Online Doctor of Education Degree


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In an online Doctor of Education program, educators learn about education theory and research, and how to apply that knowledge to problems they face in their schools and organizations.

An online doctorate of education is a practice-focused program that prepares educators for leadership and administrative positions in K-12 schools and at colleges. Some graduates go on to careers as superintendents or other high-level administrative roles in public school systems, while others take teaching and administrative positions at the college level.

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Course Work

Example courses
Teacher leadership and social reform
Critical leadership for equity
Education and American culture
Instructional leadership and educational reform
Fundamentals of research
Politics and governance
Diverse learners and at-risk students

To be accepted into an online doctorate of education program, typically students must be practicing educators and have a master’s degree and teaching experience. The degree cannot be completed entirely online, as most programs require students to complete fieldwork in schools and short-term residencies on campus.

Core course work includes research methods, professional development, curriculum, teacher education, educational reform, leadership theory and behavior, and critical pedagogy. Additional course work can be completed in a concentration such as K-12 educational leadership and policy, higher education administration or entrepreneurial leadership in education. Typically, students must also complete a dissertation.

Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Postsecondary teacher $62,000
Postsecondary education administrator $84,000
Elementary, middle, and high school principal $87,000
Education administrator, elementary and secondary school $91,000

*per the BLS

Most often professionals with a doctorate of education find high-level administrative positions in public schools, district offices, colleges and universities, research organizations, government agencies, professional organizations and consulting firms. Graduates can also find teaching positions at colleges and universities.

Superintendents may be in particularly high demand. Most years, about 1,500 school districts plan to hire school superintendents, according to an article by Fortune, but often face a lack of qualified applicants.

Median salaries range from about $62,000 for postsecondary teachers to more than $91,000 for education administrators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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