It’s no secret that earning your doctorate degree in education can open more doors in your career, including higher positions and salary in your institution or school district. Earning your doctorate can also put you in a place where your skills are sought after as a consultant, speaker at conferences, and recognized as a true specialist in your area of education.
If you have considered comparing doctorate in education programs in your state, don’t overlook the benefits of earning your degree online. Most doctorate students are busy professionals who are already making an impact in education. They may be master’s degree holders who understand exactly where they want to go next – if only they had that PhD in Education to help them get there.
Before you apply to any school, be sure to compare multiple programs before deciding. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re in store for whether you choose online or campus learning, or a mix of the two. With online becoming so much more common, it’s hard to find a degree program on campus that doesn’t include at least some online courses. Here we’ll try to provide you with enough information to understand what PhD in Education programs can entail, as well as what your career outlook and salary can look like after you earn your degree.
Types of Online Doctorate in Education Degrees
You can find just as many types of online EdD in Education programs as you can campus-based programs. In fact, in some cases it is easier for schools to offer more options online because of there are less resources needed to provide space for learners and faculty presence at set times.
Here are some of the areas of specialization you can pursue as a doctoral student in education:
– Higher Education Administration
– Curriculum and Technology
– Teaching and Leadership
– Organizational Change
– Education Policy
Doctor of Education (EdD) VS. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Many students who want to go beyond their master’s degree in education either choose a Doctor of Education program (EdD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. The main difference is the specific types of outcomes you will prepare for in these programs. Although there may be exceptions or times when a person can qualify for the same position with either degree, they are different. The PhD program will prepare you to perform more research. The Doctorate in Education (EdD) programs are geared, as we mentioned above, for helping you become leaders in institutions. EdD programs tend to be a little shorter, while PhD programs usually require on-campus residencies. So if you are looking for more online options, the Doctorate in Education is probably your preferred path.
Online Doctor of Education Degrees
While programs are designed in partial and fully online formats, you should always speak with schools to see what their requirements are for attending testing centers or campus events throughout the program. Even if you choose a school in your state to make sure you meet the appropriate requirements upon graduation and are able to pass state exams, you don’t want to have to drive across the state just to take a test. Or you may have to plan your life around long commutes if you decide the program is worth it to your career. Every student has their own needs, and every program is different. That’s another reason why it is essential to compare several programs before choosing.
Classes in online education are delivered in several ways, including downloadable texts and video. Some lectures may be live streamed if class discussion or chatting on message boards is involved. Sometimes teachers will have live discussions and have the expectation that students will have to participate in order to be counted present for the class. Even though there is a convenience factor when learning online, there are definitely ways they hold students accountable for doing their work. That’s why online learners have proven as effective as campus students – another reason why employers are hiring educators with online degrees.
In fact, many credible companies across the nation put stock in online EdD graduates by hiring them for their skills. Walden University, which has an online Doctor of Education program lists additional companies that hire their graduates outside of educational institutions. Companies such as Department of Defense, Ford Motor Company, Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Army are some notable examples.
Salary & Career Outlook for Doctorate Degree Holders
Depending on the kind of role you pursue, an EdD graduate can obtain a salary near $100,000 annually. For instance, Postsecondary Education Administrators made a median wage of $88,390 per year in 2014. This is a role that can be obtained in some areas with only a master’s degree. With your EdD and superior skill-set, you can be considered for the top tier of earnings for your role – source.
Associations and Organizations You Should Know
By the time you reach the doctorate level you will have a tight network of professional peers and mentors that still inspire you to continue learning and grow in your career. It is always important in the field of education to consider yourself a student no matter how many degrees you earn. That’s why it’s important to join long-standing organizations such as the Association of American Educators.
This non-profit focuses on being advocates for educators and fostering ways for collaboration across the field. At the Doctorate level you may be thinking about research and grants, as well as professional resources that can help you improve professionally, learn about certification and other helpful tools.
If you are ready to reach the highest level in your area of education, and an EdD program seems like the right path for you, it’s time to compare the closest colleges and universities in your area. Don’t forget to find out how well each school’s online approach will match with your lifestyle. That can be just as important as making sure the program aligns with your career goals.