How to Earn a Doctoral Degree in Education

Earn Your Doctorate Degree in Education

For those wanting to work in the highest level of education, earning an doctorate degree in education online may be ideal. Not only can a doctorate degree make you eligible for the highest positions within academia, it can also prepare you for scholastic, administrative or research positions in education, civil service, and private organizations. Students may also choose to study specializations within the field of education including cultural and curricular studies, school psychology, leadership studies, human growth and development, and policy analysis and formation.

A doctorate degree can typically be earned with an additional three years of full-time study after earning a bachelor's degree. Some students may also be able to earn a doctorate degree part-time in four years. In addition to regular coursework, students working toward online doctorate degrees in education may also need to complete a comprehensive exam and thesis. The thesis is a summary of the doctoral candidate's research and findings and is typically submitted to a dissertation committee for analysis.

Doctoral Degree in Education: Career Paths

Upon the successful completion of an doctoral degree in education, students might find a variety of career options from which to choose. A doctoral degree can prepare students for a variety of research positions in the public and private sectors. Graduating with a doctoral degree can also make students eligible for many of the highest positions within academia. Some of these positions include:

Postsecondary Teachers - These educators work in a variety of settings, including professional schools, junior or community colleges, public and private colleges and universities, and career and vocational schools. They develop curriculum and teach courses on a wide variety of subjects pertaining to their area of specialty. Postsecondary teachers create lesson plans and encourage students to succeed in the learning environment they created. Postsecondary teachers may also supervise graduate students who are working toward their doctoral degrees. They may also conduct research studies and publish their findings in papers and academic journals. The need for postsecondary teachers is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

Postsecondary Education Administrators- Those who work as postsecondary education administrators typically oversee a variety of school functions including student enrollment, class scheduling, student application analysis, and school programs and services. Within college and universities, postsecondary education administrators can choose to specialize in specific areas such as admissions, the registrar's office, or student affairs. Other postsecondary administrators work as provosts or academic deans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth for this occupation may reach 19 percent between 2010 and 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

Career Earnings after Doctoral Degree in Teaching

Completion of an advanced degree, such as a doctorate in education, can open doors to a wider range of career opportunities than just a bachelor's degree alone. In addition to more career options, an advanced degree generally also means higher pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teachers earned a mean annual wage of $77,500 nationally in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2012). Postsecondary education administrators also reported high earnings with a national mean wage of $99,370 (bls.gov/oes, 2012.) The mean wage provides a glimpse at possible earnings for these occupations. However, some professionals earned more or less depending on location, their particular skills and experience.

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012," Education Administrators, Postsecondary, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119033.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012," Postsecondary Teachers, All Other, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251199.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Postsecondary Teachers, April 10, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-2

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Postsecondary Education Administrators, July 18, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh//management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm#tab-6/

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