The Pros and Cons of Earning Your PhD Online

February 19th, 2013 by

Phd DegreeIn nearly any field, the most respected individuals are those who have high levels of education. In order to reach the top of the medical industry, the financial industry or even the education industry, you may need to have a doctoral degree. Earning a doctorate is certainly not easy, and it can take upwards of seven years in some cases. Before you can even think about earning your doctorate, you will first need a bachelor’s degree and often also a master’s degree. If you are still interested in pursing this high level degree, you may want to give some thought to earning your PhD online. Here are some of the pros and cons of earning your PhD via the Internet.

Convenience For Busy Individuals

One of the biggest reasons to enroll in an online PhD program is for the convenience. Rather than needing to spend time commuting to a physical college campus classroom or lecture hall, you will have the ability to log on from any location in the world and begin your studies. This is ideal for those who don’t live close to a college campus or who don’t want to spend much of their day in a car or on public transport. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can study or watch lectures.

Flexibility in Schedule: When you sign up for a traditional PhD program at a brick and mortar location, you will typically have to abide by a set PhD Onlinecurriculum and stringent deadlines. By enrolling in an online doctorate program instead, you can have more flexibility in your schedule. You can complete assignments whenever you have time, and you can go faster or slower through the curriculum as needed.

Typically Lower Costs

Since online university programs have lower overhead costs, they can often charge students lower tuition rates. When you combine that with the flexibility and the amount of extra time you will have in your schedule, the financial benefits can be incredible.

Missing Out on Networking Face to Face

One of the downsides of earning your PhD through an online program is that you will miss out on the personal networking of a traditional course. However, most online doctoral programs do have some networking and socializing functions organized throughout the country, and you may have the opportunity to attend occasional conferences to discuss your program with others in the industry.

May Require Additional Discipline

Another thing to consider when choosing to earn your PhD over the Internet is that it may take additional discipline, and not all students are able to push themselves without regular classes, a physical professor and external motivation. If you have successfully completed other online degree programs in the past, you will likely have no trouble with the PhD program, but keep in mind that the duration of a doctoral degree course can be several years.

It is clear to see that there are both pros and cons to earning your PhD online, and only you can determine if it is the right course of action for your future. Explore the colleges and universities offering doctoral programs at

About the Author:

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis is a long-time educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education, having taught English, writing, and communication on the secondary and college levels. With ten years of experience in blogging, social media and content management, she is a freelance writer and content marketing specialist for a diverse range of clients.

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