Education degrees are among the most popular offerings at online schools. Major e-learning institutions like Walden, Phoenix and others offer them, as do more traditional schools like Regis, University of Maryland and others, who have taken their traditional training programs for new teachers and moved them online.
If you’re looking at online doctoral programs in education, you’ll need to have your undergraduate training done already. Many of the Ph.D. programs in education focus on leadership, and are designed to prepare you for senior positions, whether you’re teaching in a grammar school, high school or college environment. Other skills you can develop win an online doct program in education include basic teaching, course development and school curriculum design. An added bonus of these programs today is that with the explosive growth of online learning, earning a Ph.D. online may put you in the best position to work at an online school. Some to educational jobs focus on educational technology, and getting an online degree will familiarize you with that.
To earn online doct programs in education, you will generally be required to take about 64 credit hours (beyond what you’ve already taken for your master’s degree), and write a dissertation that incorporates some original research on your part. It’s a considerable amount of work, and it only makes sense if you have had enough experience in teaching to know you want to commit to it for a long, long time.
A couple of key tips to keep in mind:
- If you’re doing a doctoral degree to teach in grammar school, make sure that online degree you’ll be getting is accepted for certification or licensure in the state you hope to work in.
- Keep in mind that there are non-traditional areas you can specialize in – adult education is one attractive area where many corporations are investing and where online learning is a key strategy.
- Be aware that some Ph.D. programs require you to visit the school regularly, even if you are doing much of your degree study online.
- The right degree for your career path: Be aware that there is a difference between a “Doctor of Education” degree and a Ph.D. While there is no official delineation between the two, colleges and universities often tend to favor Ph.D. holders, while Doctor of Education degree holders will find greater acceptance at K-12 schools.
The bottom line is that the need for teachers is growing rapidly at all levels, due to the increased importance of education and to simple population growth here in the U.S. Getting an online doct degree in education can make it easier for you to get into a more senior position more quickly than you would otherwise.