Should You Get an EdD or a PhD?
If you know you want to work in an educational setting, it can be difficult to know which doctorate degree is right for you. The key question to ask yourself is this: What do you want to do in the academic environment you’ll be working in?
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in academia, a PhD (or a Doctorate of Philosophy) might be for you. This degree is theoretically oriented toward researchers and should enable you to do your own research and exploration in a given field of study.
If you want a more hands-on leadership role, a Doctorate in Education (EdD) might be a better fit for you. This degree is practically oriented toward candidates pursuing leadership roles in education, government agencies and nonprofits. This degree is also designed for candidates in the business world who are responsible for improving organizations through teaching and learning.
But there’s more to it.
What Is a Doctorate of Education (EdD)?
An EdD is a terminal degree with a focus on applying research and foundational knowledge to real world organizational, leadership and education issues. EdD programs prepare students for academic, administrative, clinical, professional or research positions in K-12 and higher education, civil service, private organizations or public institutions.
Rather than focusing on developing new research (as with a PhD program), EdD candidates use existing research to inform decisions around specific issues that lead to improved practices within their area(s) of study.