Online PhD Programs – Pros and Cons
September 19, 2014
Online graduate programs are becoming more and more popular—and this includes PhD programs. Traditional, brick-and-mortar programs have their benefits, but they also have their downsides. In the same way, online programs have their strengths and weaknesses. This article will take a basic look at online PhD programs and their pros and cons.
Pro 1: Flexibility—Write Your Dissertation at Your Pace
One of the biggest draws of online graduate programs is their flexibility. Most programs allow the students to go at their own pace. If you’re working, busy, or would just like to maintain control of your schedule, online PhD programs provide you with the opportunity to learn and work on your dissertation completely at your pace.
Pro 2: No Need to Relocate
Another great feature of online PhD programs: you don’t need to move. Moving is one of the most stressful things a person can do, not to mention it might not make sense if you are already working a steady job.
Pro 3: No Teaching Required
If you’re a student at a traditional, brick-and-mortar PhD program, you will probably have to teach classes at some point. Whether for help with funding, or as a requirement of the program, teaching is almost inseparable from traditional PhD programs. Though the experience gained from teaching can be invaluable, managing the workload of teaching undergraduate classes while writing a dissertation can be taxing.
Con 1: Library and Laboratory Access
Obviously, one of the benefits of a physical institution is its libraries and laboratories. Of course, online PhD programs don’t come with brick-and-mortar facilities that traditional programs do. This can make dissertation research more difficult.
Con 2: Program Respect
As people are with anything new, some employers and institutions are hesitant about giving the same respect to online PhD programs as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Universities are established, often by several decades or even centuries of reputation and results. A graduate of an online PhD program may find it difficult to be treated with the same respect by employers, depending on the type of job for which he or she is applying.
Con 3: Face-to-Face Interaction
One of the great strengths of traditional PhD programs is the people. Online graduate programs do often offer student-professor—as well as student-to-student—interaction, but it is necessarily different than face-to-face interactions. Mentorship in particular can really help the dissertation writing process.
Whether you are attending a traditional or an online graduate program, getting editing help with your dissertation is crucial. Whether you have to balance a teaching load with finishing your dissertation in a traditional institution, or you are in an online program and without the same benefits mentorship provides, we can help. Contact us for you free consultation today!