The pinnacle of education: Are doctorate degrees worth it?

Tea’ Claus
Staff Writer

The value of a doctorate degree is challenged amongst Hudson Valley students. Graphic by: Vinny Croce

The value of a doctorate degree is challenged amongst Hudson Valley students.

A doctorate degree is the highest level of education a student can pursue, but are they worth the time and money?

Professors at Hudson Valley don’t require a doctorate degree to teach at the college, but many who do have achieved one.

Dr. Sonja Miller-Douzal is one of Hudson Valley’s doctorate holding professors.

“I majored in psychology, and we had to chose our specialty our last two years of college with the bachelor of arts and mine was neuroscience,” said Miller-Douzal.

Unlike Miller-Douzal, professor Jonathan Peabody, after achieving his master’s, decided to get into a classroom.

“I went to school for english literature. For my undergrad degree, I majored in English and had a minor in education. About seven or eight years later I went back for my master’s degree, and got my master’s degree in American Literature,” he said.

Some students are studying with plans to pursue a doctorate in the future, while others don’t feel the need or desire for extra schooling.

Psychology student Monica Lascheid said, “I’m actually getting an M.D., and eventually I’m going to be a psychiatrist.”

Business administration student Jake Loiselle only requires a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, so he has no plans to pursue a doctorate in the near future.

“I thought I was gonna go all the way, get my master’s and eventually get my doctorate. When I was in grad school, I loved the scholarship behind it, but on the other side I loved teaching, so I wanted to get to the classroom as soon as possible,” said Peabody.

Although Peabody has thought at times that he would go back to achieve his doctorate, he no longer wishes to pursue the degree.

Miller-Douzal said that she does not regret her decision to receive her doctorate degree.

“Students believe there are still others out there who want to go all the way to get the highest level of education,” said nursing student Karlvernaye Williams. “There are a lot of kids in my classes that want to be doctors.”

Individual studies student Abraham Schlossberg thinks that there are still students going for a doctorate because of the resources available in education.

“I think I remember reading an article and more people are actually going towards grad school now that the option [is] out there,” said Schlossberg.

Doctorate degrees are important to attain high paying jobs in certain fields of work.

“It seems that more and more students are going to college. You’re going to need that extra in to stand out and be qualified for [positions in the field],” said Loiselle.

Professor Peabody said that there are some fields of work where doctorates offer a clear advantages, but sometimes students aren’t prepared for the difficulties in a doctorate program and they may not need one for what they’re trying to do.

“English is important, but I think sometimes people say when you get a doctorate in English, they don’t necessarily prepare you for certain fields, they prepare you to study literature,” said Peabody.

“So then when you go out into the public sphere. You’re supposed to teach that subject. There isn’t really any other occupation that goes along with that,” said Peabody.

Students and teachers both seem to understand the difficulties in achieving a Ph.D—neither appear to take the pursuit lightly.

“A lot of determination and focus is required because it’s a lot of work,” said Loiselle about obtaining the degree.

Professor Peabody said it depends on the person.

“I think you do have to have a mindset about education, you have to really care about school. If you are not passionate about education, learning and scholarship then maybe you shouldn’t,” said Peabody.

“Otherwise if you know that you’re passionate about your field and potentially want to work in it, or teach in it, I say yes,” said Peabody.

Professor Miller Douzal had some advice for anyone who is considering going to for their doctorate.

“If you’re considering it, I would say, follow that dream,” said Douzal.

“You do along the way have milestones, and after reaching one of those milestones, if you want to stop for a little while you can. I did that between the bachelor of arts and the masters and then the Ph.D.”

She said that she had gone back to grad school ten years after getting her bachelor’s degree in college.

A doctorate is not an easy program to get through. They require a lot of work, but if you’re passionate about your field, professors at Hudson Valley believe you should follow your passion.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: