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. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    .dot com Universities have very little respect in the academic community so the degree from a B&M is preferred in most of the cases.
  2. JeepNerd

    JeepNerd New Member

    I will throw in my 2 cents...

    Baby Boomers for the most part are the ones who are in "upper management" at Universities, Public and Private companies. They are the generation currently in charge.

    THEREFORE, they as a demographic, they will think / operate in certain ways, (always there are exceptions)

    I am proposing that for the most part, Boomers value a B&M (NOT for profit) education higher than Online (for Profit)

    THEY are in charge...for now...and that is why we keep seeing the comments (in the short term...online is not as widely accepted, etc)...

    AS the boomers start to retire, Gen X will begin to take over. Gen X has been working on computers since the mid 80s (teens) and are familiar with the technology and comfortable with it. There will STILL be some bias towards B&M (not for profit) but Gen X will at least consider the possibility that Online (for profit) is as rigorous....

    Thus, times ARE changing, in 20 years there will be very few boomers in charge, Gen X will be around 60ish years old and Gen Y will be waiting for us to get out of THEIR way...

    Gen Y...will honestly have NO CLUE why everyone is not getting their degrees online for the most part and have very little issue with it.

    Gen Y's children... may actually attend a signficant % of their education (elementary/mid/high school) online....

    So change is coming...it is generational...

    Boomers ranking (imho)

    B&M (NFP) ground PhD
    B&M (NFP) ground Doctorate (any)
    B&M (NFP) online/DL PhD
    B&M (NFP) online/DL Doctorate (any)
    ONLINE (For Profit) PhD

    This is just my opinion but I think this theme has been expressed over and over again. You can add a couple levels in there for AACSB etc but...

    I should add..as a Gen Xr, who teaches online (and has taught face to face in Evening Degree Programs/adult learners), online is HARDER, by far... YOU must be self disciplined, and I would have NO second thoughts about hiring an "online" degree person as my employee IF they had a high GPA in their major.

    If I was hiring, my ranking:

    Adult Learner with near 4.0 online degree (RA)
    Adult Learner with near 4.0 (local/evening degree program) (RA)
    22ish year old Learner fresh out of B&M with near 4.0 - ground - (RA)

    ...food for thought?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010
  3. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    The generational idea is insightful. I have not heard it addressed in exactly that way before.
  4. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member

    Wow great post and very true. As each generation progresses it will become more acceptable. With technology become a greater part of each passing generation they will be asking "why aren’t you going to an online school?" I was reading about how Texas has been funding three or four free online grade school to high school programs for Texas residents. When these kids get out of high school after spending their whole education online why would they go to a B&M?

    But if everyone wants a concrete answer to op’s original question, I suggest everyone pools their money together to put me through the DBA and online PhD program and I will report back in ten years about how each was accepted….I take PayPal or cash.
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Not sure if I agree with you here. You are saying that the lack of recognition of online PhDs from for profit schools is mainly due to the bias of boomers that do not understand online education.

    You fail to realize that distance PhDs are nothing new and they have existed for decades in the UK and Australia. Nobody would question a degree from University of Queensland or University Manchester because it was earned by DL. The issue with for profit schools is nothing to do with delivery method but with the quality of institution.

    DL for profits would need to stop the "degree factoy" approach of producing masses of doctorate graduates, this is the main credibility issue with them, Who is going to believe an institution that seems to be granting doctorates like pan cakes? The other issue is the heavy reliance of poorly paid adjuncts for dissertation advisors and instruction. who is going to believe that a dissertation advisor that is getting paid 3K per dissertation is going to put serious effort to supervise a doctoral candidate? DL for profits would need to show that they are really contributing to the academic community by showing efforts of producing relevant research that can help to add credibility to their degrees. They would also need to show that graduates have earned the title of "Doctor" by showing that graduates are capable of producing research that has been published in peer reviewed journals of high quality.

    The problem is that there seems to be a conflict between making money and producing quality graduates. If for profits start asking for GMATs, GPAs, publications, etc for admission, they would just not get anyone. They would also not get any professor if they start asking for people with PhDs from credible institutions with AACSB accreditation.

    The model is simple, let's produce a massive amount of doctors so we can then hire them back at a low price so we can keep producing more doctors.

    The business model is pure profit driven and this does not fool people that are 60, 50, 40, 30 or even 20.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010
  6. JeepNerd

    JeepNerd New Member

    I agree, this is a US issue, and DL is more likely accepted MORE abroad..

    I think you are simply identifying the perception held by many boomers (and folks that have not studied or taught online)

    I do not think boomers will ever have that opportunity...thus they will continue to believe everything you said.

    Gen X is simply MORE likely to be exposed to online learning and understand that IT IS FREAKING hard work!! (You will note my comment about looking at HIGH GPAs when I was evaluating possible employees)

    I also realize some folks are skating thru with low Bs, Cs and even Ds and squeaking out a degree. Looking at their transcript will identify them (at a party B&M or online for profit)

    Final thought... yes, there is the possibility that "for profit" schools have a motive that is not 100% pure. I would argue that free/slave labor/full time PhD students is also a suspect risk...politics, etc oh my!! It is just "accepted" already as ok...

    With all that said...personally, I am holding out for a B&M, NFP for my doctorate:

    Hampton Univ is the best I can come up with PhD in accounting but the summer semester could be a deal breaker.

    Anderson Univ - DBA (concentrate Acctg) would be nice, but again, 4 weeks in summer...deal breaker for me personally.

    Baker College DBA - B&M, NFP....2 issues, one is possible "trade school" perception and the "college" name sorta bothers me. This would be their self designed

    UMUC - DM, B&M, NFP, short residency...only real issue is $55k and not exactly my desire (accounting)

    Mountain State - DExecL - B&M, NFP, short residency, cheaper than UMUC but not a "state" school and again not accounting.

    So, Gen X'er and I am looking at B&M, NFP, probably because of exactly the worries and issues you are identifying RFV!!

    My final final thought... I think SMALL B&M / NFPs will take over this arena (doctorates) in the next 20 years. I think we will see the big for profits start merging and shrinking away due to the fact as B&M/NFPs offer the SAME opportunities for the SAME or lower cost, they cannot compete. Or it will become a COST deal, no more $80k degrees from a FOR profit school when I can get it for 1/2 that at B&M/NFP
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I have taught for both B&M and for profits for the last 10 years. There are pros and cons. I believe for profit schools do better than for B&M when it comes to technical courses as they tend to update courses on a regular basis and tend to have better technology to deliver courses. They also tend to have a much better customer service and technical support.

    If I were to chose a good BS in Computer Technology, I wouldn't hesitate to go with a for profit school as I would know that I will be getting more up to date knowledge.

    Most employers in industry would care less if your degree comes from Devry or from Idaho state as long as you have the skills required and the degree is legit.
    For this case, I belive the Devry, UoP, and others are here to stay. I don't see them going anywhere in the near future.

    For PhD education, the traditional doctorate from a solid B&M school is now and will be in the future the most accepted option for employers looking for academic and researchers. I believe the for profits will never be able to fill this market as they are very far from preparing people at the same level as B&Ms.

    The professional doctorates offered by for profits will still remain as they are useful for university administrators, college teachers, etc. Although they are expensive compared with some traditional B&M, they tend to offer value as they are flexible, can be completed in short period of times and have good customer support. B&M schools have a hard time serving this niche market as they tend to be more burocatric, require longer period of times and courses are normally dated compared with for profits.

    I believe there is and still be market for for profit schools in the future. Some might not be able to survive but others are getting stronger.

    The new age doctorates from for profits will find their niche in the market and will remain for those people that really need them.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2010
  8. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Since money is much less of an issue now then it was 6 years ago, I would go with Nova. I live in Florida and they are well known and well respected. At the time, they just cost to damn much!
  9. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Ok, where do I send a check? :)
  10. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I agree. Nova is almost an ivy league school among the DL options.
  11. okydd

    okydd New Member

    Unless there is a major paradigms shift, we are not going to be seeing for profit virtual universities as the prime medium for the delivery of graduate programs. This is not to say that there won’t be distance education. On-line education is here to stay and more programs will be delivered via online education. On-line education will be delivered by reputable sources, B&M, as a matter of normal operations. This would have come about because virtual universities did successfully fulfill a need. Students will pursue education interchanging between on-line and on-site at their convenient. Virtual schools will be amalgamated into those B&Ms who are seeking growth but do not want to developed the on-line technology. My argument is based on the value proposition. Although the value of offering by virtual schools are tangible; it is not as significant of what a B&M could offer utilizing the same medium. Argued another way, the lowest rating B&M will offer an on-line program that will me more valuable to students than what the best for profit virtual University can offer. Everything being equal, no rational person will elect to pursue a PHD from a virtual university if a similar program is available at an established B&M.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2010
  12. mark74

    mark74 New Member

    While I personally would follow this policy, there are many, many people who attend undergraduate or masters programs at virtually universities despite them being available at establish B&M schools.

    Perhaps all things like cost, time, and difficulty are not equal, however...
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    While I would agree that, generally speaking, a B&M degree will be more useful, I'm not so sure that the above statement in entirely correct. I have heard some administrators of online schools say that they are more interested in instructors with DL degrees than B&M degrees. I have also heard it said very recently that profit schools are doing a better job at keeping up with modern technology than many B&M schools are. There are some advantages and I believe that some rational people will wisely choose a virtual degree. Broad generalizations are rarely 100% accurate.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    A number of people in this thread are using the terms "for profit" and "online" as though they are synonymous. They are not. There are for-profit brick and mortar universities that offer doctorates online, like Phoenix and Keiser, and there are non-profit universities that only offer distance learning, like Fielding and Saybrook.

  16. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Exactly. That's a good point. There's lots of confusion in this thread.

    My biggest complaint is that most of the people here on Degreeinfo (and on other boards as well) continue to insist and believe that the for-profit/non-profit and DL-only/B&M distinctions are the fundamental issues.

    I think that's confused.

    The typical response is that there aren't any highly-respected academic leaders among for-profit or DL-only schools, so of course these are the issues. But that makes the profit and DL issues into surrogates for academic strength.

    My argument is that instead of arguing in terms of code-words, we should be talking about things like syllabi and scholarly emphases, research productivity and intellectual life, faculty strength, professional recognition, and all of the rest of the academic stuff that nobody really wants to think about.
  17. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I don't think there is anything wrong with speaking in generalizations here because the original question was a generalization. Yes, there are many variations of for-profit, online, DL, Etc. schools, but there are a number of very large schools that are online only and for-profit. If you are speaking about Capella, Walden, NCU Etc. it is safe to generalize. This is especially true since the original question referred to a ".com" school, there is no question about the nature of that.
  18. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    I really like their PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a specialization in Organization and School Conflict... Expensive though, but seems like a good comprehensive program.
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Some baby boomers respect DL and others not so much. Some of them have good reasons for their opinions, others don't.

    But you shouldn't be too hasty in your stereotyping and age-discriminating. Don't forget that it was the baby-boomers who CREATED online higher education. Before they came along, DL was just correspondence courses and UofL-style examination-only formats.

    And once again, I think that it's the academic variables that generally rule. Baby boomers, along with pretty much all knowledgeable people whatever their age, tend to favor graduates of stronger academic programs whenever they need advanced expertise. When education is more of a check-the-box matter or just an add-on to mid-career job-experience, maybe not so much.

    Right now, DL programs don't appear among the best programs in their subjects. It's difficult to think of any DL doctoral program that's a leader in any field of scholarship. We haven't reached the day when professionals simply must read work coming out of DL programs in order to stay current.

    I expect that day will eventually come, in some fields of study at least. That's when opinions will really start to change.
  20. BobbyJim

    BobbyJim New Member

    These are some insightful comments on this topic. I think the consensus seems to be that ‘likes tend to hire likes’. Only time will tell what we will see in the future. Has anyone considered a graduate major in ‘future studies’?

    I find the DL comments about being new and not particularly well accepted interesting. DL certainly isn’t new to much of the world. I completed blended DL and seminar technical courses in the USAF in the 60s, and at NYIT (a B&M engineering program) in the 70s. The UK and Aussies have used DL for many years.

    What is new is the online course delivery, and the availability of online only degrees. I think it is great to have the classroom brought to the student 24/7 - where discipline appropriate. Where needed, seminars and labs should be/are geographically distributed.

    The main problem remains quality at all degree levels, IMHO.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2010
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