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4 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree

By Cristiana , in Education , at December 21, 2022

Teachers who are looking to advance in their careers or obtain a higher leadership role within a school, district, or organization, may consider pursuing additional education and completing a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. To be accepted into one of these programs, you must already hold a Master’s degree in education or similar field.

According to Teaching Certification Degrees, the Doctor of Education degree is a professional degree designed to equip graduates with the skills and scholarly knowledge needed for leadership roles in education. While the program can differ amongst learning institutions, some of the common topics within the program are adult education, educational technology, special education, and higher education administration.

Having an advanced degree in education can help you stand apart from colleagues and receive promotions or raises. It can also open opportunities for leadership positions within the education industry. While earning this degree can bring you many benefits, it’s also important to be prepared for the program and know if it’s the right fit for you. Here are 4 questions to ask before starting a Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree.

What career goal do you hope to achieve with an EdD degree? 

Before enrolling in a Doctor of Education (EdD) program, you need to determine what your career goals are. Teachers can advance to higher education positions and leadership roles with this degree. College President, Chief Learning Officer, and School Superintendent are just a few of the careers that you can get with a Doctor of Education degree. If, however, you want to go in the direction of education research, a PhD degree may be more suitable. This infographic from USC Rossier School of Education explains the differences between the PhD and the EdD and what careers are available to you with each program.

Do you have the time to study? 

Enrolling in a doctorate degree requires extreme dedication and a large time commitment. Before enrolling in this degree program, ask yourself if you can fit it into your schedule. According to Grad School Hub, the amount of time it takes to complete a Doctor of Education (EdD) program can vary depending on if they are full-time or part-time. Typically, a full-time student will complete the program in about three years.

Many educators who look to advance their degree must juggle time between their current position and family responsibilities. In order to be successful you need to devote adequate time, balance your schedule between work, school, and home, and lean on the support of your friends and family. For students who don’t have the time to enroll in a full-time program, there are also part-time and online Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program options offered at a variety of learning institutions.

Will you study on-campus or online? 

As mentioned, there are various learning institutions to earn your Doctor of Education if time commitment and schedule flexibility is a concern. Online Doctor of Education degree programs offer flexibility, may cost less, and could possibly be completed in less time than an on-campus program. If you are currently working, an online program may be better for you to take night or weekend classes. Similarly, if you have a family, a more flexible online schedule can help you balance school and home life while continuing your education. 

If you do have the time and schedule flexibility to attend a Doctor of Education program on campus, there are also plenty of in person options.

Can you afford it? 

Another important thing to consider before enrolling in a Doctor of Education degree program is the cost and how you will pay for it. Are you still paying off a previous student loan? Will it cause financial strain? Are you eligible to receive financial aid? Is your current employer willing to sponsor/contribute towards your studies? These are all important questions to ask yourself before applying to a program. A typical Doctor of Education degree can cost around $21,000 to $55,000 depending on the time and credit length of the program.

When trying to choose if the Doctor of Education (EdD) program is right for you, or which program would be best for your specific situation, it’s important to start by doing your research. Decide on whether you will be enrolled part-time or full-time, if you will study on campus or online, and then call around to different universities to find out what each program covers and the cost of the program. You may also want to ask about financial aid assistance and any prerequisites needed for the program. Once you decide on the right program, get to learning and enjoy advancing your knowledge within the education industry.


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