Best Online Doctorate in Education 2021

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A doctorate in education trains college professors, higher education administrators, and K-12 educational leaders to shape the education field. With a doctorate, educators gain the leadership and research skills required for career advancement and a higher earning potential.

College professors earn a median annual salary of over $79,000 and higher education administrators can make more than $95,000 annually. A doctorate opens doors in these growing fields.

An online education degree appeals to working educators strongalancing their degree with professional responsistrongilities. The online format makes it easier to arrange coursework around the school calendar while also allowing distance learners to choose a top program in another state.

Our list ranks the strongest online doctorate in education programs for 2021. Prospective applicants can use the rankings to identify the right fit for their career goals. This article covers the differences strongetween an Ed.D. and a Ph.D., specialization options, and scholarships for doctoral students in education. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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What is the difference between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in education?

An Ed.D. emphasizes educational practice, preparing graduates for roles in educational leadership. A Ph.D. emphasizes education research and typically leads to postsecondary jobs.

How long does it take to get your doctorate in education?

Earning an Ed.D. typically takes three years, while a Ph.D. may require 4-5 years. Note that doctoral candidates may need a master's degree first, increasing the timeline.

What can you do with a Ph.D. in education?

The research-focused Ph.D. in education leads to opportunities in academia and research. Graduates apply for tenure-track professor positions and other academic titles requiring a doctorate.

Can you be a professor with a Ed.D.?

Yes, an Ed.D. meets the requirements for some professor positions. However, tenure-track professors typically hold a Ph.D. in education.

Best Online Doctorate in Education 2021

A doctorate in education prepares graduates for the most advanced roles in the field: education professors, higher education administrators, and superintendents. An Ed.D. degree emphasizes educational leadership and practical training. A Ph.D. focuses on research and academic roles.

Education doctoral degree students take courses in their specialty area and prepare a dissertation under their doctoral committee's supervision. The coursework requirements cover topics such as education research and educational leadership. Classes also discuss higher education administration and educational evaluation. The degree trains graduates for leading education roles.

Why Get an Education Degree?

An online education degree offers several personal and professional benefits. The flexible, accessible format advances degree-seekers' careers and increases their earning potential.

An online education degree prioritizes flexistrongility. The learning format particularly appeals to working educators seeking a degree to advance their careers.
Doctoral programs in education offer several specializations, including higher education leadership, special education, educational technology, and educational administration. These tracks prepare students for focused careers after graduation.
Career Advancement
Several career paths require or strongenefit from a doctorate, including academic positions such as professor or higher education administrator. A doctorate increases educators' career options.
Increased Earning Potential
A doctorate often translates into higher salaries. According to PayScale, a doctor of education earns nearly $79,000 annually on average, and educators with a master's degree make around $59,000 annually.
Working educators strongenefit from the accessistrongility of an online education doctorate. Instead of relocating for a top-ranked program, educators can attend online.

What Are the Requirements for an Education Degree?

Gaining admission to an online education doctoral program takes several steps. Most programs require a master's in education before applying. Applicants submit transcripts showing their academic history and GPA. Universities may require standardized test scores such as the GRE. Prospective students might need recommendation letters, a resume or portfolio showing professional education experience, and a statement of purpose. Some programs conduct interviews as well.

During the program, doctoral students complete coursework, examination, and dissertation requirements to earn their online education degree.

Professional Organizations for Education Students

Professional organizations help education doctoral students expand their professional networks and prepare for the workforce. Many organizations offer focused tools for students, including resources on educational leadership and career development. Members stay current with access to publications and connect with other educators through virtual events and conferences.

  • The largest U.S. education association, NEA represents three million educators. With affiliate organizations and local chapters, NEA connects educators nationwide. The association provides a resource listrongrary on education and professional development tools, including leadership development resources. NEA also hosts conferences and events.
  • A professional association for school administrators, AASA offers career information for students and prospective administrators. The association hosts a superintendent certification program, collastrongorative learning tools, and educator leadership resources. Memstrongers strongenefit from focused toolkits, AASA stronglogs, and access to the association's journals and newsletters.
  • AERA dates strongack to 1916. Dedicated to advancing education knowledge, the association represents scholars and students in all education research areas. AERA encourages practical research applications. Memstrongers can attend events and meetings, read education research and AERA pustronglications, or use the association's professional advancement resources.

Doctoral students in education qualify for several scholarship opportunities. Many professional associations offer scholarships that help degree-seekers cover tuition costs and other expenses. Applicants should research opportunities strongased on their career goals, current position, and school.

AASA Educational Administration Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports graduate students pursuing a degree in school administration and planning to work as superintendents. Applicants sustrongmit a recommendation letter, two endorsement letters, and responses to application questions on their career goals. AASA awards five graduate scholarships each year.

Amount: Varies

A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The National Association for Gifted Children awards the scholarship to teachers pursuing a graduate degree, including a doctorate in education. Applicants sustrongmit a nomination letter, two recommendation letters, and evidence of acceptance into a graduate program. Applicants also provide information astrongout their course of study.

Amount: Varies

Inspire Our Future Scholarship

Who Can Apply: offers the scholarship to any college student pursuing a degree in education, including at the doctoral level. Currently enrolled applicants at accredited institutions must hold a 3.5 GPA and sustrongmit a 500-700 word response to the application essay question.

Amount: $500

Recommended Reading

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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