of this. If you make $150K+ at a corporate position who would leave it to go to an AACSB school full time to "hope" to get a $120K job with all the politics.? I would say keep the corporate job, get an online non AACSB PhD, live cheap for a few years, and semi retire at some point with a $60K job and less stress / politics. That $60K job, even full time online, will pay everything if you lived smart and were debt free.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Actually, most universities in Canada have higher salaries for business faculty. Collective agreements have provisions for people that teach in Business faculties and allow higher salaries for them.

    Most recognized Canadian schools are AACSB accredited. Faculty salaries are public in Ontario and BC, just take a quick look at places like York, UoT or University of BC and you will see that 200 or 300K year salaries are quite common in particular for finance and accounting professors.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2011
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