Potential Career Paths for Individuals with a Doctor of Education

The first Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program was established at Harvard University in 1921.  An overwhelming controversy surrounded the decision to create a separate practical doctoral program in addition to the theoretical PhD. in Education concentration that the majority of universities offered. Today, many busy professionals are able to advance their career. This is including secondary schools, universities and the private-sector while retaining their full-time status at work while earning their Ed.D. Prior to enrolling in a program, determine if a Doctor of Education program is right for you, learn about how the degree differs from a traditional Ph.D. Find the most popular job prospects available post-graduation.

What is the Difference between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D.?

Harvard University’s decision to create a separate Ed.D. program in the early 1920s was fraught with dissension among an academic community. They believed a doctoral level education degree should focus on theory rather than practice. This at the core is the main difference between earning your Ed.D. over a Ph.D. in Education, at least on paper. While a Ph.D. focuses more on preparing scholars and academics, an Ed.D. is intended to teach students how to examine and solve academic issues. This is a stark contrast, but as a student you’ll quickly discover that the coursework and dissertation requirements to earn either an Ed.D. or a Ph.D. are practically interchangeable. Before making any final decision on which avenue to pursue, speak to an academic adviser and discuss which degree program benefits your future career goals.

Popular Ed.D. Career Opportunities

Before you assume that higher education is your only career option, look into some of the administrative, governmental and private-sector options available upon graduation. If education is your passion, here are a few of the most popular positions post-graduates seek:

Principal – If you’re passionate about working with students at the elementary or secondary level, consider becoming a principal. You may remember your principal as a staunch figure that only interacted with the “bad” kids, but times have definitely changed. Today, principals work closely with the parents, teachers and school boards to create a challenging curriculum, while ensuring each student receives the personalized attention necessary. Bullying is a hot button issue in many schools. As a principal, you can work with troubled children and truly make a difference in their lives.

Superintendent – As a superintendent, you’re in charge of overseeing the schools in your district, which varies depending on your location. Your day-to-day duties will constantly change, and include working with the school board, managing fiscal responsibilities, creating and implementing policy, teacher relations and overseeing a school board election. The salary range for superintendents is quite impressive, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) several demand wages well above $100,000. Be aware that as several school districts continue to merge, competition for the most-coveted positions remains cutthroat.

Director of Student Services – As a director of student service (DSS), you’ll most likely be working in a college or university, although a handful of private secondary schools also retain the services of a DSS. A typical DSS handles admissions, career services, counseling and financial aid. A smaller university may require the services of a single director of student services, while a larger institution often hires multiple individuals to handle the aforementioned duties. Once again, the salary for a director of student services is impressive and this, coupled with the potential for job growth, makes becoming a DSS an intriguing option.

College Provost – You may have heard the term “College Provost” thrown around during your four years as an undergrad, but were clueless as to this position’s job description. A college provost is basically in charge of developing the university’s scholastic policy and procedures and finalizing the budget. The provost’s biggest responsibility in many cases is appointing new faculty, a duty that dramatically impacts the school’s reputation and standards.

You’ve determined that earning an Ed.D. is the best course of action to realize your academic and career goals, but cannot quite wrap your head around returning to the classroom as a student. If lack of time is a factor, consider earning on Doctor of Education degree online. No matter if you’re earning your Ed.D. or an MBA in Marketing, online education offers students the flexibility and knowledge to succeed in the country’s increasingly competitive job market.

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