Education Doctoral Degree
More commonly referred to as a doctor of education and abbreviated as Ed.D, becoming a doctor in education is a very worthy pursuit, highly respected, and a career high note for all those who dream of taking their paths in educational studies to the highest degree. As it is for any doctoral program, a doctorate in education is no small feat and requires more than a cursory effort; it requires dedication, perseverance, integrity and genuine love or interest in the field. Becoming a doctor in education says a great deal about an individual and his or her abilities; it is a paramount declaration of skill and devotion.
Courses in doctoral education are rigorous and require discipline. Some of them require full-time work to be maintained while schooling is completed on a part-time basis, while others allow for full-time schooling. Ed.D varies quite a bit in which focal disciplines are offered, and each college or university is its own case and should be explored. Some doctor in education degrees are granted only in leadership, while other schools allow for studies in adult education, educational administration or one of six other common areas. Various requirements exist, too, and should be addressed in personal research to ensure that an appropriate school is selected. Courses required, number of credits needed for completion, and developing research competencies can vary from school to school.
There is a difference between a PH.D in education and an Ed.D in education, and that is that the focus of a PH.D, or Doctors of Philosophy should have a more academic or scholarly emphasis, while an Ed.D, or Doctorate of Education, should be in the pursuit of educational administration and the professional practice thereof. So, one is more research-based, and one is more practical application.
There are reasons beyond personal edification for pursuing an Ed.D; it is often required for further career gain as a necessary educational credential. While being a doctor in education or holding an education doctoral degree is not required by any state, it is expected for an applicant to have if he or she desires to apply for a principal or superintendent position. Education doctoral degree is almost mandatory for:
- Any administrative position in institutions of higher education
- Appointment as a lecturer or professor in a university
A doctorate in education appears quite important especially among community college faculty. In 2000, a survey was taken of the Chief Executive Officers in California’s community colleges. Eighty-four percent of the officers held doctorates and, of that number, 54% of the doctorates were Ed.D. While quite a few participants of the degree complete it for employment reasons and the perceived status such a degree offers, others pursue it for personal betterment, and believe the leadership qualities and organizational skills gleaned from the courses are in themselves worth the effort.
Undertaking the degree itself generally includes 15 post-masters degree courses, an exam and a dissertation based on research findings. The dissertation presents the applicant’s findings and is given to a committee for reading. The committee, in turn, presents questions and inquiries to the applicant in order for the applicant to defend his or her dissertation. Once the committee is satisfied the dissertation has been defended satisfactorily, a degree is offered. Courses taken will depend on major discipline and the school at which one studies. An education doctoral degree is useful for training in administrative positions, both in schools and associative agencies. The majority of studies for this degree emphasize organizational and educational improvements and leadership skills.