When you reach the top of your educational game, you will start considering the completion of a Ph.D. or a doctorate in education. The completion of either course will grant you access to senior roles in the field. However, the doctorate will open doors to roles within the private section and non-profits. The reason for completing either of these courses is the advancement in career, but are the pay increases worth the time and money it will cost to complete? This is the question we will answer throughout this article.
Who Should Complete a Doctorate in Education?
A doctorate in education (EdD) is suitable for experienced educators who are looking to complete an original research piece intrinsically linked to their professional field. With that in mind, an EdD is ideal for anyone looking to pivot into senior management within schools, colleges, or universities. Alternatively, people completing this doctorate are looking for roles in educational policy including government posts. There are plenty of reasons for people to complete end EdD, the question is, will it be worth it?
You will need to have completed a relevant degree level qualification and passed an MA in education. The EdD will be a struggle if you haven’t gained state licensing and had sufficient experience, which will qualify you to teach. Please note, the doctorate will not act as a substitute for becoming a licensed teacher.
The Duration of the Course
By the time you’re considering a doctorate, you will have already dedicated years of your life to training and education. You need to know that the doctorate will not be a walk in the park, and will push you further than your MA course. The duration of the course will vary depending on the course structure and your abilities. However, people will usually keep their job and study an online EdD, which can take anywhere from four to seven years.
Let’s Talk Money
Everything costs money in life, and the same goes for your EdD. You will need to factor in the costs when you are deciding whether the course will be worth it. There are several things you need to keep in mind while you’re making your choices, and we’ll discuss them below.
Location and Cost of Living
Some people choose to complete their course by attending a physical campus, which will involve moving to another location and funding living arrangements. This can add on considerable costs to your investment and may require you to leave your current job. Alternatively, you should cut your investment by staying in your job and completing a course online.
This will depend largely on the institution you study with, the course content, and whether you need to pay for other professional memberships. Typically, you will be paying in the region of $21,000 to $55,000.
If you talk to your employer, they may be able to offer you support as an incentive to boost your career. For example, your school may offer you a tuition reimbursement program, which would make the course worth more. After all, if you become an established name in the world of education, they will benefit from your expertise.
Top EdD Careers
Completing an EdD will equip you with high-level skills that your peers will have, but it will also increase your annual earnings. To access management or administrative roles in education, you will need to have a doctorate. If you’re still unsure on whether the course will be worth your time, we’ll outline six of the best-paid jobs you can do after a doctorate.
Associate Professor – Avg $75,200 Salary
If imparting your knowledge to higher education students is more up your street, you can become an associate professor after you’ve completed your EdD. In this position, you will deliver course material to budding professionals in the educational field. Your job with the university or college would be contracted or probationary in the first instance. Then, once you’ve become advanced through the ranks, you can work on receiving tenure.
Academic Dean – Avg $90,330 Salary
The responsibilities of a dean are dependent on the university they work for. However, you will typically find them developing strategies and completing administrative duties. Further, they are required to work alongside other members of the faculty and student body on a range of projects. When it comes to education, you will play a vital role by liaising with professors and creating course content. Also, depending on the university, the dean can have a direct impact on the admissions process. No matter which university a dean works for, they are essential to the overall administration.
Education Administrator – Avg $97,600 Salary
As an education administrator, you will be responsible for the daily management of educational institutions including universities, elementary schools, and high schools. You will have a direct impact on the future of the school and the policies that are adhered to. You will have the opportunity to make a positive change in your chosen institution. For example, if you work with a university, you can be employed across all levels including admissions. For people hired by schools, you will typically be the principal or vice-principal.
Superintendent – Avg $116,150 Salary
Let’s take the job of education administrator and apply it to an entire state. As a superintendent of schools, you will responsible for the management and coordination of schools across an entire state. Usually, you will be elected into this position by members of respective school boards, so you will need to win people over as well as back yourself with experience and a doctorate.
This position would put you in the perfect place to make positive changes in your chosen state. However, you need to consider that the majority of state superintendents only run for a limited term, which means you’ll need a new job when the time is up.
Training and Development Manager – Avg $108,250 Salary
Each educational institution will require training, which is carried out by experts in their field. As the training and development manager, you will not be responsible for delivering the content yourself. Instead, you will have a direct hand in the creation of the training material. You will oversee a team and ensure that each member understands what they need to do. You will analyze training outcomes and use the information to influence future material. To do this job well, you need to be driven by creativity and have a passion for education, which is why a doctorate is a perfect course.
Provost – Avg $147,100 Salary
In this high-paid position, you will be the chief academic officer at a university. This means that you will be responsible for the financial affairs of a higher education institution. Aside from this, you will work alongside the dean of the university and faculty leaders to ensure that the highest levels of education are being delivered to students. In this highly prestigious role, you will play a key role in the operational planning of your university.
Non-Financial Reasons for Competing an EdD
As you can see from the above, there are plenty of financial motivations for completing the EdD. However, there are reasons why a doctorate is worth the time and money, and you need to consider everything when you’re making this decision. The following five headings will outline non-financial reasons why you should complete an EdD.
The world is changing, and it’s becoming increasingly important for younger generations to know about technology. Therefore, if you’re gunning for a senior position like those above, you need to understand how to leverage technology for classroom conditions. Throughout the course of your doctorate, you will have the opportunity to learn about how technology can be integrated into training plans and policies.
Apply for Senior Positions
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts an influx of administrative positions over the next ten years. Without having a doctorate, you can’t hope to make the most of this academic growth. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to complete an EdD.
Master Administrative Ability
The world of education is in a constant state of change. Therefore, you need to have an advanced understanding of current trends to do well at senior levels. By completing an EdD, you will have the opportunity to learn about trends including collaborative learning, digital literacy, and all while gaining the essential skills to solve complex problems.
Your Resume Will Pack a Punch
You’ve probably had this drilled into your head since you were in school yourself, but the more relevant academic achievements you can get on your resume, the better chance you will have of landing the positions you apply for. If you’re looking for a different position within the educational section, you can take modules that will equip you and enhance your resume. For example, if you wish to land a government position and work on curriculum changes, you can take a specialism in curriculum building.
Become a Force for Change
Completing a doctorate will allow you to make a positive change in the way that schools operate. You will learn vital skills that are a necessity in the education system today, which include management, assessment, and communication. If you are an experienced educator with ideas, you will need to complete a doctorate if you want any of your ideas to come to fruition.
How to Get Started
If you aren’t already convinced that you need to complete an EdD, there’s not really much more we can do on our end. However, if you’re ready to take the plunge, we can help you get the ball rolling. There are several things that you need to consider when it comes to planning out your doctorate, which we will discuss below.
Course Load and Schedule
It doesn’t matter if you complete a physical course or an online course – you will need to consider the course load and work out whether you can manage it or not. To do this, you should talk with your family and your employer and plan a schedule that works for everyone. Further, you need to analyze your competencies and decide if you’re ready to complete the course. Remember, courses will carry differing requirements and cover slightly different topics. So, you need to shop around when you’re choosing your course.
If you’ve worked on doctoral work previously, you should be able to transfer them to your new course. However, the number of credits you can carry along with you will depend on the university. You will need to contact administration departments and verify where you stand concerning credits.
Dissertation or Capstone Project
You will spend considerable time learning and developing your skills over the course of several years, and it will all lead up to a final project that allows you to apply your learning to a real-world context. The requirements of the project will be different depending on the course you attend. For example, some universities will allow you to complete your project around your current employment, which would mean you can finish the course sooner. However, some universities will require you to base your project on somewhere other than your place of work, which will add extra pressure.
Worth It or Not?
Ultimately, this is a decision you will have to make yourself. However, if you wish to pivot into a position where you can make positive changes to the education system across any institution, you will need to complete an EdD. You will have to work out the logistics, balancing the work alongside other commitments, as well as how you will fund the course.
Completing a doctorate course will pile on the stress and take you several years to complete. However, as well as boosting your resume, you will be able to improve your personal skills and become established within a field you are passionate about. Remember, each university will offer different incentives to entice you to enroll, so make sure you shop around and find one that fits your needs.