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EdD vs. the PhD in Education: Everything You Need to Know
Are you passionate about being a part of the future of education? Well, in the world of education, two prestigious degrees stand out: the EdD and PhD in Education. Learn more about the EdD and PhD in Education degrees and the difference between the two below!
A Doctor of Education degree, known as an EdD, is a doctoral degree that is focused on professional practice in the field of education. An EdD is designed for students pursuing leadership roles in administration and policy within the education field. This degree emphasizes the practical application of knowledge in educational settings.
An EdD is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles such as:
- School administration
- Educational policy development
- Curriculum design
- Instructional leadership
Also see: Top education scholarships
PhD in education
A PhD, or a “Doctor of Philosophy” in Education, is a doctoral degree that focuses on advanced research in the field of education. It is the highest academic degree that an individual can earn within the field of education.
A PhD in Education is ideal for students who want to conduct research. With a PhD in Education, a student will become an expert on a particular topic or range of topics within the field of education. Their focused research puts them in the position to make sound decisions on how practitioners should approach or implement education.
A PhD in education is designed to prepare individuals for leadership roles such as:
- Consultants in educational institutions
Read more: Top fully funded PhD programs
EdD vs PhD chart
|Doctor of Education (EdD)||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|Length of program||Typically 3-5 years||Typically 4-7 years|
|Focus areas||Prepare leaders in education with a focus on leadership, administration and policy||Research and scholarship in education with a docs on a wide range of educational topics|
|Research emphasis||Applied research, practical applications||Original research, theoretical contributions|
|Industries||Many industries||Mainly academia|
|Potential careers||Leadership, administration, policy||Professor, researcher, policy analyst, consultant|
Pros and cons of earning an EdD
|Less time than a PhD||Not as widely recognized as a PhD|
|Average cost for an EdD degree is less||May be less challenging than a PhD|
|Focuses on practical application||Less research-focused than a PhD|
|Offers flexibility in terms of coursework||May not offer as much job security|
Pros and cons of earning a PhD in Education
|More widely recognized||Takes longer to complete than an EdD|
|Offers opportunities for clinical experience||Can be more expensive|
|Focuses on research||Time commitment can be demanding|
|Can be tailored to your specific goals and interests||Not ideal for those interested in educational administration|
Tips for choosing between EdD and PhD in education
EdD and PhD in Education programs are significant investments in time. Therefore, it is important to understand the amount of time each degree requires to determine which is better suited for your career goals. An EdD program will take around 3 to 5 years to complete, while a PhD in Education will typically require around 4 to 7 years to complete.
There are many different careers you can choose from with EdD and PhD degrees. However, the careers that are available with each degree differ slightly. EdD programs prepare students for administration roles within education. PhD in Education programs make students desirable candidates for a range of research-oriented positions. Therefore, it’s important to review what career options there are so you can choose the best course of action for your goals.
Careers with an EdD in Education
- University president
- Development manager
- Curriculum development
Careers with a PhD in Education
- University professor
- Research scholar
- Education director
- Policy researcher
EdD and PhD programs both typically require a dissertation. However, the EdD program may allow you to complete a dissertation based on a real-world application while a PhD dissertation may be more theoretical. In addition, EdD coursework will typically be more application based while PhD coursework is more research oriented.
Review the course description for any degree programs you are interested in order to become familiar with the topics you will study in your respective program.
It’s no surprise that online schools provide a more flexible schedule for students. Therefore, if online school is something you desire, you are more likely to find online opportunities for an EdD program rather than a PhD program.
Read more: Top scholarships for online students
To help you choose between an EdD and a PhD in Education, it may be helpful to picture your daily life and routines in each of these programs. An EdD program focuses on the application of research, which means most of your time will be spent using your knowledge to solve challenges in the education field. In contrast, a PhD program is more research-heavy meaning that a majority of your time will be spent researching methodologies in education.
Taking the next step
Now that you have a better understanding of what an EdD is, what a PhD in education is, and what the difference between them is, you are probably wondering what now? Regardless of which degree you want to pursue, earning your doctorate can pay off no matter what.
Therefore, truly evaluate your current situation, career goals, and time commitment to determine if the EdD or PhD path is the right one for you. Ultimately, it is your decision, and you should choose the option that most aligns with your personal goals.
Now that you have picked which direction you want to go in, research universities and colleges that offer your desired degree program! Be sure to research their values and coursework to ensure it is a good fit for you. Don’t forget, Scholarships360 is here for you to help you find the right scholarships to help you fund your graduate education!