What are the Advantages of a Doctorate Degree in Education?

Coreen Anderson
Coreen Anderson
High school teacher; Ed.D. in Education from Gardner-Webb University, NC
Graduation cap sitting on top of an open book in a library.

Earning a doctoral degree in education is the epitome of status. It is the topmost degree in education. The rarity of that status is magnified as less than 7% of the US population has a doctoral degree. The most recent data generated by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicated that during 2017-2018, while 1,980,644 degrees were granted, only 9.93%  (184,074) were doctoral degrees. Furthermore, a mere 6.94% (12,780) were in education.

Considering the paucity of educational doctors, a doctoral degree in education translates into notable recognition. Subsequently, the degree carries certain clout that authenticates the spoken words of the holder. In short, with such a degree, graduates are viewed as experts. By extension, they are invariably positioned to make significant contributions in education or corporate settings.

Beyond these, a doctoral degree in education carries an aura of achievement that bespeaks of commitment, tenacity, hard work, and discipline. It confirms graduates possess the knowledge, skills, and experience for top-level jobs in and outside of education. In an increasingly globally competitive environment, the degree is an asset to the holder. It is symbolic of immense opportunities for advancement that are inherently tied to multiple benefits.

What is a Doctorate in Education?

21st-century educational leaders need requisite skills and knowledge that are unprecedented. Without these, the development of a citizenry prepared to meaningfully participate in a global society is drastically reduced. These leaders must be able to collaborate with other professionals to pinpoint and understand groundbreaking ways to tackle the myriad complex challenges facing education. Besides that, the capability to solve those problems becomes crucial to ensuring economies develop and remain viable.

Subsequently, students in a Doctor of Education program acquire extensive knowledge in a variety of courses aligned to education. Additionally, graduates get rigorous training in research techniques. These efforts position them to augment existing knowledge in order to improve education. Since much of the research is conducted in various educational settings, graduates get invaluable practical experience.

Taken together, the training is designed to hone graduates’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and practices. Hence, graduates are equipped to develop programs and policies to shape reform efforts; and evaluate and implement practices and strategies to significantly impact education at all levels. The resulting effect is graduates are poised to be excellent leaders in various fields.

What You’ll Learn in a Doctoral Education Program

Graduates with a doctoral degree in education learn specific knowledge, abilities, and a vast array of soft skills, the depth and breadth of which are unparalleled. Students learn to independently and collaboratively evaluate and analyze programs, processes, and practices within the education system.

The interdisciplinary approach to the course of study provides students with a close-up view on multiple social, political, historical, economical, and technological issues impacting education. Through research, teachings, and seminars, students acquire in-depth knowledge into these issues from several perspectives. As students’ insights deepen, they are placed in different educational settings to investigate solutions to specific challenges. This is the premise on which multiple research are conducted. These experiences invariably engage every student in producing original scholarly writing.

The resulting impact of such grand undertakings is the development of a deeper understanding of issues facing education, and the identification of specific and feasible strategies to address those issues. So, every student in the doctoral program becomes a knowledgeable leader with powerful thinking capacity to generate solutions to promote positive change.

Collectively, the doctoral process differs significantly from an undergraduate degree. The latter is primarily from a theoretical perspective with some practical experience sprinkled throughout. The former is more intense as it intentionally immerses students in a hands-on learning environment where learners collaborate to explore content-specific matters and constantly engage in an exhaustive exploration of multiple issues impacting education in order to generate workable solutions.

Advantages of an Education Doctoral Degree

Upon earning the Doctor of Education credentials, depending on their professional goals, graduates are eligible for licensure based on state requirements. They are positioned to access multiple leadership jobs in various educational or corporate settings. As most higher-level jobs require a doctorate in education, no job is out of reach. So, whether graduates elect to work locally within a school or district, at the college or university level, at the state level, or globally, job opportunities abound.

Projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2018-2028, indicate growth rates between 7-11% depending on the job. For example, there is a growing increase (11%) for those aspiring to work at the college or university level as lecturers. For those seeking to work in administrative positions, a 7% outlook is estimated. In 2018, median salaries were $78,470 per year and $94, 340 per year respectively. Graduates seeking work at the district level can earn up $117,000.00 per year. On the upper end of the administrative scale (university presidents), salaries can exceed $200,500.00. The financial benefits when compared with lesser degrees are therefore significantly higher. With a doctoral degree in education, multiple other jobs within education or corporate entities are accessible.

Additionally, graduates’ potential to impact socio-economic changes increases exponentially. As experts, they possess the know-how to lead successful organizational change efforts. So, in addition to fulfilling the responsibilities of their assigned jobs, they are positioned to add to existing body of research whether through oral presentations or via scholarly articles. Suffice it to say, these are invariably linked to an increase in social networks.

Ready to take the next step in your career and pursue your doctorate? Check out our available doctoral programs today!

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