Earning your degree can help you advance in your current career or provide the opportunity to transition into a new field. Online graduate degree programs, specifically online doctoral programs, can give you the experience and knowledge you need to become a leader in your field.

business woman pausing in front of office buildingWhen selecting from online doctoral programs, you have many options. In 2012 alone, more than 51,000 doctorates were awarded. Is there a difference between an online PhD program and other online doctoral programs? Yes, depending on your academic and professional goals.

A PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy and, unlike a Juris Doctor (JD) or Doctor of Medicine (MD), can be awarded in a variety of subjects, such as education, psychology, management, and public health. Traditionally, choosing an online PhD program could lead to a career in research or higher education. Many universities require faculty members to have their PhD in order to be awarded tenure.

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Depending on your career focus, there are other online doctoral programs available to you besides the online PhD program. For business executives, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) may be the next step after earning an Executive MBADoctor of Education (EdD) can be an opportunity for an educator to assume more responsibilities as a school administrator. In the healthcare industry, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) can help you develop expertise to influence policy and advocate for improved systems of care that lead to positive health outcomes.

Typically, online doctoral programs feature a dissertation or doctoral study that illustrates your knowledge of a particular topic. Some may also include an academic residency to provide you with a more in-depth academic experience to enhance your research and expand your professional network. Many online doctoral programs can also offer you multiple ways to learn, including a structured program of study or a more independent path where you can determine your specific areas of research.

When choosing from online doctoral programs, it is important to consider what types of student services are in place to support your success. As with any online degree program, the convenience of studying when and where you want allows you to balance your professional and personal commitments with your academic goals.

Gain the knowledge and credentials to publish, teach, consult, or lead with a degree from an online doctoral program. Learn more about Walden’s doctoral programs today.

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