Thursday, March 29, 2012

Should Students Pursue an Online PhD in Psychology

Should students pursue a Ph.D., in Psychology and should it be online?

Most graduate students are a bit confused when they are confronted with the above question. Splitting the question into two sections makes it a lot easier to answer.

Firstly, what is a Ph.D. in Psychology and how does it help your career? A Doctor of Philosophy otherwise known as the Ph.D., is the highest degree you can obtain in a particular field. Obviously, it is not only time consuming to obtain, but also with it comes a lot of prestige. Therefore, the biggest question is whether it is worth to you, because you will be spending around five years and much money on this project. Psychology on the other hand is one of the most sought-after programs of study for many prospective students. However, according to the United States Bureau of Labor, there are only few jobs that are available to those who only possess a Bachelor in Psychology. Therefore, the need to obtain a Ph.D., in Psychology is fast becoming a necessity for those wanting to make this field, their line of profession.

Although the courses vary with universities, obtaining a Ph.D., in Psychology consists of a variety of research, essay writing, completing a dissertation, data analysis, and clinical studies. This course can also be obtained virtually through an online degree. However, there are many prerequisites required by almost all accredited colleges and universities in order to be accepted into their online Ph.D., psychology program. Prospective students should not only possess at least a Masters or Bachelors in Psychology, but also possess the necessary technical knowledge so as to successfully participate in online classes. In addition to this, prospective students may also have to take extensive written examination and other entrance tests so as to ensure that they possess the necessary knowledge in the field.

Why should a student choose an online course instead of the traditional campus path?

The factors that influence a student pursuing an online Ph.D., in psychology are;

• That the online study is less expensive. Studying online will reduce various costs, such as lab fees, parking and other fees that traditional on-campus students must pay.
• That an online doctorate course allows them to study at their own pace. Typically, a Ph.D., program can be completed anywhere within 3 to 10 years.
• Although obtaining a Ph.D., online means that a student will have the convenience of attending classes at home, they may not have the physical interaction that a traditional campus classroom brings.
• That they are more convenient for working people as they tend to learn better in an online setting than in a purely traditional classroom setting. Furthermore, online graduate students are at an advanced age, which means that they have a family to look after, in addition to full-time work commitments. The opportunity to take online classes from home, not only saves their career, but also provides them with more flexibility in their personal life.
• That the analyses of 2009 Doctorate Employment Survey data from the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Center for Workforce Studies (Michalski, Kohout, Wicherski, & Hart, 2011) found that 72% of responding psychologists who earned their doctorates in 2008–2009 secured their first choice when looking for a job. In addition, at least 73% of the respondents were employed within 3 months of receiving the doctorate. As might be expected, the highest paid and greatest range of jobs in psychology are available to those with doctorates in psychology. (ref : [2])
• That students who thrive in a live instruction and interaction, may find the virtual classroom a bit too informal. It is also essential that online Ph.D., students be in touch with their research labs and classrooms while taking the online course. Without such an apprenticeship program, an online option would make little sense. Students who plan to take a Ph.D., course soon after their Bachelors or Masters are advised go in for the traditional campus Ph.D., course, as they would likely receive funding or research assistantship. Despite the success of online degree programs, there is a section of employers who feel that online training does may not impart the knowledge and training as a traditional class does. It is also highly unlikely that an online Ph.D., course would guarantee a job unless the college that provides the online course is reputed and is well recognized.

Whichever path one chooses, the online Ph.D., in Psychology degree will require intensive research and a commitment to the field of study.

Works cited:

[1] American Psychological Association: Graduate Study Online

[2] American Psychological Association:
Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate School:
Which is the "best" program in psychology? (Page 2)

[3] American Psychological Association: Careers in Psychology: Doctoral Graduates (Page 3)

[4] United States Department of Labor; Bureau of Labor Statistics: Psychologists
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

list of search queries :


Monday, March 26, 2012

Is Art there for real or is it all hype?

Great art does not require hype to thrive.

It is the new artists who are served by such hype. What art requires is a concentrated critical culture. The more noise that art makes, the less it matters.

Artists must first have a vision and with it a plan on how to create that vision on a medium without compromising quality. If the artist can do that and produce that as their own work, then that can be classified as art. Of course, there is no compulsion that somebody must like it, let alone buy it. They also don’t need any brand value or a reputation so as to give that art its value.

In short, it is just what it is. Actually, art is something that re-creates the soul and the inherent connection with the viewer.

It is the critics and the artists themselves who are responsible for the current hype associated with art. However, to be fair, a large part of this problem is because of the critics who consider themselves as the final say in any form of art. It is these self classified pontificators, who classify a rudimentary finished product into a masterpiece, thus giving the product a brand equity far more than it deserves. It is here where the marketing hype creeps in.

Personally I reckon that if you intend to create art or recreate something, then it is better that you recreate it from a totally different perspective where you are able to express yourself, irrespective of the medium or the channel of expression.

In such a scenario, whatever you create is art.

Art and music sell ainly because somebody or someone has an opinion about and which is influenced by passion and emotion, not because it has any inherent value.

To exemplify this a little further, most of Pablo Picasso's oil paintings are purely oil on canvas and would likely be considered junk for someone who doesn't know or appreciates art and sees only the material point of view. However if a media hype is created around a painting, then it is certain that its value and its sales will shoot up.
In other words, the bottom line is that a true artist is someone who enjoys his work and not someone who does it for any other reason.

Hence, there is a very small line between what is classified as art and what can be classified as hype. The market is actually art minus all other aspects. The so called aspects that comes with art is what that can be classified as hype.