How sweet would it be if WGU started a Doctorates Program

ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS x 4 | ITIL | PCEPMember Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
I wish WGU had a doctorates program i would definatley attend. I understand they would have to charge alittle more and might not allow for 6 month degrees like there other programs but even a two year doctorates program would be awesome
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Comments

  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    At minimum this would be a means to put off my student loans even longer, which I'd be all for. I would probably go through with it if they offered this. I'm not sure if there's really any other feasible option out there for a PhD. Seems like either you have to get an employer to pay for it (which is unlikely unless it's at a college that offers this) or pay an absolute arm and a leg for a poor ROI.
  • ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS x 4 | ITIL | PCEP Member Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was mapping out my education goals and man oh man trying to find a good option for a doctorates is harsh most schools want 75k+ and three- 4 years I wish WGU would open a program up maybe i should do a Pettion.org and beg for it
    I find your lack of Cloud Security Disturbing!!!!!!!!!
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  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,143 ■■■■■■■■□□
    University of Fairfax has a doctoral program in security: https://www.ufairfax.edu/
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It would also be nice if there was a residency or externship type thing included but I guess it's geared towards people with a lot of Infosec experience already.
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,285 ■■■■■■■■□□
    markulous wrote: »
    It would also be nice if there was a residency or externship type thing included but I guess it's geared towards people with a lot of Infosec experience already.


    For a doctorate? I'd hope it's geared that way. I think too many people go a little too heavy on the education and not enough on the practical sometimes. I'd raise major red flags if someone came to an interview with a doctorate in some flavor of infosec and no working experience.
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A residency or externship would provide quite a bit of experience though. It'd be just like how a medical doctor gets their experience.
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    tedjames wrote: »
    University of Fairfax has a doctoral program in security: https://www.ufairfax.edu/

    Tedjames,

    Any idea on the cost of this? The program looks really interesting to me and I see some testimonials from names within my community.
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Based on WGU's model of using certifications as the curriculum base I would think that would be unlikely.
  • bluejellorabbitbluejellorabbit Member Posts: 43 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I don't really see a need for a doctorate program in IT. A traditional Ph.D. is a research degree, and there's not a lot of need for IT research in the strict sense. This is somewhat mirrored in engineering fields, where Ph.D.'s are not that common, since most of engineering is focused on practical application. Only a very small subset of engineers, such as those that may do research for a large company like Intel, would find use for an engineering Ph.D. I see even less use in IT.
  • tedjamestedjames Scruffy-looking nerfherdr Member Posts: 1,143 ■■■■■■■■□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Tedjames,

    Any idea on the cost of this? The program looks really interesting to me and I see some testimonials from names within my community.

    Check this out: https://www.ufairfax.edu/tuition-financial-aid/

    Too rich for my blood. I hear it's a great program, though.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,298 ■■■■■■■■■□
  • jfitzgjfitzg Member Posts: 102 ■■■□□□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Tedjames,

    Any idea on the cost of this? The program looks really interesting to me and I see some testimonials from names within my community.

    U of F is NOT regionally accredited, STAY AWAY!
  • jfitzgjfitzg Member Posts: 102 ■■■□□□□□□□
    tedjames wrote: »
    Check this out: https://www.ufairfax.edu/tuition-financial-aid/

    Too rich for my blood. I hear it's a great program, though.

    $86k for a DETC accredited doctorate? Yikes, better off going to Phoenix, at least they have regional accreditation. You are still better off burning your money than giving it to Phoenix, but hey, all about priorities. Check out Dakota State University, great cost effective program (if you can get in).
  • ClmClm CISSP | CCSP | CCSK | AWS x 4 | ITIL | PCEP Member Posts: 444 ■■■■□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »
    Based on WGU's model of using certifications as the curriculum base I would think that would be unlikely.


    I could see it happening with using CERTS it would be all top level certs , CCIE, CISSP, CISSP-ISSMP, MCSM, CISM, CISA, Top level SANSand a couple more classes
    I find your lack of Cloud Security Disturbing!!!!!!!!!
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,164 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I couldn't see WGU ever offering a PhD. They're already catching heat for their current programs and a PhD is about original research that is peer reviewed. WGU's model is definitely not conducive to academic research that a PhD would require.
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  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    Doctoral programs generally have a major research component, and it's that research component that takes up your time.

    There's a Doctor of Information Technology here at at least one university in Australia. These professional doctorates are quite common here in various fields. This D IT comprises coursework on research methods and a major thesis. This is different from a PhD, in that the PhD program is all research, whereas the D IT has a professional practice focus. So, a D IT would conduct research in an organisational setting. The PhD is more flexible but tends to be more 'theoretical'.

    The duration is the same - 3 years full time - but the D IT has one year of coursework and two (or more) for the thesis.

    The common thing is that apart from all the legwork you need to do, you do have regular meetings with your supervisor. These days Skype is relatively common way to do this. But if you expect to finish your research in any reasonable timeframe, it really needs to be a full time pursuit. Even part time, it can overtake lots of your life.

    So it does have a bias towards obsessive types, that can remain very focussed on a small area for a long time. I'm not sure that would work well with the 'weekends and evenings' approach that WGU encourages.
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  • EngRobEngRob Member Posts: 247 ■■■□□□□□□□
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    I couldn't see WGU ever offering a PhD. They're already catching heat for their current programs and a PhD is about original research that is peer reviewed. WGU's model is definitely not conducive to academic research that a PhD would require.

    Where are they catching heat for their current programs?
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Is the regional vs. national accred. issue that big of a deal? I've read around online some and it seems that there are perks to regional but if you are taking a Doctorate degree, are you really concerned with transferring credits etc. at that point? I looked at their testimonials and they seem to have various individuals within the government realm (which I work in, DoD) who are at higher levels and successful. I've also met various GS15's with Nationally Accredited degrees and it hasn't seem to harm their career any. Hell, I know some are working as adjuncts with nationally accredited degrees.

    Is it really that critical?

    jfitzg wrote: »
    U of F is NOT regionally accredited, STAY AWAY!
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    Is the regional vs. national accred. issue that big of a deal? I've read around online some and it seems that there are perks to regional but if you are taking a Doctorate degree, are you really concerned with transferring credits etc. at that point? I looked at their testimonials and they seem to have various individuals within the government realm (which I work in, DoD) who are at higher levels and successful. I've also met various GS15's with Nationally Accredited degrees and it hasn't seem to harm their career any. Hell, I know some are working as adjuncts with nationally accredited degrees.

    Is it really that critical?
    Yes it's critical...PhD's are expected to be considered experts or advanced in their discipline. When you have discrepancies about their education or ability...this completely contradicts the professionals ability to contribute ground breaking research to the industry and the ability to publish the information credibly. Unlike with Masters degrees, you are very unlikely to find a credible university that does not require an entry exam such as the GRE or GMAT for a PhD program...frankly if you see one I would stay away.

    Also, PhD's are generally found at universities and very few actual companies. This means they do research, and profess.
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    TechGuru,

    While I appreciate your response I don't think it addresses my question of regional vs. national accreditation. You mention discrepancies about education or ability but that is casting a broad net without taking an individuals experience and knowledge into consideration. I specifically asked what makes a nationally accredited school a no-go, as jfitzg stated. When I look at testimonials of individuals who have went there, they seem to be well spoken and educated in their career field and not to mention successful in likely well paid positions. So what justification is there to toss it out the window, why is national accreditation worthless?
  • jfitzgjfitzg Member Posts: 102 ■■■□□□□□□□
    zxbane wrote: »
    TechGuru,

    While I appreciate your response I don't think it addresses my question of regional vs. national accreditation. You mention discrepancies about education or ability but that is casting a broad net without taking an individuals experience and knowledge into consideration. I specifically asked what makes a nationally accredited school a no-go, as jfitzg stated. When I look at testimonials of individuals who have went there, they seem to be well spoken and educated in their career field and not to mention successful in likely well paid positions. So what justification is there to toss it out the window, why is national accreditation worthless?

    Really? You are going by their testimonials on their website? Really? Try Googling regional vs national accreditation and reading up on it. If you want to waste your money at a NA school, be my guest. Just remember, when you get laughed out the door with a NA degree, you only have yourself to blame...
  • zxbanezxbane Member Posts: 740 ■■■■□□□□□□
    jfitzg,

    The reason I mention the testimonials is because one of the individuals on there actually works within my organization in a high-level position, hence why I thought the testimonials were worth considering.

    I have googled the NA vs. regional topic and I have found mixed results, with one of the cons of NA accredited schools being transferability, but my point was that if you are planning to go for a Doctorate then I don't think you will be trying to transfer credits anywhere in the future since that is the peak of formal education degrees.

    Also, I would be utilizing tuition assistance so I won't be spending any money out of pocket. I was simply looking for solid justifications on why NA accreditation is worthless compared to regional but for whatever reason you've taken that as an aggressive response.
  • MaxSedankaMaxSedanka Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I was searching for information on WGU Doctorates to see if any rumors were going around as I am interested in this as well, and I came across this thread.

    I'll mention that I have spoken to some personnel from WGU who have expressed to me that WGU has been considering a Doctoral program, but they are looking for a way to make it fit their model and satisfy state and federal departments of education requirements. Being competency-based, this is difficult as they've at times run into challenges even with their current programs. I imagine they will figure it out at some point.

    With regard to NA schools, it's important to note that WGU was nationally accredited for a number of years by the DETC (now DEAC), and haven't made any drastic changes to their model since, and as we know WGU has a pretty good reputation with many successful graduates. You can also find schools like the University of Arkansas eVersity, nationally accredited by the DEAC. Deakin University was once nationally accredited by the DETC, as well as the University of St. Augustine. California Southern, Westcliff, American Public and American Military Universities, all once nationally accredited by the DETC/DEAC.

    Liberty University was once nationally accredited.

    Having attended and graduated from regionally accredited schools, nationally accredited schools, non-profit schools, for-profit schools, public schools, and private schools, ground-based, by mail, and online, I can say with strong certainty that a school's tax status or accreditation designation is virtually immaterial. The public perception of the difference is just that, perception, most of it being pushed by irresponsible reporting by mainstream media where they attack for-profit schools while ignoring the exact same issues they attack happening at non-profit schools. What separates good schools from bad schools lies in its administration. I could tell you stories about great times I had with nationally accredited for-profit schools where I learned a ton, and absolute nightmares I had with regionally accredited non-profit schools where I learned nothing. To reiterate, the administration running the school is paramount to the student experience, and there are good and bad administrations across the spectrum of accreditation and tax status.

    As far as having an NA degree laughed at, I wouldn't worry about that ever happening (and it's never happened to me) any more than I would worry about the boogeyman hiding in my closet. Like the average person, the average hiring manager knows nothing about accreditation or which schools are accredited by which association, and so many people with absolute fake degrees from schools that don't exist or "pay with your credit card and get a degree in 15 days" diploma mills are on LinkedIn with good jobs, that it tells you a lot about what most companies really know about this subject. Then add on the fact that if NA degrees were worthless, none of the thousands of NA schools would've been able to survive for as long as they have as no one would go, and no one would get jobs with the degrees. The reality is, people are going, and people are getting jobs with the degrees and doing well. No matter where you get your degree, someone somewhere will have a problem with it:

    Online degree? Oh, you didn't do it in-person!

    Regionally accredited? Oh, but it wasn't a top tier school!

    Top tier school? Oh, but it wasn't a top 20 school!

    Top 20 school? Oh, but it wasn't Ivy League!

    Ivy League school? Oh, look at you with your fancy Ivy League degree! You're a know-it-all snob!

    ... I've heard it all. There are literally thousands of schools. No one school or type of school is right for everyone. What I tell people is to research the program you want to go into, find out what your field or state regulations will accept, find the school you're comfortable with from a scheduling and affordability standpoint, and go from there. Once you know what you're getting into, you'll be fine.
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    WGU is a no go for anything above BS.  If you plan on making more than 160-170k it gets competitive and B&M schools win everytime.  You also need to consider who would be asking for a doctorate for an IT job.  Most people that would require something like that would be an actual CS degree which isnt even in the same realm.
  • StrikingInfluencerStrikingInfluencer CISSP, PCNSA, AWS-CSAA, AWS-CCP, A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, Project+, Storage+, CIW garbage, others Member Posts: 33 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As someone who teaches part-time for a state community college and works in the world of academia I'm going to actually have to disagree with this and say I really genuinely hope they don't for many of the reasons people brought up earlier.

    As much as I love WGU and I love their model for education -- it is not one size fits all and I just don't think it applies or is even relevant to other focuses or even more advanced degree like a PhD.

    This is where I think students who go to WGU start going down this rabbit hole.  Because they completed their AAS or BS in like 6 months or a year they now want to keep obtaining more degrees for the sake of putting more letters on their resume when in reality certifications and experience are a much greater return of investment.

    "IT" or Information Technology is not really a field that would have a huge demand or need for a PhD program.  As many have said most PhD programs are research based.  What research would a Doctor of Philosophy perform in 'Information Technology" or Cyber Security"?  These two roles or fields would best fit with an education that is more vocational in nature.  If you think of more traditional PhD degrees and programs like mathematics or for example psychology -- at these levels of education they are heavily research focused. 

    The only person I've met who has a PhD and is working in IT Cyber Security, is a man who has a PhD in mathematics with a focus in cryptology.  And even then -- someone like him isn't working in a traditional "IT" role.  This man has worked for the DoD and large security vendors that create encryption software. 

    So I really hope WGU doesn't create a useless PhD of IT - because honestly I would lose a lot of respect for them.  I've only met one person with an actual PhD in "Information Technology" and let me tell you - I was not impressed.  His degree was from some small name for-profit school and no one in my department took him seriously. 

    I get that a lot of people who go to WGU get motivated and want to pound out a Masters and a PhD to boost their resume but I actually think these degrees can hurt more than they can help.  Because now if Joe Blow Sys Admin has a PhD in IT then technically he has the same level of education as maybe someone with a PhD in Mathematics from California Institute of Technology even though most people would be well aware it's not even the same ball park....  Then employers will now start making even more ridiculous job requirements.


  • MaxSedankaMaxSedanka Member Posts: 2 ■■□□□□□□□□
    edited October 2019
    With regard to a PhD at WGU, I don't see a real issue there because it's highly unlikely any accreditor would allow a PhD program to be formed using the faster-paced CBE model. Accreditors usually limit what types of degrees can be offered and in what types of methods. Since a PhD is a research degree that requires certain periods and milestones over a generally fixed amount of time, I don't see it ever happening. Their model just doesn't allow for it unless they devote a separate setup for the PhD that adheres to a traditional structure and timeframe, but that of course would be pointless to their current business model.

    If I were to put my money on it, I'd say what we're more likely to see at some point is a DBA or some other type of non-research doctorate. There have been CBE models in the past that were used for PhDs, like Union Institute and University that once had such a model for their Interdisciplinary Studies Doctorate, but that's since changed in a number of ways that it's almost unrecognizable from its past offerings.

    The reason the CBE model works is because it's so largely based around what you can prove you already know. This faster-paced advancement is no different from many other schools that allow you to advance by using CLEPs and challenge exams for credit. That being said, I think the fast finishes at WGU are glorified, but the truth is that most students don't finish in under 6 months. Many don't finish at all. They have A LOT of students, fast results aren't as typical as the internet reports make us think.
    So I really hope WGU doesn't create a useless PhD of IT - because honestly I would lose a lot of respect for them.  I've only met one person with an actual PhD in "Information Technology" and let me tell you - I was not impressed.  His degree was from some small name for-profit school and no one in my department took him seriously.


    Luckily, WGU is non-profit and technically larger than most other schools by student enrollment numbers and faculty size, but as I've said I find the whole tax status and school size matter to be arguments and anecdotes against a mythical monster. I mean, we could add anecdotes about dropouts who graduated from no college at all and went on to revolutionize the entire industry, like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. A degree is just one component, your ability and drive doesn't always match it. It can be below it, or it can exceed it. It's really up to what you make of it.

    Moreover, having worked at the AAA level in game development and other CS fields, all I've ever seen that matters in the end is ability. There are plenty of people with high degrees that suck at what they do, and people with lower degrees who can run the whole ship. The thing about tech is that it's hard to hide for long if you're no good, and proof work can show that you are good.

    I get that a lot of people who go to WGU get motivated and want to pound out a Masters and a PhD to boost their resume but I actually think these degrees can hurt more than they can help.  Because now if Joe Blow Sys Admin has a PhD in IT then technically he has the same level of education as maybe someone with a PhD in Mathematics from California Institute of Technology even though most people would be well aware it's not even the same ball park....  Then employers will now start making even more ridiculous job requirements.


    Given the types of students WGU attracts (mostly over 30, career professionals), I just think those people want to prove what they already know and not spend many years being held back by a traditional class schedule that drags things out over a longer period of time.

    There will always be a school deemed higher than another until you reach Harvard, Yale, and Oxford status. California Institute of Technology itself would be trumped by other schools, so of course Western Governors University would, too. But at the end of the day, it really is about the abilities of the person. I attended schools and had professors who held PhDs from top universities, quite a few of them I considered blithering idiots with control complexes and poor reasoning skills. I had others with degrees from lesser-known schools and some of them were brilliant communicators with excellent judgement. Same thing with Doctors, they all graduate from medical school, but all Doctors are certainly not equal. It all varies.
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