Ed.D & Ph.D Degrees in Education

An individual who earns a Ph.D. in education or an Ed.D.  typically has a strong interest and passion for educational policies,  philosophies, and leadership. Earning a Ph.D. or and Ed.D.   can lead to a teaching administrator career or a job as a professor of education. Receiving a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. requires the pursuit of a rigorous course of study, the writing and defending of a dissertation and the dedication of working toward the degree. These degrees can be earned online or at traditional brick-and-mortar campuses. For people who are excited about the field of education, pursuing  a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in education is a rewarding and fulfilling accomplishment that can also lead to promising career opportunities.

Education Requirements

There are numerous universities that offer Ph.D. or Ed.D, programs and each of them may have different admissions requirements based on school and departmental preferences.  Most all programs, however, will require a bachelor degree or a master degree, recommendations, writing samples, assessment test scores and high levels of past academic achievement.

Career Options: What You Can Do with a Ph.D. in Education, or an Ed.D.

Receiving a Ph.D. in nearly any field will prepare scholars to work in higher education. Many individuals who have earned Ph.D.s in education or Ed.D.s will go on to conduct original research in their field, publish academic articles and write books. Graduates may also become post-secondary teachers, who are instructors or professors who teach at colleges or universities.

Similarly, someone with Ph.D. in education, or an Ed.D. will take on administrative positions at post-secondary institutions. These administrators may work in a specific area of a university—such as admissions or student affairs—or they may have more overarching roles as provosts, presidents or deans. These are some of the highest-level positions in colleges or universities and they often involve developing budgets, creating academic policies, appointing faculty members and making other organizational decisions. Unlike a president or provost’s more comprehensive role, U.S. News & World Report notes that deans manage individual schools within a university, such as a college of engineering or a school of social work.

For graduates who are interested in working outside of a school setting, there are also opportunities to enter careers with organizations or government agencies that help develop, analyze and influence national and state educational matters.

What to Consider if You Pursue a Ph.D. in Education, or an Ed.D.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, post-secondary teachers earn a median annual wage of $62,050. On the lowest end, they earned salaries under $30,720 and on the higher end, they received salaries over $130,510. The job outlook for professors is positive, with a projected growth of 17%, which is on track with the average job growth for most professions.

For people who are interested in a teaching administrator career, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a similar projected level of job growth at 19%. These professionals earn a median salary of $83,710 annually, with the lowest paid individuals earning salaries under $47,130 and the highest paid earning over $164,540 each year.

For administrators and professors who are interested in working for public colleges or universities, the job outlook and average salaries will likely vary depending on individual state budgets and trends. Ph.D. graduates who know they are entering a specific state’s public school system should watch those trends for more accurate information on the availability of positions and typical salaries. Graduates who use their degrees to work in fields outside of schools and universities will also have highly variable job outlook projections and salary estimates.

Earning a Ph.D. in education , or an Ed.D requires many years of study and dedication, but it has the potential to prepare the right individuals for rewarding careers as educators, researchers or administrators in colleges and universities. It can also open the door for positions in other industries that require an expert-level knowledge of educational techniques, policies and history. Individuals who are passionate about education will be prepared to access numerous opportunities if they decide to pursue this area and level of study.

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