Online PhDs an Emerging Segment of the Digital Society

A University of Oxford DPhil in full academic ...

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A few weeks ago I responded to a LinkedIn discussion question – “online PhD or not?” There were over 20 responses to this post weighing in both sides. I began to panic as I continued to read some of the posts that argued against online PhD, citing, “lack of acceptance by brick and mortar” institutions. My goal is to one day become a university professor. I fear my degree will be frowned upon because I did not go the traditional route.

Through my research I discovered that at least one-fifth of all higher education students now taking a least one online course. Of the estimated 3.9 million online students, 14 percent of those are taking graduate level courses. My belief is that online PhDs are an emerging segment of society, that will began to gain acceptance as the online education continues to grow.

Who could be better equipped to teach the next wave of online learners than PhDs who went the non-traditional, online route? More notably, is the scholar-practitioner model, that is the cornerstone of many online PhD programs. Online PhDs, learn about their about the scientific endeavor of knowledge while being simultaneously grounded in the day-to-day delivery of a product or service.

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