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Online PhD in Engineering: A Different Avenue to Success

By Brendan Conway updated on Monday, January 28, 2013

An online PhD engineering degree: Not a shortcut, but an easier route to a PhD

Lo and behold, a PhD holder comes! She of the wire-frame glasses, with books in her hand and pen ready to write upon notebook paper! She is a guardian of academia, a titan of scholastic institutions, a deity of intelligentsia. Kneel before her!

Well, of course, a PhD holder doesn't suddenly transform into some Norse god upon receiving the degree, as if the PhD were some tree-pulp version of Mjolnir. But a PhD is a degree that comes with plenty of attached honor, prestige, and potential success. It's often a worthwhile endeavor for those who are particularly interested in their fields, despite all the difficulty that can come from trying to obtain one.

The bad news is that in the modern day and age, the academic portion of the difficulty is still just as staunchly resolute as ever; you aren't getting past that without a lot of time, effort, and good, hard, brain-stretching work. The good news, though, is that thanks to this new-fangled thing called "The Internet," some of the more back-achingly annoying parts of getting a PhD have been made simple, easy, and manageable, especially for particularly trying disciplines like engineering.

Introducing, for your ease and comfort: the online PhD in engineering! (APPLAUSE)

Online engineering PhD programs are available for many different kinds of engineering degrees, from the PhD in Software Engineering to the PhD in Mechanical Engineering, and even the PhD in Engineering Management.

Online engineering PhD degree: Advantages

An online PhD in engineering will still prepare a learner for all the same tasks and duties as would a PhD in engineering obtained in person. The difference lies in that the online engineering degree can be obtained from the comfort of one's own home, without many of the attached difficulties and complications that would be involved in obtaining a PhD from a university in person.

Imagine that you could have all the educational content of your professor's lectures, obtained through your computer at home! Using video conferencing, instant messaging, email, and the like, the accessibility of classically institutionalized components of education is increased a hundredfold, thereby making an online engineering degree a great opportunity for all who are interested.

Concerns about online PhD engineering degrees

You should always do your best to thoroughly investigate online PhD engineering programs before you begin to participate. It is always possible that an advertised program might not be accredited, or a particular program might not provide exactly the type of education you want due to some of the differences in terminology, which breed like bunnies in the world of academia.

It is critical that you determine, with certainty, if the university from which you are attempting to obtain your online engineering degree is an accredited university. If it is not accredited, then the PhD you would obtain would pretty much only be worth the paper it's printed on, if that. In the field of engineering, there are specific professional organizations which provide accreditation, and if your degree isn't going to be recognized by the professional organization for your brand of engineering, then it's not going to do you much good.

There are also the basic differences between obtaining an online PhD in engineering, and getting one in-person. Yes, obtaining the degree online will be made significantly easier by the fact that you will be able to do so over the Internet, at your leisure.

But there are attached difficulties, such as the fact that you will not be having face to face contact with your professors, most likely. Even if you are watching them give lectures over your computer screen, it will be different from seeing them in person, and you won't be able to physically go visit their offices to ask questions.

Despite any of the above concerns, however, pursuing a graduate-level online engineering degree is a great option for anyone who wants such a degree, but isn't so certain about his or her own ability to manage it via the traditional route. It will still take plenty of hard work and effort, but it's certainly an option worth looking into.

Online Engineering Programs
About the Author

Brendan Conway is the Web Content Editor for Peterson's Interactive and is well-versed in the world of higher education and admissions. He is a graduate of Hamilton College, and has been working in admissions advice, test-prep advice, career planning advice, and similar fields for the majority of his career since graduation. Brendan endeavors to provide the most relevant, useful, and interesting information via Peterson's Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ feeds. Brendan enjoys lexicological oddities and voraciously reading in his free time.

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