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. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Very well, but equating for-profit with distance learning is not making a generalization, it is making an error.

  2. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    You are right of course, for-profit does not necessarily mean DL, but it very often is DL and online. There is no question that ".com" in my original question does mean DL and online, though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  3. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    Students these days are more in tune with "branding" than many people think. Just because people in the late teens and 20's are comfortable with technology doesn't mean they want to pay good money for a questionable degree from an online for-profit school. This is a privileged, yet incredibly thrifty generation that watches their money. Facebook is quickly spreading the word about institutions.

    This millennial generation grew up rather privileged in many ways. They are actually the generation that may turn their noses up at second-rate schools and shoot for the top-ranked B&M schools. Colleges and universities across North America are actually expanding their non-academic student services because students are complaining that they don't have the luxuries they want on campus. We are seeing more and more "student centres" and "study facilities" than ever.

    Because of their access to information, it is easy for them to identify rip-off's. They know better than the boomers which school is a profit-driven doctorate machine than you think. They actually ASK where you got your doctorate from, what you studied and where you worked. They want value for their money, and they want to be taught by the best. When I was in school, I would never even dream of asking my professors what degree they have or where they went to school.
  4. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    My 21 year old daughter is surprising me with the frugality you are talking about. That generation is, as you say, sensitive to being ripped off, which is a very good thing when you look at the climate in which they will have to live. What I don't understand is the other kind of people who blithely rack up $100K in debt without making sure the degree they get will land them a job to pay it back. They exhibit a sort of blind faith in education...very foolish.
  5. Scott Henley

    Scott Henley New Member

    Although I have not done research in this area, nor do I have any hard facts to back it up, but I suspect that these people are older, with less access to information. I suspect (although I don't know for sure) that people on this board are 35 or older... The only reason I suspect this is because I have seen many posts here asking if an institutions if accredited or legitimate. To the tech-savvy younger student, this would take them no more than 10 minutes of Internet "research" to determine. They would certainly not have to ask anyone if an institution is legitimate.

    Younger people are more adept to spotting bogus schools and bad websites. They know how to determine if something is legitimate... These are young people that can jailbreak iPhones, spoof sites and find teachers notes on the Internet. It's the older people that fall for bogus for-profit online doctorates that cost $100K.
  6. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    The original question was poorly conceived, in my opinion.

    And speaking in generalizations can be problematic if those generalizations are false and misleading.

    Ok, let's agree for the sake of argument that these three schools are very-large, online-only and for-profit.

    Fine. Is there anything else that you think that we should conclude about them? I sense a strong perjorative tone in many people's opinions of these schools that needs to be clarified and justified.

    And then what? Can we further generalize from that? If so, how?

    If these three very-large, online-only and for-profit schools share additional negative qualities, whatever they are, then can we safely conclude that all very-large, online-only and for-profit schools will necessarily share the same qualities?

    And what about small online-only for-profits? What about large, online-only non-profits? What about all the other permutations? Can we conclude anything about those kind of schools?

    Finally, can we conclude anything of interest about the large/small, online-only/DL-from-B&M/B&M-from-B&M and for-profit/non-profit distinctions themselves from any of this?

    I don't have a clue what your phrase ".com school" refers to or means.

    (I sense that whatever it is, it isn't good. Dunno why, though.)
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I also found this incomprehensible.

    The institutions identified as ".com schools" in the original post -- Capella, Walden, and TUI -- normally use the ".edu" suffix -- not ".com". In fact, you won't find Walden at walden.com, or TUI at tuiu.com. So how are they ".com" schools?

    Some schools do register both the .edu and .com suffixes. So it's true that you can find Capella at capella.com, as well as at capella.edu. Of course, the same is true for some traditional B&M schools, like Stanford or Cal Poly.

    So Stanford is a .com school, while Walden isn't. In this particular case, a PhD in business from stanford.com is generally far more prestigious, and far more likely to impress employers, than a DBA from walden.edu. Unfortunately, the stanford.com program is also far more expensive, very difficult to get into, and requires more residency; the walden.edu program is relatively inexpensive, has relatively easy admissions, and can be completed largely by DL.

    Depending on circumstances and educational objectives, a .com school like Stanford may be "better" for some people, or "worse" for others. That's about as far as you can generalize.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  8. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    I sense that I stepped on some toes here and I apologize for that. That was not my intention at all. My question was supposed to be general and vague in nature and I suppose that does make it poorly conceived, but it was as I intended. I was just looking for some general comments on the utility and public perception compared between a purely online PhD and a B&M DBA.

    ".com" in my mind means a school that is purely online and could include ".edu" schools as well. No disrespect intended toward great schools like Capella. Sorry guys!
  9. CalDog

    CalDog New Member


    At present, the most useful and respected doctoral degrees in business come from top-ranked B&M schools, or possibly from DL programs operated by such B&M schools. This is true for pretty much any other type of degree as well.

    No purely online schools are competitive, in terms of utility and public perception, with the most highly regarded B&M schools. However, the online schools may be competitive with low-ranked B&M schools.

    Online programs may have other advantages -- in terms of things like cost, admissions, and residency -- that may or may not outweigh their disadvantages, depending on circumstances.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The main advantage is easy admission. When I applied for a PhD and DBA programs back in 1999, I applied to 6 schools including Charles Sturt, Idaho State, Touro, Colorado State, USQ and University of Bradford. Most schools required letters of recommendation, research proposals, long applications, CV, etc.
    Touro required one page application, $100 and photocopies of transcripts, I faxed the information and was accepted in two days from the application. Some other schools took months to send letters of admissions and some other required me to refine research proposals before admission was offered.

    I don't know the practice of the other .com (or virtual) universities but I believe it is a standard practice to admit anyone with $100 dlls and an accredited master's. This can make a difference as not many might be willing to put all the documentation that is required for admission.

    The other issue is the financing. The guy from Touro gave me different possible options to pay the degree while the other schools have more rigid payment options. The best school I found was USQ that allowed you to pay as you go but the worst was Capella (another .com) with ridiculous fixed yearly fees that you required to pay regardless of the credits taken.
  11. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Thanks CalDog, that's exactly my position, as well.
  12. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    This is what influenced me to go elsewhere after completing the admissions process a Capella. I could just imagine paying a yearly fixed cost while somebody on your committee holds up approval on your dissertation, requires a rewrite or whatever. A situation like that could drive up the cost tremendously and you would have no choice but to keep paying.
  13. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    And it was mostly for just the fun of comparing those two dissimilar offerings. I have no need for this information.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Many for profits have this policy of fixed payments. On the other hand, for profts tend to have an excellent customer support.
    Many people have talked how UNISA has a wonderful reputation, cheap etc, but they are very difficult to deal with as an international student. Their customer support is almost non existing and takes forever just to get an answer from them. You also have that professors at B&M schools are not as responsive as the ones from virtual schools that are requried to respond within 24 hrs and send feedback within weeks of submission. My professor at USQ sometimes would take 6 months just to send me feedback for a draft, this is not acceptable and can delay things in your studies.
  15. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    The wonder is that, with such a question, this thread has made it to the fourth page without a flame war breaking out. More than a wonder, actually, I would say its a miracle :D I don't think you have anything to apologize for, by the way. I know exactly what you mean by your question, and so does everyone else, including the ones that don't want to acknowledge that they do.
  16. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    That totally sucks! Very difficult to make progress that way.
  17. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Thanks MC, I appreciate your comments.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2010
  18. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    It's too bad that this is the case because some of the schools that offer online degrees, like Nova, Capella and many others, do a splendid job. The general perception of virtual schools like that should improve as time passes, but who knows how long it will take.
  19. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Let's not confuse the two. Capella is a virtual / for-profit school. Nova is a B&M / non-profit school that offers programs online. I would assume many outside of Florida think of Nova as an online school but it is a big school in South Florida (law school, med school, PharmD school) with small satellite campuses around the state. It just happens to be strong in the online market. I don't think anyone should consider Nova a virtual school.
  20. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Yea, I figured someone was going to call me on that one. Virtual was not the correct word because Nova is a B&M but it does have a very strong online presence. So I got sloppy and lumped them together. My point is still the same though, online degrees from the great schools like Nova, Capella and others, will someday be highly regarded. But how long will that take?
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