Those of you on twitter or facebook may already know that I decided back in … April or so to pursue my doctorate. I was very excited about it and began studiously looking at various programs.
While talking about it, I was very surprised at the reaction I received from people. Not the support…there were a lot of people offering me support. But at the number of people who tried to dissuade me from pursuing a PhD. A number of people presented many arguments against pursuing the higher degree. The major argument was the significant lack of pay. Apparently, I can earn as much money with my MS in a few years as I can with a PhD.
What was very disappointing is the majority of the people trying to dissuade me were actually PhDs working in the university system. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few PhDs who were very supportive of my plans. It’s just that the majority of people who tried to talk me out of it were PhDs. I haven’t quite figured out if they themselves are disillusioned and burnt out or if it’s truly not worth pursuing.
So…I have some research to do. The idea of higher education is still very appealing. Recently people have been talking a lot about clinical doctorates. I’m considering whether this is something I should pursue. Whenever I’ve thought about getting a doctorate, I’ve been a bit … sad. I love the therapy aspect of my work. I don’t want to lose that option to do therapy. I’m very concerned that if I were to pursue a PhD that I would lose the therapy aspect of the work and I find myself wondering if a clinical doctorate would be the ticket? So…now I find myself researching clinical docs.
I’ve read a bit about them before. I considered pursuing one a few years ago. Apparently my alma mater (Minot State University) is considering starting a clinical doctorate program. I’d love to go back there – be a clinical supervisor – maybe even teach a class or two and work on my clinical doctorate (they don’t offer PhD or I’d do that). When I first started researching it, I was told to not even consider it…because it was considered “substandard” in the world of academics.
Recently I received a bit of clarification (not from the original person). I was told that a clinical doctorate isn’t necessarily “substandard” but that since it’s not steeped in research there’s very little chance of tenure and all the “niceties” a PhD garners (professor,ship tenure, etc.).
I’m finding the process of exploring higher education really rather disappointing and I’m being told that the work and expense of pursuing a PhD or a clinical doctorate isn’t worth it. What I’ve been finding really makes me wonder how many other people have considered pursuing it and have been talked out of it and how many have tried to find a program only to quit due to difficulty jumping through hoops?
This really makes me question the shortage of PhD level people in speech-language pathology. Is the shortage really happening? If so, is this attitude part of the problem? What can be done to alleviate the problem? Is it really that bad working in the university system? Is that the only place to work with a PhD? ASHA seems to think so, there’s a few different papers written on it and a town meeting was held at the 2011 ASHA convention to discuss the shortage and what could be done about it.
Have you considered a PhD or Clinical Doc? If you have (or are) how did you decide on your program? If you considered it and decided not to what prompted you to stop? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from any of my readers…
Until then…Adventure on!