is ed. degree worth it?

by Rich GraceSeptember 29, 2022, 2:24 pm

Vanguard University students prepare for the procession before graduation ceremonies at Mariners Church in Irvine, Calif., as seen in May 2022. (Photo by Paul Persebach-MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images)

For many professional educators, there comes a time when they weigh the benefits of pursuing a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree. Often compared and contrasted to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the Ed.D. It is a definitive degree for persons in the field of education. While the degree has useful applications in US companies as well, many people follow the Ed.D. You aspire to become an education or mission-based leader, teach college, or move on to a principal or school superintendent position—some of these roles earn six figures.

“Our goal is to prepare teachers to be better leaders,” says Kimberly M. Bridges, co-coordinator of educational leadership and assistant professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education. “Our graduate students might be teachers in the classroom and would like to be principals in their schools, or we might have principals who would like to advance to higher levels of district management.”

is ed. Which degree is right for you? Read on to find out.

Why the “Practical Focus” of Ed.D. It may be better than a PhD.

so. and Ph.D. Degrees may look similar, but they usually help graduates achieve different career goals. In general, Ed.D. The program is designed for students who wish to pursue leadership roles in education, while the Ph.D. The program is aimed more at the academic study of the subject.

“When we talk about research, we’re not talking about it in theory,” explains Laila Sangoras, director of the graduate program in the Ed.D-Learning and Organizational Change Program at Baylor University College of Education. “It’s all about using it in practice and applying it in their professional fields in order to bring about change.”

As an action-oriented degree, Ed.D. It differs from a traditional Ph.D., Bridges notes. “The Ed.D. is distinguished by this practical focus.”

Meanwhile, Ph.D. Degree programs typically attract a different group, with students who want “deep research and a diverse background,” Bridges says, adding that some PhD students. Candidates are current practitioners or leaders in K-12 or higher education. Ph.D. It was more for people aspiring to become higher education faculty and higher education leaders.”

Although the two types of degrees generally prepare graduates for different career paths, they continue to make comparisons.

“Especially in the world of higher education, there is this persistent myth of Ed.D. versus Ph.D., “as if one has more value than the other,” says Bridges. “Really, it’s just two different degrees.”

What skills do you gain with an Ed.D.?

Most importantly, it is Ed.D. It imparts leadership skills, Bridges says. This can include leadership theory and its applications, considering multiple perspectives, and making decisions that take into account equity and sustainable change. By pursuing this degree, students will also learn how to collect data and learn about interventions that can improve the school system or institution.

A master’s degree is required to attend most Ed.D. software. Overall, Bridges says, the degree attracts a wide range of degree seekers, but students have often worked in education for some time.

“We have an Ed.D. “Students are often in their early to mid-career age,” Bridges says. “They definitely work full time. Our program is a full time program, so they are hourly students outside of work hours that we can do without.”

Sangoras says that while most students in her program come from educational backgrounds, 30% are from other fields, including people who work in companies and the military and those who work in health care and human resources.

“All they learn is [applicable] to their daily professional work,” says Sangoras. “Students who join our program are already leaders in their field. They have very big, amazing dreams and goals, and so we want this degree to help propel them forward so that they can reach them.”

What are the career prospects and salary outcomes earned with Ed.D.?

Earn Ed.D. It can increase a person’s impact, size, and reach, according to Bridges. These qualities have a positive effect on employment opportunities. “This could mean a variety of titles. It could mean that they have more flexibility in making a career change,” says Bridges.

There are many job opportunities for Ed.D. Owners, including roles that average six figures. School principals, for example, can earn anywhere from $105,000 to $228,000 annually, according to the Association of School Principals. A person who coordinates a program may be able to become its director with an Ed.D. , or a director can become a dean. Similarly, the principal can move to the central administration of his school system. Additionally, Sanguras says that students who earn an Ed.D. Foundations or organizations may start, benefiting from the credibility gained from the degree.

While receiving his Ed.D. It can increase the odds of someone’s salary, money is not a bonus for most teachers. “They tend to think of this idea of ​​value beyond that narrow focus on salary,” Bridges says. “The value for them lies in increasing their impact.

From students who graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with Ed.D. Between May 2019 and December 2021, those who responded to a survey reported a median salary of $86,073. 86% of respondents were employees at the time of the survey.

At Virginia Commonwealth University, Bridges says Ed.D. The program is growing rapidly, with classes now 50% larger than they were in May 2021. “For us, it’s a really exciting time, because we’re expanding and we seem to be reaching more people.”

See how well the schools you’re considering have ranked Fortune for the best master’s degree programs in data science (in-person and online), nursing, computer science, cybersecurity, psychology, public health, and business analytics, as well as PhD in education programs MBA programs Business (part-time, executive, full-time, and online).

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