At the beginning of the doctoral program, the folks running the institutions of higher education tell all the students to begin thinking about the subject of their dissertation. We call it the “big D.” It’s not divorce, and it’s not Dallas; it’s the horrible thought of several more years of research. It’s the really, really “BIG D.”
Just to bring you up to date on the academic parameters, a doctoral program or a Ph.D. program is all about research. As I mentioned in the introduction, the difference between a Ph.D. degree and a doctoral degree is that the Ph.D. develops the theory and the Doctor with a doctoral degree tries to put that theory into practical use. Just to confuse things, both these academic designations carry the title of “Doctor.” The Ph.D. is just a bit more of a theoretical degree.
Some universities would rather not have Doctors with doctoral degrees teaching their students. They would rather employ teachers that have the Ph.D. designation. I once had an instructor tell me that the university was in existence to teach the theoretical. Anything practical should be taught in technical schools. Oh yes, I was as shocked as those of you reading this.
Please don’t forget that I began my doctoral education rather late in life. I went to a school where most of the students were middle-aged, with half of them coming from the teaching profession and the other half coming from industry. Those coming from ...