Are nasty lies about online learning standing between you and your doctorate degree? Well, it's time to bust the myths wide open! Get the facts about earning a PhD online.
Myth 1: Getting Your PhD Online Is a Scam
Turn on any news channel or open a newspaper, and you will see another story about online college scams. You can avoid falling for a scam by checking on the accreditation of the online school you wish to attend. A reputable online school can tell you all about its accreditation, and can give you further contact information to learn more. Pursue the online college's history and reputation until you are satsified that what you are seeing is legitimate.
Myth 2: Online Courses Are a Shortcut to Your Doctorate Degree
One of the biggest myths about online doctorate programs is the amount of work involved. Contrary to this widespread myth, online courses can be just as difficult as classes offered in a traditional college setting. Many requirements for an online doctorate degree are the same as those for a PhD earned on campus.
Some might say online classes are even more difficult than those in a traditional college setting. When you enter an online PhD program, you are taking on the responsibility of doing your coursework at your own pace, and that takes discipline. You won't have a daily classroom instruction to remind you of what is due or what you should be working on. Strong time managment skills are essential!
Myth 3: Your Online Doctorate Degree Won't Be Recognized
Several years ago, online degrees weren't taken seriously by employers. However, the world is changing, and so are attitudes toward online learning. Today, most employers recognize that not only are online degrees acceptable, but they might actually offer a boost in the workplace. By the very nature of obtaining a PhD online, you prove to potential employers that you are disciplined, motivated, and a true self-starter.
If you are still concerned about the impact your online doctorate degree will have on your job search, consider enrolling in online courses that are offered by traditional universities. Did you know Notre Dame has an online program? So does Texas A & M. As colleges realize the value of distance learning, more and more of them are jumping on the online school bandwagon.
Myth 4: Only Computer Wizards Can Take Classes Online
Here's good news for the technically challenged: If you can check your email and click on a link, you can take an online course. Many colleges offer introductory computer courses to help you learn more about the Internet and how to handle online assignments. Hotline support is often in place for those students who are stuck on a problem with the technical side of online classes.
Myth 5: There Is No Personal Attention from Teachers
Those who design online programs recognize that "face time" with a teacher is probably not going to happen. So they find other ways to make the experience more personal. Discussion forums, contact with academic counselors, and conference calls with teachers make the online learning experience more interesting and interactive. Students and teachers work closely together--via email--to create a rich educational experience.
Myth 6: Getting a PhD Online Is Very Expensive
Students pursuing an online doctorate degree will have the same financial issues as those who are getting their degree in a brick-and-mortar classroom setting. The cost of an online degree might actually be a bit less when you consider other factors: The cost of commuting to class every day is eliminated, and the textbooks required for classroom learning are available to you online, which saves quite a bit of pocket change.
The online school you choose can make a difference in the bottom line. Getting your PhD online from a well-respected university program will probably cost more than the same program from a community college. Either way, there is financial aid available to online students, just as it is to those who choose the more traditional route of education.
Myth 7: Studying for a Doctorate Degree Online Will Isolate Me from Other Students
The support of other students is very important to academic success. You are all in the same boat and need someone to share in your experience. You are not alone! Dedicated forums, message boards, and contact via phone or video conferencing are all popular ways to connect with other doctorate students.
Now the myths are busted...
...and you can jump into that online PhD program with confidence. Congratulations on pursuing your doctorate.