Types of Doctorate Degrees - Best Value Schools

    Types of Doctorate Degrees

    February 1, 2021 | Staff Writers

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    Regarded as the pinnacle achievement in higher education, it’s no secret that enrolling in a doctoral program for a degree maximizes salaries and opens the doors to exclusive jobs. For instance, a Ph.D. holder earns 9% more in their lifetime compared to people with only a master’s degree. In education, that number skyrockets to 24%. 

    The reason is simple. The doctorate degree serves as validation that a doctoral student has fully grasped the knowledge of a subject or applied theory of one. Earning the degree firmly identifies you as an authority in your discipline or field. 

    Those are qualities that employers are on the quest for when filling top or leadership positions within their company. With that being said, we’ll delve into the various classifications of a doctorate degree that is not only growing in scope but also soaring in popularity. 

    What Types of Doctorates Are Available?

    There are two main types of doctorate degrees: applied doctorate and academic degree (Ph.D.). As a rule of thumb, when it comes to what types of doctorates are available, opt for a Ph.D. if your goal is to pursue a tenured teaching career at a research institution. 

    Becoming a professor at Yale or Harvard should come to mind, or if a job implicitly requires it, for instance, a university chancellor or principal scientist. 

    If this isn’t the direction you wish to take, then an applied doctorate is a better fit for you. It’s usually recommended if you gravitate more towards learning institutions such as a small liberal arts university or professional school and private charter schools. 

    An applied doctorate is also a great option if you want to establish your professional credibility as a practitioner, such as a financial advisor, CEO, or public health leader. Lastly, it’s an excellent option if you want to delve into the consultancy world, such as a circuit speaker or contract researcher. 

    If you’re uncertain as to the best fit for you, then applied is a safe bet. It grants you immense flexibility, ushering in the best opportunity to learn applicable things in the corporate world.

    What Types of Doctoral, Specialist, and Postgraduate Degrees Does Liberty Offer?

    If an online doctoral program is right up your alley, then your career goals range includes a role in education, leadership, or research. A specialist, postgraduate, and doctoral program are all foolproof ways to make strides in your career, become a professional researcher, or subject matter connoisseur. 

    With about 70 specialist, doctoral, and postgraduate degrees to select from, you can team up with Liberty to turn your professional aspirations into a pleasant reality. 

    Each of the online doctorates, specialist degrees, and Ph.D. programs is availed in an online format, with most of them completed 100% virtually. As such, you have the flexibility to remain active in your career and with your community and family. 

    Liberty offers courses in 8-week formats with eight different start dates each year, granting you the opportunity to finish your classes at your earliest convenience. Furthermore, some programs may demand on-campus incentives, granting you the chance to see Liberty’s eye-catching residential campus. 

    Other students will have mandatory internships that will allow them to gain hands-on experience in the community.

    Below are the different types of postgraduate, doctoral, and specialist degrees available at Liberty. 

    Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
    Similar to an online Ph.D. business graduate degree, DBAs are geared towards making people experts and leaders in the field.

    Doctor of Education
    Enrolling in an EDD program will give you advancement in education and leadership skills. EDD programs also help you advance in counseling.

    Doctor of Ministry
    It will allow you to progress in theology or a specialized area of ministry.

    Doctor of Music Education (DME)
    It’s an online doctoral degree that provides learners with terminal degrees in music education. It combines the skills required to pursue this profession with unwavering confidence through practical, hands-on experience and writing a thesis on a subject in your field.

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
    It’s an advanced DNP program that will arm you with the knowledge and skills needed to take on leadership positions or conduct ground-breaking research.

    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
    An online, research-based Ph.D. program will grant you immense expertise in various fields, ranging from Bible exposition, history, and psychology, to public policy. A Ph.D. will arm you with the tools you require to thrive in higher education.

    Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL)
    As an advanced leadership degree, DSL focuses on business acumen.

    Education Specialist (EDS)
    It’s a specialist degree that propels your career as an educator and educational leadership roles.

    Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)
    It’s a worship degree geared towards equipping you with the necessary tools to become a leader and expert in worship and ministry.

    Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
    It’s an advanced public administration doctoral degree program that will give you the much-needed skills to progress into leadership roles in politics or government.

    Master of Theology (Th.M.)
    As a postgraduate degree, Th.M. prepares you for a doctoral program to earn a degree in theology or leadership in ministry. 

    Which Is The Most Common Doctoral Degree Awarded?

    In many emerging and fast-growing fields, professionals are on the quest to set themselves apart from the pack by earning a specialized doctoral degree. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular online doctorate programs. 

    1. Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

    If your endgame is to run a successful business via a consultant role or C-suite, then a DBA is right up your alley. It’s well-poised to lead adaptation, innovation, and evolution efforts to help businesses adapt to the constantly changing economic demands. 

    Learners are taught how to influence and lead organizations with utmost efficiency by knowing what makes businesses fail, tick, succeed, and improve. 

    Granted, all programs vary, depending on your emphasis coupled with the institution. However, the core coursework may entail the following subjects:

    • Organizational performance and strategy
    • Effective decision-making
    • Organizational behavior and culture
    • Application of ethical constructs
    • Leadership methodologies and constructs
    • Change management techniques
    • Advancement leadership principles coupled with modern management theory
    • Performance analysis 

    There is a multitude of specialties you can acquire from a DBA. They include Marketing, Management of Human Resources, Strategic Management, Finance, International Business Leadership, and Strategy and Vision. 

    2. Doctor of Public Health (DPH)

    If you’re looking to lead programs that impact population and global health, then this doctorate degree was made with you in mind. DPH is tailored to suit those leading policies and programs in the public health sector. 

    The programs help learners develop critical skills to identify, improve, and validate population-based strategies in public health, formulate public health programs and policies; establish economic models for driving meaningful changes, and influence public health interventions. 

    All programs differ, depending on your emphasis and the institution. However, the core coursework may include subjects such as: 

    • Economics of public health
    • Global health, including issues in disease eradication and prevention
    • Public communication and relations for health leaders
    • Health analytics and informatics
    • Community health assessment
    • Public health systems thinking and leadership
    • Assessment of community health 

    The most popular specialties in Doctor of Public Health programs include Social Justice, Health Management and Policy, Health Equity, and Environmental Health. 

    3. Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA)

    If you want to maintain a healthcare focus, a DHA is right up your alley. It’s tailored to business owners in the healthcare sector. Programs usually focus on the practical applications of improvement and evaluation across the healthcare business, including applying public health evaluation, theory, program management, administration, communication, policy, and regulation.

    All programs are different, depending on your emphasis and the institution. Nonetheless, the core coursework may factor in the following subjects. 

    • Methodologies on quality improvement
    • Health data management
    • Private, state, and federal policymaking
    • Program evaluation models
    • Organizational strategies for the improvement of global health and community
    • Elevating health information governance
    • Healthcare financial reform and economics 

    Some of the common specializations of DHA are Health Care Policy, Healthcare Analytics and Quality, General Healthcare Leadership, Program and Clinical Management, and Healthcare Management.

    4. Doctor of Professional Studies (DPS): Instructional Leadership Design (ISL) 

    If your goal is to utilize curriculum development to influence organizations, the DPS is an ideal fit for you. DPS-ISLs develop multi-tiered coupled with cross-organization strategies that aid organizations in improving while retaining talent. 

    Professionals in this area work to develop technical proficiencies, senior leadership competencies, and systems geared towards the transfer of knowledge. 

    All programs vary depending on your emphasis and the institution. However, the main coursework includes the subjects outlined below.

    • Innovative learning environment design
    • Knowledge management
    • Decision-making and strategic assessment
    • Communication strategies and theory
    • Emerging technologies and trends for instructional design
    • Advanced organizational learning theories 

    The DPS-ISL is an emerging field that’s soaring in popularity as an increased volume of tenured and legacy leaders are exiting organizations.

    5. Doctor of Information Technology (DIT)

     If you’re driven to aid businesses in succeeding through the effective management of technology and deployment, then this doctorate was made for you. DITs are technology experts and embedded leaders with the capability of driving organizations through crucial IT-related setbacks. 

    Their profession facilitates the growth and success of business goals and plans. From technology vision to technology assessment, these leaders influence a business’s ability to adhere to its mission. 

    While the programs vary depending on a learner’s emphasis and the institution, the main coursework typically includes the subjects mentioned below. 

    • Information assurance
    • Enterprise systems architecture
    • Risk management and change 
    • Enterprise database design
    • Network security and information
    • Emerging advents of technology such as grid computing and the cloud
    • IT leadership principles 

    As organizations depend on emerging and existing technologies, DITs continue to have a meaningful influence on them.  

    6. Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

    If you’re steered by concepts that encompass reform, the ideal execution of social work, and social justice, this doctorate is right up your alley. A DSW is positioned to expand the work into new areas or populations or accomplish leadership positions in social work organizations or agencies. 

    These leaders drive interventions and social change that elevate the human experience for marginalized or disfranchised populations.

    There’s no denying that each program varies, depending on your emphasis along with the institution. Nevertheless, the key coursework includes the following subjects. 

    • Advanced social work theory
    • Social change and contemporary issues
    • Creation of policies
    • Public leadership
    • Practice and program analysis
    • Human services administration 

    With that being said, a DSW may focus their research on the following fields:

    • Social Work Administration
    • Policy Practice
    • Family Intervention
    • Clinical Psychology
    • Substance or Alcohol Addiction
    • Family Studies
    • Clinical Expertise
    • Intervention and Disaster
    • Criminal Justice 

    7. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

    It’s a degree that’s designed for practicing nurses that are aiming for high-level leadership roles in their practice and improve the quality of patient care in their organizations. 

    A Doctor of Nursing Practice graduate can use their organizational leadership skills, knowledge of healthcare policy implementation, and advanced direct patient care abilities to improve healthcare outcomes. 

    Contrary to Ph.D. programs for nursing that are research-oriented, the DNP focuses on leadership abilities coupled with clinical skills. 

    A DNP prepares a nurse to sit for the advanced practice nurse (APRN) examinations. The Advanced Nursing Practice exams are perfect for nurses that want to acquire next-level clinical skills to become a certified midwife-nurse, nurse practitioner, or nurse anesthetist. 

    A typical Doctor of Nursing Practice program will include the following topics:

    • Emerging public health issues
    • Effective policy implementation
    • Patient privacy concerns
    • Healthcare informatics and evidence-based research on the healthcare system
    • Ethical considerations related to healthcare
    • Sustainable changes in healthcare organizations 

    What Are the Courses in a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services?

    A career in human services is geared towards elevating the lives of others. As human services professional, your job description will include working with individuals to help them achieve their personal goals or a large community to implement positive changes. If you want to work in this rewarding yet challenging field, the first course of action is to earn a bachelor’s degree in human services. 

    A 4-year degree prepares you for entry-level roles. Learners will take on various topics, including public policy and psychology. With a bachelor’s or associate degree in human services, you get a strong foundation if you decide to pursue a master’s degree years down the road. 

    In your bachelor’s program, you’ll take courses geared towards helping you provide excellent assistance to others. You will acquire a strong foundation in grasping human behavior. 

    As a result, you’ll understand how a large social system can impact human behavior. Along with human services classes, there’s a high likelihood you’ll need to take standard courses such as statistics, writing, and communication. 

    The core classes you’ll take will vary from one learning institution to another. While some institutions have special programs such as medical administration, the common classes across the board are:

    • Human Behavior
    • Social Systems
    • Child Welfare
    • Sociology
    • Ethics
    • Domestic Violence
    • Criminal Justice
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Public Policy
    • Social Problems

    Institutions typically need a minimum of 120 credits to award you a bachelor’s degree in human services.

    Comparing Ph.D. Types 

    Upon comparing Ph.D. types, it’s crucial to factor in the following. 

    Is a Ph.D. Harder than a Master’s Degree?

    In a nutshell, harder is relative. To some people, pursuing a master’s is much like an undergraduate degree, such as a bachelor’s in Computer Science. The only difference is that the coursework for a Master’s is harder. Nonetheless, it’s much like honing your craft, so you’ll find it delightful. 

    On the other hand, a Ph.D. is more about learning to think differently. As expected, additional seminar coursework is what honing critical thinking or learning is about. When conducting qualitative research, you need to master the art of reading the work in the field, then filtering out what’s valuable and what isn’t. 

    To do so, refrain from redoing work that has already been done. Furthermore, if you grasp the proper evaluation of research, you’re better suited to design and evaluate your work. 

    Lastly, you can expect dissertations when pursuing an honorary degree or doctoral degree. These involve learning how to refine research problems, develop a course of action to test the hypotheses, and evaluate the outcome. 

    While these elements should be taught in early education, the ability to do that independently and when large problems arise is what sets a Ph.D. student apart from the pack. 

    Is a DSC Higher than a Ph.D.?

    It depends on the country and the learning institution. In England, a Ph.D. is usually awarded for an oral examination and thesis, with the requirements for each being specified after or during the first oral examination. 

    More often than not, a Ph.D. is done after a master’s that is pursued soon after a Bachelor’s degree. Therefore, a relatively large proportion of PhDs are awarded at the beginning of one’s academic career. 

    On the other hand, a DSC is awarded for a portfolio of work submitted together for over-arching critique. It’s, therefore, more likely to be awarded later in the career of an academic. Nominally, a Ph.D. refers to a doctorate in philosophy. 

    However, it’s usually awarded for nearly all subjects. Some people argue that the philosophy of knowledge constantly forms part of these studies, irrespective of the subject. 

    A DSC is an acronym that refers to a doctorate in science. It’s not awarded for law, music, literature, or divinity, each with a dedicated higher doctorate. In England, DSC is regarded as a higher doctorate than a Ph.D. 

    However, in most countries, they are exact substitutes. Both get the title of an honorary doctorate. 

    Matching with a Preferred Internship 

    The APPIC Internship Matching Program usually termed as ‘the Match,’ delivers an orderly process of helping applicants acquire positions in their preferred psychology internship programs. 

    Moreover, it steers these programs on the right path towards obtaining their preferred applicants. Closely similar matching programs to other healthcare professions range from dentistry, optometry, medicine, and podiatry to pharmacy, are in use. 

    The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) establish the policies of the Match while monitoring the implementation. The National Matching Services (NMS) on the APPIC’s behalf. 

    Here’s a step-by-step process of how it works. 

    1. Programs and applicants must virtually register in the NMS system. 

    2. With the Match, every applicant will need to apply to the internship program that tickles their fancy via the AAPI application service. 

    3. Once all the interviews are completed, all applicants must submit a Rank Order List (ROL) that contains applicant lists of their desired programs in numerical order of the most preferred to their least preferred option. 

    4. The Match then positions applicants solely based on their stated preferences in the Rank Order List. 

    5. The outcome of the Match is that all applicants are positioned with their most preferred internship program on the ROL. While the list ranks the applicant, it doesn’t fill all its positions with more better-suited applicants. Similarly, each program is matched with the most preferred applicant on the ROL until all the available positions are filled. 

    Which Psychology Degree Has the Best Job Prospects?

    The path to becoming a psychologist is a diverse one, to say the least. With a multitude of potential salaries and paths your career can take, we’ve outlined your best options after acquiring a psychology degree.

    Career Counselor 

    Your goal is to assist job seekers, and career-oriented learners discover their potential. Career counselors help people find careers, perform self-assessments, change careers, and vocational rehabilitation. 

    Child Care Worker 

    With a degree in psychology, you can work directly in this field by specializing in occupational therapy or becoming a worker in mental health settings such as childcare or a partial caregiver. A child care worker is typically found in after-school programs and daycare systems. 

    Psychiatric Technician 

    Granted, an undergraduate degree in psychology doesn’t automatically qualify for a counseling psychology career, for instance. However, there’s no denying that it prepares a graduate with good GRE scores to work in the field of human services of mental health as a psychiatric technician or social work assistant. 

    Rehabilitation Specialist 

    It entails assisting individuals grappling with mental and physical disabilities to reintegrate into society by becoming self-sufficient and living independently. Granted, this position usually calls for a master’s or doctor in psychology (PsyD). However, a bachelor’s degree in psychology adequately prepares you to become a rehabilitation specialist.

    What’s the Difference Between a Ph.D. and a Professional Doctoral Degree?

    It’s no secret that a Ph.D. degree and professional doctorate are each regarded as a terminal degree, implying that you’ve achieved the most superior formal degree in the field. In turn, they can greatly enhance your career and résumé. Nonetheless, two aspects answer the commonly asked question, what’s the difference between a Ph.D. and a professional doctoral degree?

    For starters, a Ph.D. is an academic degree that revolves around theory evaluation, data analysis, and qualitative research. Contrarily, a professional doctorate entails the design of professional practices within a certain field, extensive research on practical problems, and coming up with solutions to complex challenges. 

    Secondly, the methods by which you become a professional doctorate holder almost always vary. Although it can differ by university and doctoral program, Ph.D. candidates typically complete a dissertation, whereas a professional doctoral candidate completes a doctoral study. 

    What Is the Difference Between a Terminal Degree and a Research Degree?

    A professional degree program is typically not regarded as a research degree or research doctorate in the US educational system. However, most professional degrees are classified as terminal if they are the highest degree awarded in a given field. Common examples are Doctor of Medicine Degree for medical doctors and the Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

    What Is the Difference Between a Doctorate in Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Management?

    A Ph.D. program is usually full-time. Therefore, it’s important to consider your resources, goals, and the time needed to complete the degree. If you can spare your time building theory in a certain discipline, then pursuing a Ph.D. is your best bet. If you gravitate more towards theory application or have a full-time job, among other responsibilities, a DBA is better suited to your lifestyle. 

    Essentially a DBA student is focused on contributing to the practice of management and making a difference in the industry. On the other hand, a Ph.D. learner is focused on contributing to scholarship.

    How Can You Earn Your Ph.D. or Professional Doctoral Degree?

    A professional doctorate degree and a Ph.D. degree share one commonality; you can earn either through online doctoral programs. At accredited online universities, relocating to be closer to campus becomes the least of your concerns. 

    Moreover, you don’t even have to commute to and from campus. Instead, the convenience of earning a doctoral degree program online is that you can complete most of your coursework right from the comfort of your home. 

    Furthermore, pursuing professional doctorates and Ph.D. programs online provides a flexible format that doesn’t require you to attend classes at specific times on certain days. Simply rearrange your learning schedule to ensure it works with your day-to-day responsibilities.

    Does a Professional Doctorate or a Ph.D. Better Meet Your Career Objectives?

    Yes! A professional doctoral degree or applied doctorate will help you solve practical problems in your career by reinforcing the core technical aspects of quality research while delivering sought-after technology capabilities and communication skills. 

    Through the combination of application and research, an applied doctorate’s research aspect can arm you with greater insight. In contrast, the application side will usher in better decision-making to evaluate and overcome your career challenges.

    What Type of Career and Salary Can You Expect with an Online Doctor of Educational Psychology Degree?

    Majoring in educational psychology means your job description will entail coming up with an exciting curriculum geared towards helping teachers maintain focus and interest in a classroom. You’ll also formulate creative teaching tools to step up the learning process by a few notches. 

    Besides working with children, you’ll be expected to closely cooperate with teachers and learners with special needs. The salary for educational psychologists is about $77,030 annually. Nonetheless, a myriad of variables can boost your wage exponentially.

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