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Degrees Explained: Doctorate of Education

Doctorate of Education
Aspiring educational theorists will benefit greatly from completing a Doctorate of Education. Source: Jim Watson / AFP

The importance of education cannot be overstated. The world will always be in need of educators and education administrators. To be one, you’ll typically need a doctorate of education, otherwise known as an EdD, to qualify for one of these roles in a college or university.

These programmes equip participants with the knowledge and skills needed to teach students, conduct research, resolve real-world problems, and take on senior leadership roles in the field of education. 

An EdD can be applied to a variety of industries such as K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, or civil service. While a PhD in education highlights theories and research on how students learn best, an EdD focuses on how these theories can be practised effectively.

Graduates can serve as college or university professors in charge of training a new generation of teachers upon graduation. Some acquire the role of a superintendent, shaping education policies and the practices of a public school district. K-12 educators benefit greatly from adding “Dr.” before their names, with qualifications enabling them to pursue a multitude of careers outside of the K-12 classroom.

If you are a mid-career education professional looking to advance your career, receive a more attractive salary and implement real change in the process, getting a doctorate of education is definitely the right move for you.

A doctorate of education requires a significant investment of both time and money — and it isn’t for everyone. However, by doing the research and making the investment in the right way, you can position yourself to grow your career in a meaningful, financially rewarding way.

Stamford Public Schools administrators, including superintendent Tamu Lucero (L), hold a socially distanced meeting while planning the fall semester. Source: John Moore/Getty Images/AFP

How long will I take to earn a Doctorate of Education?

The short answer is approximately three years.

What requirements do I need to fulfill?

If you are considering earning the qualification, you’ve most likely already completed your master’s degree. Much like postgraduate qualification, a doctorate in education requires a significant time commitment and a high level of personal dedication.

However, this depends on the course load and the design of the dissertation or capstone project. Many participants opt for part-time options, meaning acquiring qualification could sometimes take up to seven years at most. 

What are the benefits?

By earning a doctorate of education, individuals will be on the right path to excelling in a career with lasting impact on students, institutions, and communities.

Additionally, an EdD will signal to employers a candidate’s leadership skills, their capabilities in identifying issues, examining these problems from multiple perspectives, and the ability to offer relevant insights that create solutions.

How much can I earn with a Doctorate of Education?

Another reason to gain the necessary qualification to enter the field is the current demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in education, training, and library occupations is projected to grow 5% from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

The BLS also projects that about 441,000 new jobs are projected to be added from 2019 to 2029. Student enrollment is expected to increase; therefore, preschool, elementary, secondary and post-secondary school teachers will be needed to meet the demand.

Apart from the rewards that come with improving educational systems, it can also lead to an increase in wages. Post-secondary instructors earn a median annual salary of US$79,540, while high school and elementary educators earn US$61,660 and US$59,420, respectively.

Most salaries in the field will depend on the location of the occupation, as cities and metropolitan areas are known to pay more than smaller towns. Previous experience and academic achievements are also key in determining how much a professional will earn. 

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