As a current leader in the education space, pursing a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree is one of the most important decisions you can make in your professional career.
However, there’s plenty of concern and uncertainty surrounding this commitment for many prospective students.
To ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign up for classes, let’s take a moment to discuss every aspect of the journey toward an EdD degree.
What is a Doctor of Education Degree Program?
Gaining an EdD is all about standing on the cutting edge of the application of educational theory. Often geared toward current educators and those in leadership positions at learning institutions, this degree usually requires the completion of around 54 credit hours of work at the doctoral level.
Pursuing an EdD generally comes down to advancing your professional worth. With this training in hand, you can seek out and obtain positions in the education world that require strong organizational leadership.
Outside of this traditional application of the EdD degree, many corporations and members of the private sector also recognize the value of this kind of training, thereby creating an influx of executive officers and other individuals in management positions walking down this educational path.
Doctor of Education Concentrations
Like most other doctoral programs, there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to completing an EdD program. Depending on your preferred institution, you can specialize in a particular concentration or area of study to further refine your learning experience. In terms of concentrations related to this doctoral pursuit, a number of specializations are offered in this field.
Online Doctor of Education Programs:
- EdD – Administrator Leadership for Teaching & Learning
- EdD – Adult Education
- EdD – College Teaching and Learning
- EdD – Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
- EdD – E-Learning
- EdD – Early Childhood Education
- EdD – Educational Leadership
- EdD – English Second Language
- EdD – General Education
- EdD – Global Training and Development
- EdD – Higher Education Leadership
- EdD – Instructional Leadership
- EdD – International Education
- EdD – Leadership in Higher Education
- EdD – Organizational Leadership
- EdD – Reading and Literacy Leadership
- EdD – Special Education
- EdD – Sports Management
- EdD – Teacher Leadership
Again the concentrations offered can vary from school to school. However, having this list in your mind as you start to filter through your options is a great way to ensure that you pick a path that suits your desired career goals.
What is the Difference Between an EdD and a PhD in Education?
The difference between an EdD and a PhD in Education revolves around one fundamental question: What are you looking to do with this kind of advanced degree? Yes, there is plenty of overlap between the two, but taking on the PhD route is primarily an academic endeavor, while an EdD goes beyond research into the actual application of educational theory.
As with any degree, there are no guarantees when it comes to landing your dream job or attaining the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics average salary. Your prior work experience, location, and industry must all be factored into the equation.
Most individuals who travel down the EdD path do so with the intention of working as school district superintendents or directors of student services at an educational institution, making roughly $109,969 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Alternately, a PhD in this same field usually results in serving as a university-level professor, bringing in about $74,040 in the same time span.
How Do You Get a Doctor of Education?
Earning an EdD requires committing to either a traditional learning path – specifically, on campus classes and more rigid semester schedules – or signing up for an online degree program. As with most other decisions in your educational career, making a choice between these options comes down to preference and any financial assistance offered by your current employer or local scholarship funds. Most individuals who purse an EdD are usually established professionals, so working toward this degree on your own time via online schooling is usually the more flexible option.
Doctor of Education Curriculum
Working toward your EdD requires covering a wide variety of topics and areas of study to prove your mastery of this discipline. Here’s a quick look at the curriculum you can expect to delve into as you complete the coursework that comprises this doctoral program:
- Educational Administration and Leadership
- Reading, Literacy, and Assessment
- Educational Technology
- Higher Education and Adult Learning
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Although some EdD programs require a dissertation, some universities now offer online doctoral programs in education without dissertation requirements.
While this is just a basic overview, having a firm idea in mind of your target areas of study can help you prepare for the demands and requirements ahead of you as you work toward an EdD.
Doctor of Education Admission Requirements
Once you’re ready to apply for admission to an EdD program, you’ll usually need to offer up a transcript that confirms your completion of a master’s degree program from an accredited institution, as well as a statement of intent that explains your professional goals and commitment to the doctoral process.
In some cases, you’ll also be required to present your resume and curriculum vitae to the admissions office, along with a professional writing sample that shows off your research capabilities and writing skills. Having the written support of faculty members from your undergraduate and master’s programs also enters the admissions picture from time to time, so be prepared to reach out and acquire these recommendations as needed.
Doctor of Education Career Outlook and Salary Information
As the experts at the BLS explain, the career outlook for this terminal degree is unfortunately experiencing slower than average growth when compared to other fields. Despite the ability of EdD graduates to earn between $66,090 and $175,603 based on location and experience, the influx of entrants into this industry and diminishing career opportunities has led to one of the more competitive environments for prospective job applicants.
Is a Doctor of Education Worth It?
So now that you’re familiar with everything that goes into acquiring an EdD, it’s time to answer one final question: Is all of this work worth it? Naturally, there is no universal answer to this question. Instead, a better course of action is to understand your motivations before you sign up for classes.
Are you interested in tackling a new academic challenge? Does your current employer want you to complete this kind of program as a form of professional development and enrichment? What do you plan to do once you have this degree in hand? Answering these questions, as well as any others that you come across, can help you make the right call when it comes time to plan out your academic future.