Graduate Certificates Versus the Ph.D.
By Melissa McDonald
A couple months ago, my fellow Adjunct By Choice, Ron Tinsley, gave us his reasons for considering and then not pursuing a Ph.D. in “Just a Side of Fries, Please.” He writes,
I’ve realized I can do this without a Ph.D. I may not be able to do it at a well known university, but that’s okay. After all, I like seeing people learn.
At one time or another, I have considered pursuing Ph.D. work—maybe we all do at some point—but I have found it not to be in the cards for me either, at least not right now. Rather than pursuing another degree, I have looked into graduate certificate programs as a way to broaden my horizons. In case you are not familiar with these programs, they are basically short programs that require anywhere from 12 to 18 credit hours in a particular subject. To me, it is like pursuing a minor without needing a major.
Graduate certificates are great for those looking to increase their knowledge, to explore other fields, or to change careers. In places where instructors need 18 graduate-level hours in a subject to teach it, a certificate might be the
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