A Ph.D. is the highest degree that can be earned. Students who complete a Ph.D. program devote years to intensive study of their specialty. Online Ph.D. programs are typically earned by those already established in their field who want a deeper understanding and knowledge base or wish to work in consulting rather than those who are seeking careers in a university or research setting. The work required to earn a Ph.D. is demanding and requires dedication. However, those who hold Ph.D. degrees are often held to great esteem by others in their field of specialty.
A typical Ph.D. program takes an average of seven years to complete. In addition to coursework in your area of specialty, you must also take a comprehensive exam, write a book-length dissertation, and defend your dissertation before a panel of professors. The time for the dissertation work alone can take about three years to complete. Once you have completed your online Ph.D., you will likely be considered an expert in your area of specialty. With these credentials, you can use your knowledge to further your already established career or explore an entrepreneurial venture.
While traditional Ph.D. programs usually lead to work in university or other educational and research settings, those who earn an online Ph.D. usually do not follow the traditional route. Instead, you can expect to use your degree for consulting or running your own business. Other career opportunities might include expanding your current career options in fields such as education, business administration, or psychology. Financially, earning a Ph.D. is beneficial. Those holding a Ph.D. earn more than $12,000 more a year on average than those with a Bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.