A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree can build on previous experience within education and advance your career in the educational field.
From a Ph.D. to an Ed.D. to other doctorates, each of these degrees will allow you to ensure that your skills don’t go to waste. However, while looking to get an advanced degree is admirable, and getting one is even more so, what does the degree actually allow you to do?
In the case of the Ed.D., it allows you to make wider changes in the world of education. If you want to take your educational knowledge and become a real leader, then you will need to understand all of the advantages that an Ed.D. will allow you to have. This article is going to share those advantages with you, so let’s get started.
An Ed.D. degree is for education professionals who want to leverage their educational leadership skills. Being a leader is something that has to be ingrained into every teacher at some stage of their career journey, because whether they lead a small team or a large school, they need to be able to lead effectively. Commanding the respect of their peers and making sure that the students are taken care of are necessary skills for professionals in education to have.
However, the Ed.D. isn’t just related to the field of education; it can also be used in all sorts of different areas of life and business. Studying for the degree means that you need to focus on both research and application, and it will help those who receive it bring productive changes to their organization. Essentially, you are going to learn how to be a much better leader.
If you want to become a Doctor of Education, you will need to get a master’s degree in education or a related field. Depending on the specifics of what you want the Ed.D. for, you will need to have a 3.0 or higher GPA, and you will also have to complete specific exams and tests before you can attain the degree.
If you want to be the type of leader who can get into an organization, analyze where it is, see where it wants to be, and then get it to that point, you can do a lot with an Ed.D. degree. These degrees are perfect for people who want to slot themselves into an organization and make some real changes. These places can include schools, government agencies, and both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Depending on how deep you want to go with your Ed.D., you can get various concentrations that allow you to do a deep dive into certain areas. For example, a sports leadership Ed.D. allows you to focus on educational improvements for athletic communities, while an Ed.D. in educational leadership and management is perfect if you want to become a manager. If you want to focus on one specific area, say a K–12 school, then you can do so with a focused Ed.D.
There is a wide range of careers you can undertake with an Ed.D., so don’t be afraid to take this path if you have a few ideas about where you want to go.
For the most part, you need to be willing to problem-solve and learn about the nature of management. Regardless of the leadership field you try to get into, you will be inheriting a business that has a number of problems. You will be tasked with solving those problems and you need to make sure that you know how to analyze a situation, provide effective management strategies, and help to produce positive change for the business and the people therein.
While the majority of people who want to get an Ed.D. have some experience with education and are often in the academic field already, there are a variety of careers you can get with an Ed.D degree. Marymount University provides students with the theory and knowledge paramount to successful educational leadership, such as strategic leadership, team leadership and developing others within education. With further focus on the ethical and social implications of this leadership, Marymount ensures a well-rounded program which develops students’ skills to be able to tackle the range of careers available, such as K-12 school leaders, curriculum specialists and even directors of non-profit organizations.
Graduates will focus on providing big-picture support, overseeing programs, departments and districts at the grade school or college level. Others work to influence the curriculum, train other teachers, advocate for the reform of education or curricula, or focus on research. Jobs can include being a principal, superintendent, college president or dean. Other roles include being a chief academic officer, or learning officer, or admissions director. Graduates could also be an educational advisor, lobbyist or consultant.
For people who might want to get an Ed.D. but who don’t want to specialize in education, there are a number of roles available. These can include being a government administrator, a non-profit director, a corporate trainer or a chief executive officer.
As you go through your education, you will learn about the theory and practice of leadership, how to lead a diverse group of people, and how to guide an organization through change. Once you’ve completed the tasks assigned, you will then be able to return to your organization and help advise it.
However, regardless of the career path you end up taking, if you have an Ed.D., you will find that you will be influencing and sometimes making a lot of important policy decisions. One of these decisions might be influencing curricula in schools and colleges, and this is something that deserves a deeper dive.
Whether you have fond memories of your time in school or you disliked every single second of it, the chances are that the curriculum you were learning was very likely made the same way. The standard definition of curriculum design is: “The deliberate organization of curriculum within a course or classroom. When instructors design their curriculums, they identify what will be done, who will do it, and when, as well as what the objective of each course is. Curriculum design involves planning activities, readings, lessons, and assessments that achieve educational goals.”
Essentially, the students need to learn certain things by a certain time frame based on the classes they are taking. The curriculum is what helps them get there and what allows the teachers to create lessons.
For many educators, there are two models of curriculum development that are used in the majority of situations. These include the product model and the process model, and both are worth a look. With an Ed.D., you will likely be handling both of them.
The product model tends to focus on an end goal. This has to deal with the outcome of the learning experience, because if the students follow the curriculum to the end goal, what are they going to get? Will they be able to memorize facts, create a product, or have mastery of a specific skill?
Process-based models focus on the students themselves and the experience of learning. With a process-based curriculum, the students are taking on open-ended and often self-directed goals with the intent of learning from the experience. Some forms of curricula are focused on the students needing to learn a subject and the entire process is about teaching that subject, while others are focused on solving problems.
Both of these models are great methods of learning, and a good teacher and a good educational system will have a mix of both styles in the curriculum as it goes on. However, with your ability as an Ed.D. holder, you will be able to influence the curriculum to your liking as you enhance your leadership position.
There are a few problems with the approach of curriculum-based learning, and while these problems will likely be different in severity depending on the school and other factors, they are still often problems. For a start, teachers often need to be educated on the curriculum and all the resources that are provided by it, even if they never use the curriculum’s resources in the first place.
The curriculum is also often changing based on the data around schools, learning data, policies and more, so what could be standard one year is not standard the next. While these changes should be focused on teaching the children exactly what they need to learn in order for them to become productive members of society, often these changes simply make things harder for teachers and the students they teach.
Also, with the amount of content that is available in various curricula, many teachers find that they simply don’t have the time to teach it all. This leads to all sorts of problems with gaps in education, rushed lessons, and students either being left behind or needing to take charge of their own learning to catch up.
People with Ed.D. degrees are the ones who can provide the most help to teachers and other educational professionals by listening to their concerns and making sure that changes are made. They can use their management skills to help teachers and professionals hit the points they need to hit, and they can also help them disregard everything else.
Nearly every single teacher will tell you that they are overworked and underpaid, and this also comes from the curricula they teach. With various resources and items to deal with, many teachers simply find that they don’t have enough time to teach everything that is required of them during the year. It is too much, and often the teachers need to pick and choose what to teach.
The teachers may feel that they need to rush themselves and their students through the curriculum in order to hit everything that needs to be hit. The problem occurs whenever students need more help and time to master the content of the lesson. The teachers are then not able to provide the best education that matches what the student requires during class, leading to extra tutoring and help is needed. This puts a strain on the teachers and the students.
There can also be a problem if the students themselves are resistant to learning about a topic or they want to learn about a topic that the teacher has only touched upon.
In order to prevent these time management issues from continuing to occur, professionals with Ed.D. degrees will need to use their management skills to help alleviate the burden.
By helping teachers figure out what they need to teach and placing priority on this, they can ensure that the students have everything they need and the teachers are able to put lesson plans together that will benefit everyone. Additionally, many professionals are trying to influence the curricula to be built around the learning space of the students, rather than trying to force the students to learn at the pace of the lesson plan.
By being able to take the extra time needed to ensure that students are not just learning the information, but are also mastering it and are able to use it, the students will become smarter and attain better results.
Ed.D. holders are leaders and they are the type of people who will be a voice for those who need it. Often, the teachers of a school need a voice to provide guidance and support and to ensure that they are being listened to. Additionally, students who might feel like the curriculum they are learning isn’t a good fit for them can talk to a professional and ensure that everything is understood.
As someone with an Ed.D., you need to make sure that you are learning not just about the curriculum in place, but also the issues that people are having with it. You can then use your leadership and management skills to try to get those issues resolved for the people under your care.
Whether you use your Ed.D. to become the dean of a college, the principal of a K–12 school, or a CEO, you will be put into a leadership position. You will be managing a large number of people who all need your support and guidance, and you will be taking on various issues. These might range from disciplining students and making speeches to completing any number of administrative tasks.
As a leader, you will be able to steer the school like it is your own personal ship, and you will need to influence the people inside the school. You will need to use your management and leadership skills to figure out which members of the team are doing a good job and which ones might need some help. You will need to figure out what aspects of your school are going extremely well and what needs to be fixed.
Your leadership decisions will be easier to make than you might think, because the training and education you got through your Ed.D. will allow you to make the best calls. Just make sure to use your influence for what is best for the school, and don’t be afraid to push issues with people both over and above you if a problem occurs.
As you focus on becoming a better leader and taking your passion for education to a new level, you will find that having an Ed.D. will ensure that you can get into those leadership positions where you can advocate for real change. So, take your lessons and your educational time spent getting the Ed.D. seriously.