Why Get A Doctorate In Special Education?

Earning a doctorate in special education can put you at the forefront of a nationwide drive to ensure that children with developmental disabilities get a good education.

Not all teachers in mainstream schools understand how to teach special-needs students effectively, so those willing to go the extra mile with upper-level training can lead the charge to improve the state of special education.

Those who’ve earned a doctorate in special education often have a competitive advantage when applying for top leadership posts in school districts and on college campuses. Advanced degrees also can lead to higher pay, depending on the school district.

Education Requirements

Entry into a doctorate in special education program requires a bachelor degree in special education and usually will require the applicant to have a master degree and substantial work experience.

Once a student is admitted, the work has only just begun. Special education courses at the upper levels are rigorous and feature an emphasis on research that can be immediately put to work in our education system.

Teachers often take these courses while they are working full-time, so excellent time management is a necessity. Certain classes may be available as online education courses, a particularly helpful option for those teaching in rural or remote areas. Check with your university of choice to make sure you’ve covered all options, including potential online education courses.

Career Options: What You Can Do With A Doctorate In Special Education

There are a number of routes you can take once you have received your doctorate in special education. You may decide that you really like the research portion of the program and continue on in that approach. Or, you may choose to present your findings by becoming a special education professor at the college or university-level.

Many students ultimately decide to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom, returning to jobs as special education teachers. No matter what you choose to do following graduation, your education will allow you to make a real difference in the lives of special-needs students.

What To Consider If You Decide To Pursue A Doctorate In Special Education

A doctorate in special education could qualify you for a host of good-paying jobs. Here’s a look at a few:

  • College professors earn a median annual salary of $62,050, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • School principals earn a median annual salary of $86,970, according to the BLS.
  • Special education teachers earn a median annual salary of $53,220, the BLS says, but those with a doctorate could earn substantially more in school districts that offer incentive pay for pursuing advanced degrees.

Another consideration if you decide to pursue further training in special education is how you are going to pay for it. Depending on the university, your doctorate program could be incredibly expensive. Fortunately, there are many grants available to those willing to use their special education expertise for the greater good. Putting a little time into locating these grants is definitely worth your while.

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