EdD vs PhD: Which is Better for Me?

For teachers who want to enhance their career, there is really only one path: administration. But educators who already have a master’s degree may find themselves making a difficult choice: between the EdD vs PhD, which is better? A doctorate in education salary makes the degree an attractive option, but Ed D vs PhD salary isn’t the only thing to consider. Working educators who wish to advance to administrative roles in the field of education have a plethora of options to choose from. What’s more, higher education institutions offer a lot of graduate offerings in fully online formats for educators.

Given the current state of the education system, understanding the critical differences between these two doctoral programs is vital in deciding which career path to choose. Although both programs provide specialized higher learning, each has its unique requirements, different focuses, and different career paths.

Strengths of a PhD vs EdD in Education

A key differentiator of the PhD vs EdD is the level of focus the PhD assigns to its curriculum. Although both programs equip students with knowledge above a Master’s degree, a PhD vs EdD is well suited to professionals who want to continue teaching, either in secondary schools or higher education, or do research (though research roles will help graduates take more advantage of higher doctorate in education salary). A PhD in Education trains one to become a scholar capable of raising questions and developing theories thorough testable and applicable research. PhD-oriented doctoral programs produce scholars who train other scholars, do research that helps improve education systems, and develop curriculum and resources for teachers.

Typically, Ph.D. holders specialize in the publication of high-quality scholarly papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Also, PhD in Education programs are still more common than EdD programs, since the PhD vs EdD is older and more established. This makes it easier to find PhD vs EdD programs, especially online. On-campus PhD in Education programs are more likely to be fully-funded doctoral programs, as well.

Strengths of an EdD Over a PhD in Education

In contrast, an affordable online EdD program prepares candidates to assume administrative positions within learning institutions, government agencies, not for profit organizations, and in the private sector – where an Ed.D salary can go especially high. An EdD equips candidates with problem-solving skills for addressing the daily challenges that educational administrators face. An EdD program typically focuses on the development of solutions in the management of large and complex organizations, and the larger the organization, the higher the Ed.D salary can be.

As most EdD programs provide little or no funding, candidates hold full or part-time jobs to support themselves during the program. EdD candidates often avoid the financial challenges that affect a majority of PhD students by engaging in part-time jobs. What’s more, EdD candidates benefit from the assistance of similarly qualified professionals. As a result, these candidates accumulate practical skills and tips that are relevant to their practice area. Besides that, EdD programs help candidates to form effective partnerships and networks with professionals in a specific discipline.

PhD vs EdD Specialization Tracks

Although both programs extend an educator’s knowledge and skills, they differ on how they accomplish this goal. There tend to be more variations and opportunities in PhD programs, including:

  • Adult Education
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Learning
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Leadership
  • Special Education

Currently, leadership tends to be the more common specialization in EdD programs, but EdD candidates can also specialize in tracks such as

Doctor of Education Salary Expectations

Ed D vs PhD salary are pretty comparable, depending on the particular career path you choose; either an EdD or a PhD can qualify professionals for careers like school principal or superintendent in the public school system, or for careers as professors, college deans, or chancellor in higher education. Ed.D salary depends largely on the job: school administrators will not typically make as much a college administrators, superintendents make much more than principals, and so on. For a PhD doctorate in education salary, professors will make less than department chairs or deans, while researchers may make a great deal more in private industry than public education.

Ed D vs PhD salary can’t really be a deciding factor, then; the real determination for a doctorate in education salary is specialization and job. Settling the dispute between EdD vs PhD, which is better, is a matter of answering the question, what do you want to do with your doctorate in education.