Statistics have shown: the demand for educators is on the rise. In particular, employers and institutions are looking for candidates with doctorate degrees. And the kinds of jobs available with a doctorate degree often pay handsomely.
But on the other hand, getting a doctorate is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Getting a doctorate can be a profoundly lonely experience, as researching and writing one’s thesis requires countless hours and might leave little time for a social life. It can also cause a lot of frustration and stress when a thesis isn’t going well or even needs to be changed over time. In fact, the experience can be so grueling that only about half of students get their doctorate within ten years of enrolling, and the dropout rate is significant.
With these numbers in mind, it’s no wonder some students end up feeling intimidated by the potential impact on their lives, and find themselves wondering — is the doctorate worth all the time, money, and struggle?
What Does It Take to Obtain a Doctorate?
As mentioned above, the path to a doctorate degree in education can be a long and challenging one. The first step is to complete an undergraduate degree, which typically takes four years.
Then the student must complete a master’s degree, which may require taking an exam such as the GRE or GMAT. A master’s program generally takes two years to complete, although some accelerated programs can be completed faster.
The next step is the doctorate, which takes an average of 8.2 years to complete. In order to get started with a doctorate, you should have the following on hand to provide to the university or college that best suits your interests:
- Undergraduate and graduate transcripts
- Resume or CV
- Recent GRE or GMAT scores
- Letters of recommendation
- Statement of purpose
The majority of your time will be spent writing and researching your topic in order to prepare your doctoral dissertation or thesis. Once you’ve successfully defended your dissertation, you’ll be ready to receive your doctorate.
Why You Should Get a Doctorate in Education Degree
So why should you pursue a doctorate in education? There are a few compelling reasons:
For one, you’ll command the respect of your peers, as well as respect for yourself for an extraordinary accomplishment. Getting a doctorate takes a great deal of personal discipline and sacrifice, and will speak well to your character to those you meet.
That respect, in turn, leads to increased respectability and credibility in your field, with the added effect of opening up more career opportunities in the future.
In addition, there are the personal rewards that come with addressing and solving problems within your field. A doctoral thesis is often a predicate to trying to improve the field of education in some way, potentially changing many lives for the better.
Finally, there is the money. A graduate with a doctorate in education can earn anywhere between $90,000 to $130,000 a year or much more, depending on what career path they choose to pursue.
Career Paths with A Doctorate in Education
Here’s an example of some careers you could pursue with a doctorate in education:
For those seeking a leadership role, becoming a college president is a chance to oversee the fundraising, events, and vision for an entire university. Primary responsibilities will include making speeches to donors and lawmakers, collaborating with faculty and staff to support students, and creating a better educational environment for everyone involved. This is a prestigious and high-paying position, commanding salaries of $200,000 or more.
One of the most common careers for a PhD in education is a professorship. Professors work at the college level, teaching students about their area of study. A career as a professor also often involves research, writing, and attending conferences. For those who might find the demands of a full professorship not to their taste, a graduate could also become an associate professor, which may have lower financial rewards, but can be every bit as rewarding.
Chief Learning Officer (CLO)
Another academic position for PhD holders is that of chief learning officer, which is an executive position responsible for creating and implementing high-level strategic solutions for colleges and universities, mostly having to do with helping the institution meet its business goals. CLOs create strategies for learning, training, and educational development, and often have a hand in overseeing the institution’s learning technology, such as remote learning
A Doctorate in Education: Conclusion
Not every PhD graduate goes into academia, either — many go on to work in the corporate world in roles like human resources director. Are the challenge and time necessary to obtain a PhD in education worth it? Only you can know for sure, nonetheless, we believe that most knowledge you can acquire in a university, can be achieved through other means that are much more effective, and affordable, with the widespread availability of knowledge, and the opening of opportunities for making money online, universities have, for a big part, become obsolete.