With rewards of a prestigious job, higher wages and more recognition in mind, many people ask, “Can I get a doctorate degree online?” With so many well-paying jobs needing at least a bachelor’s degree, many people are choosing to advance their degrees even higher for the best possible career opportunities. The addition of online degrees, particularly doctoral degrees, opens up many great possibilities for aspiring students.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Doctorate Degrees
Myths About Online Degrees
As the popularity of online degrees continues to grow, so does the doubts and skepticism. Whether it’s due to the horror stories people have heard about diploma mills or just that it sounds too good to be true, there are still many that believe things that are just not true. The most common myths about online doctoral degrees include:
• Online degrees offer an easy way to get a doctoral degree. Online doctoral degree programs may require less physical presence or face-time in classrooms, but they’re still not easier Students are expected to complete the same requirements, such as performing research and writing and defending a dissertation.
• Online doctoral degrees are only offered by degree mills. Degree mills that offer degrees for money may still be out there, but there are also many reputable, regionally accredited colleges offering online doctorates.
• Online degrees are not as respected as traditional degrees. The type of degree is not noticed near as much as the accreditation of the online degree program. With the college is regionally accredited, the doctoral degree will be just as credible as a traditional degree.
• Online doctoral degrees are cheaper. This may or may not be true. While the student will save money on commuting, gas, and lodging, there are still similar costs in earning the degree. In some cases, the students may have to invest in technology such as computers, software or internet access.
Can You Get a Doctorate Degree Online?
The good news to aspiring students is that it’s not only possible to get a doctorate degree online, but that many colleges are offering them than ever before. Online doctoral degree programs are offered in some of the most in-demand fields, including business, nursing, education, healthcare, and technology. U.S. News & World Report states that online doctoral degree programs are chosen by many individuals but are ideal for those who already have careers and want to continue working while earning the degree.
How Long Does it Take to Earn an Online Doctorate?
The length of time it takes to complete an online doctorate can vary by many factors. It generally takes up to eight years to complete the degree, although they may be completed in as little as four or five years. The time varies according to the college, the program and the discipline. Some universities accommodate working students, but this can also extend the completion time.
The discipline the student chooses can make a difference as well. A hard sciences doctorate can be completed in less time than a doctorate in humanities, history or education. Another factor affecting the time is the type of online doctoral program. If the program is 100 percent online, it may take longer to complete than a hybrid program, which is part online and part on-campus.
The doctorate degree is the highest level of education, and with it comes a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing how many job possibilities it can open up professionally. Earning a doctorate degree online can make it possible to do this without having to give up a job or sacrifice time with family.