When it comes to obtaining the highest degree in college and universities, people are familiar with Ph.D., M.D., and J.D. But for dedicated teachers who want a doctorate that is uniquely focused on teaching, the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a standard. This degree is created for students wanting to pursue leadership roles in colleges, schools, governments, and school districts. Graduates with this degree normally search careers in research, administration, and education policy-making. And as with any doctorate degree, the EdD salary is considerably higher than someone with a masters degree.
Salary Expectations with a Doctor of Education Degree (EdD)
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for the doctorate of education from 2014 to 2024 will be 6% for superintendents, 9% for directors of student services postsecondary administrator, and 13% for university professors. The median salary in 2015 is $90,410 for superintendents, $88,580 for directors of student services, and $72,470 for university professors. These are all positions that require an EdD or other doctorate to even apply for.
Earning an Ed.D generally takes two to five years to complete. Online Ed.D degree programs have become especially common, since most people earning an education doctorate are working teachers who need the flexibility to keep their jobs while studying. These educational programs can include higher education leadership, educational policy, educational research, and special education. The main leadership careers with this degree include university professors, directors of student services, and school superintendents. Furthermore, these roles can be in postsecondary levels, elementary, and more.
Difference in Career Opportunities and Income Between an EdD and a Masters Degree
With a master's degree in education, you may be able to obtain some of the same positions as the doctorate degree; a master's degree holder may still teach at the college level, for instance. However, a master's degree will limit you to instructor or adjunct positions, making much less money than a professor or administrator. Doctorate degrees require more intense study than the master's degree, so Ed D or PhD holders rightfully earn more than someone with a master's degree.
Some students may want to pursue a Ph.D. in Education rather than an Ed.D. This degree also focuses on higher levels of education beyond the master's degree; however, the Ph.D. in education is normally utilized by educators desiring to teach teachers at the college level. They will normally work as college professors, but of course, with higher pay than instructors and adjuncts who only have a master's degree. The PhD also qualifies graduates for administrative positions like department chair and dean, which are much higher-paid positions as well.
On the other hand, the professional with an Ed.D. normally have their sights on a more broader career scope when it comes to education. They pursue careers such as superintendent, college or university vice-president, or chancellor, where goals are implemented to on institution-wide, community-wide, and even state-wide levels.
Is an Ed.D Worth It?
If your career goal is leadership in education, a doctorate in education is well worth it. Of course, the opportunities and pay are incentives in themselves. But more importantly, making a great difference in student lives, and the life of an institution, has a value of its own. And yes, doctorate degrees require a lot of intense study, but the challenges and struggles will be rewarded in more ways than one.