A Doctorate in Education degree program places greater emphasis on furthering knowledge in the field through original research, which might be conducted through a university or in the lab of a private, public or nonprofit organization. A doctorate in education, also known as an EdD degree, seeks to prepare graduates for more hands-on leadership roles, applying existing research and knowledge to real world issues and organizations. Both degrees offer the opportunity to contribute in important ways to education at all levels.
Concentration Options for Doctorate in Education Students: Teaching
Many students choose to work towards a degree in education because they hope to teach someday. Graduates with a PhD or doctorate in education might find work in various levels of academia.
- Early Childhood Education – Preschool and kindergarten teachers design and present activities to foster physical, social and intellectual growth in children under six years of age. They also work to prepare these students for the academic, behavioral and social demands of primary school. In 2012, the median pay for a preschool teacher was $27,130 per year[i].
- Elementary Education – Kindergarten and elementary school teachers build the foundation of a student’s academic experience, instructing children in the basics of reading, writing and mathematics. They also introduce students to important concepts in science, social studies and the arts. The median pay for an elementary teacher in 2012 was $53,090 per year[ii].
- Secondary Education – Students who choose to educate adolescents at the junior or senior high school level typically focus on a particular field of study, such as language arts, mathematics or social studies. They might teach several classes a day and could be responsible for overseeing extracurricular activities and clubs as well. The median pay for a high school teacher in the U.S. in 2012 was $55,050 per year[iii].
- Post-secondary Education – Post-secondary education includes career and vocational schools, professional schools, junior or community colleges, and public and private colleges and universities. At this level graduates of education programs might teach students who are also preparing for careers in education. They might provide instruction in the principles of effective instruction, cognitive development, classroom management and other topics related to education. They may also conduct research, publish academic papers and advise students. In 2012 the median pay for a post-secondary teacher was $68,970 per year[iv].
- Special Education – Special education teachers work at all levels of education to help students with learning, behavioral, emotional, mental and physical disabilities to pursue their academic potential. They might also work with gifted populations. Special education teachers may adapt content and instruction to meet the needs of their students, and may also provide instruction in important life skills. In 2012 the median salary for this type of teacher was $55,060 per year[v].