Which Doctorate? A Scenario

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Jonathan Whatley, May 17, 2020.

  1. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    You’re advising a friend.

    Your friend’s only decision-critical goals in choosing a doctorate are obtaining work in the United States as a postsecondary instructor or work that includes as a large part postsecondary instruction, that preferably this work should be stable, and that preferably this work should reach a living wage.

    They’d be open to a postsecondary teaching position with a research productivity requirement, as they’d be open to a postsecondary teaching position with no research requirement or expectation.

    Your friend holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Master of Arts in Leadership. Although not from a business school, their master’s includes 18 semester hours with the department code Business Administration. Their master’s was earned online from a principally B & M university with RA, but no specialized accreditation is attached to their degree or credits. Your friend’s academic record is widely accepted for admissions to doctorates either in leadership or in business, no additional levelling courses needed for either.

    Your friend’s interests and capacities in the ‘leadership’ field of study are equal to their interests and capacities in the ‘business’ field of study.

    Your friend has an inalterable final shortlist of three doctorates.

    All three are online, though two are offered from principally B & M universities. The cost in money for all three is functionally equal. The cost in time for all three appears to be functionally equal.

    PhD in Leadership
    Carnegie M2 Nonprofit B & M University – School of Graduate Professional Studies

    DBA in Business
    RA + ACBSP
    Widely Advertised For-Profit Online University – School of Business

    DPS in Business
    RA + AACSB
    Carnegie R3 Nonprofit B & M University – School of Business​

    Rank these choices in the order in which you recommend them to your friend. You might use signs like >, =, or ±. If there’s a large gap, you might use multiple > signs, for example, >>>.
  2. felderga

    felderga Member

    Given it appears teaching business courses is the desired goal I would probably rank them as follows:

    DPS >> PhD >= DBA.

    Obviously getting a AACSB doctorate from a research focused institution should look good on the resume. Earning a PhD even though not directly business (but I'm assuming the program has a management focus) should rank slightly higher than a DBA from a for-profit in terms of seeking a full time teaching position.
  3. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    I have a BA in Liberal Studies and an MS in Leadership. I chose the doctorate program that had the curriculum that most interested me, that had the best name recognition, and that I was most likely to complete (a lot goes into this one). I didn't realize all of the factors that I should have been considering until I was in the program, even though I looked long and hard, and I am extremely satisfied with my school. School support, cohort/colleagues, curriculum interest, etc. are all factors that keep me going and are not present in many programs. If those were my only three choices it would be:

    1) DPS in Business + RA, AACSB, nonprofit, B&M, School of Business
    2) PhD in Leadership + RA, nonprofit, B&M - School of Graduate Professional Studies
    3) DBA in Business + RA, + School of Business, neutral on ACBSP - Online only, for profit

    Solely because I would prioritize B&M over online, nonprofit over for-profit, etc. Curriculum and personal interests as well as dissertation flexibility are also very important factors that will help determine completion.
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  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Personally, I think their are bigger issues to look at... but of those... While a DPS will always have name issues... If I were desiring to teach business, I’d rather have a DPS in Business from a real non-profit research university than a for-profit DBA or a Leadership PHD from a non-major research institution. That’s just me personal thoughts though.
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  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    It’s also worth pointing out that while 18 graduate credits + a leadership terminal degree would make them qualified to teach business classes from an accreditation perspective... it would be far from a competitive resume in many cases. Major brick and mortar R1-3 schools churn out legion of MBAs each year, they will often appear better than a television advertising for-profit as well.
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  6. felderga

    felderga Member

    Now what would make the conversation interesting is if you were comparing a PhD in Leadership non-profit B&M vs PhD in Business For-Profit ACBSP. I know many hate for-profits but depending on the program I would probably choose the latter.
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  7. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    For clarification, two critical factors that you mentioned that may alter the algorithm.

    (1) You mentioned working in the United States. That is not typically noted, presumed given, for many citizens. Are they overseas? Do they have citizenship or a work visa? I only ask because if they do not, they will need to either have an incredibly competitive degree & CV or market themselves very selectively.

    (2) With reference to earning a decent wage... what is decent? If their plan is for teaching post-secondary education to be their primary income stream, take caution. The adjunct market is fierce, with a lot of famine, suggest they visit AdjunctNation. The people who do well with it tend to be retirees or mix highly selective adjunct courses with corporate learning and design gig work. Full-time faculty positions at major universities are often aspirational dream jobs, that with rare exception require a different track to obtain. Full time positions at for profits, smaller universities, and community colleges are obtainable; but compensation may be below their expectations and you will likely need to move to where opportunity opens.

    Not intending to be discouraging, just pointing out facets to consider, that I believe are significant.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  8. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    While I'd like a doctorate from an AACSB school, I wouldn't want a DPS. I couldn't handle the additional stress of explaining DPS to people. The Ph.D. is gold standard. Hence, that would be my #1 choice. DPS would be #2 and the DBA from would rank #3.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  9. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    (1) U.S. citizen in country. (2) That’s always a good question!
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Completely agree, although I'm just a bit more extreme in my preferences, as in DPS >>> PhD > DBA
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  11. Jahaza

    Jahaza Member

    If those were the options I'd be inclined to go with none of the above.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  12. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Well that certainly warrants further explanation!
  13. GregWatts

    GregWatts Member

    I would generally agree with the comments above but query; why are they your only three options? Granted, the question does have an immigration slant I am not familiar with.
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  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'd inquire with potential employers instead of trying to decide in a vacuum.

    Does the PhD preponderate, despite a lack of AACSB accreditation? Or does the non-PhD degree from an AACSB school work better. Is the DPS a professional or scholarly degree? I'd want to know the answers to those questions.

    My experience tells me that ACBSP accreditation is irrelevant, and that a degree earned at an online school is not always the strongest play in situations like these.

    If I had to chose with no other information, I'd take the AACSB-accredited program. (Big caveat on the fact that it is probably not a scholarly degree with that title--and obviously so.)

    But this isn't really limited, and there are other very important questions to ask and answers to consider.
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