. Doctoral programs are the last stop for many in higher education. In all cases, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance in order to be able to complete a doctorate program of any kind. More and more people all over the world are turning their sights to online doctoral programs as a means to further themselves professionally. Before you start the application process, you may need to spend some time researching and carefully thinking about what program would be a good fit. Sure, you did this for all your other degrees, but doctoral programs are much more rigorous and time consuming than a master or bachelor degree program.
While a master degree can take between 1 to 3 years to complete depending on the program, adoctoral degree can take between 4 to 8 years to complete. A master’s program is similar to a bachelor’s degree in that there is prescribed coursework and evaluations by teachers. They also require that the student gain valuable work experience through a related internship or other type of applied experience in their chosen field. The completion of the course is usually by a thesis, or depending on what type of program you are in, there might be a choice between a thesis and an exam.
The difference between a doctoral degree and a master’s degree, then, is the amount of coursework, the time spent with teachers and co-students and the independent research that will go into the dissertation that the student will need to complete. A doctoral dissertation has to be of published quality and needs to add a valuable contribution to the field in which they are studying. This is a lot different than a master’s thesis which remains central to the college or university that the student completed the program in.
There are two different types of doctoral degrees as well; one that is research based and another that focuses on a more professional scope. The professional doctorates are well-known in lay speech and everyday usage, like doctors and lawyers. Those that obtain research based doctorates are seen more in academia and research labs for medicine or other fields. Another difference in these doctorates is that for the professional doctorate, you only need a bachelor’s degree to apply, whereas for research, you will need a master’s degree first before applying.
Doctoral degrees offer the benefits of a higher salary overall and a more specialized working field, but they also carry some baggage that needs to be taken into account. Doctoral degrees are notoriously difficult to obtain and those that wish to enter a program need to remember the serious amount of time it will take to complete. Many doctoral students will be expected to read a great deal of court cases, reports, or hundreds of pages of required reading a week. They are expected to contribute in an informed and innovative way each week, either through discussions or class presentations.
Although it seems like a lot of work, and money, to obtain a doctoral degree, the benefits far outweigh the initial sacrifices. Most doctoral graduates will earn at least 15,000 dollars more than those with only a master’s degree. Most likely, you will be in a highly specialized field doing something that you’ve always wanted to do. If you already are in a field you love, or you are looking to become even more specialized or move onto another career option within the same area, you probably are extremely busy. In today’s economy, taking time off of work to pursue a doctorate degree, up to eight years, might not be the most viable option. In a typical family unit, most families need the incomes of both adults in order to sustain the costs if living. That is whyonline doctorate programs could be a great option to consider.