What Does PhD Stand For?

What does PhD stand for? often, when people think of the abbreviation "PhD", an image of a doctor or a physician may come to mind.PhD symbols

More images that may be conjured up when the abbreviation "PhD" is mentioned, such as white lab coats and gold-plated name plates placed atop desks or posted above an office doorway, however this shortened version of Philosophiae Doctor, a Latin term that translates to English as Doctor of Philosophy, reaches far beyond doctors, physicians and laboratory researchers.

What is a PhD?

Whether it is earned through an accredited distance learning college or a traditional brick-and-mortar college, the PhD is the highest level of degree that a person can earn. Additionally, the length of time, challenge, dedication and the financial investment that this degree requires makes it difficult for most people to make the commitment to complete it. These are just some of the reasons why the PhD degree carries prestige and exclusivity.

The occupations that a graduate can obtain once they have completed their PhD also provide this degree with an air of prestige. Looking past the obvious physician and laboratory researchers, the occupations that can be achieved with a PhD would depend on the major that one chooses, and can range from a college professor to senior level finance directors with a major in finance to criminal justice majors who land jobs, for instance, in federal criminal justice positions. A large amount of PhD occupations are in the science field, with a focus in physics, biochemistry or engineering.

How do you earn a PhD?

Those who are interested in pursuing their PhD must first complete their bachelors and masters degree, and then enroll for an online program or attend regular college classes on campus. Although this degree could require up to eight years to accomplish at a brick-and-mortar college campus, scholars who are savvy enough to obtain degrees by distance learning could achieve their education in much less time.

This is especially true if the student is willing to continue college distance learning on a fulltime basis or take extra classes, because online distance programs offer students the flexibility of completing courses at their own pace, thus creating the option to finish college sooner than traditional colleges.

Prior to graduating with a PhD, each student is required to demonstrate proficiency in research methodology, analysis and critical thinking by completing an individualized dissertation that adds to their field of study.

A practicum or internship is a requirement before receiving the PhD degree. This additional experience in the work environment helps to combine the information that was learned with practical, working experience, and essentially prepares the student for future work in the career world. It also provides an opportunity for the student to truly understand the inner workings, such as procedures and guidelines, of an organization similar to where they will be working once they graduate.

Careers and Salaries with a PhD

A distance-learning graduate with a PhD degree can look forward to the same opportunities as a doctoral graduate from a traditional campus college. Either type of graduate can look forward to becoming a professor at a higher education institution or a computer and information scientist who invent new technology or science lovers who could delve into a biomedical research career to research health issues and develop new medicinal treatments, among many other professions for PhD holders.

Salaries are also very promising for PhD graduates, stated at between $72,000 - $107,420 as of 2010 by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics for many professions that require a PhD.

However the top of the line salary of PhD holders is well over $150,000 with benefit and retirement packages.

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