Online PhD in Professional Studies in Education Requirements
Experience in the education field is vital to success for an online PhD in professional studies in education. Students should understand basic education terminology and have some experience in the classroom. In addition, exceptional reading comprehension and writing skills are needed, as are excellent interpersonal skills. Some background in statistics and research is helpful for success in those areas of study.
Most students earning an online PhD in professional studies in education concurrently hold a master’s degree in a related subject area. As the doctoral program is multidisciplinary, master’s degrees can vary widely. Some common masters degrees held by students pursuing an online doctorate in studies in professional education include:
- Master of Arts, Education
- Master of Arts, Special Education
- Master of Arts, Education Leadership
- Master of Arts, Special Education Policy
- Master of Education, General Education
- Master of Education, Special Education
- Master of Arts, Special Education Leadership
- Master of Business Administration, Public Organizations
- Master of Arts, Organizational Leadership
In addition to holding a master’s degree, most students pursuing an online doctorate in studies in professional education also have extensive work experience in the field. Careers held by doctoral students include teachers, special education teachers, education administrators, resource room teachers and corporate coaches.
During the 3-4 year program to earn a PhD in professional studies in education, students will take courses covering various disciplines which relate to education, public policy and best practices. In addition to lecture classes, students engage in group work with real-life case studies as well as at least one internship in a local education institution. During the final year of study, the graduate student will research, develop and write a dissertation which will be defended.
Requirement courses to earn a PhD in professional studies in education vary by online college; however, the basic courses remain the same. The dissertation programs will change with a student’s desired area of research and study, although this coursework may not be started until the required courses are complete.
Required courses to earn an online doctorate degree in professional studies in education include:
- Qualitative Studies in Education: This course is an introduction to use of qualitative research methods, including ethnography, sociolinguistics, symbolic interactions.
- Educational Philosophy and Change: This course examines the systematic reflection upon the variety of activities and practices used to develop education theory and strategies.
- Learning Theory: This course will examine current beliefs about how people learn, from behaviorism to constructivism.
- Theory of Adult Education: This course will explore the theory and practice of teaching adults with emphasis on active and collaborative learning environments.
- Research Design: This course is designed to give students a broad view of the variety of approaches to designing good social research, with a substantive focus on inequality.
Specializations and Concentrations
During the course of study to earn a PhD in professional studies in education, students will choose a specialty to focus on for their dissertation studies. Concentrations for online doctorate in professional studies in education include:
- Education Leadership
- Education Administration
- Education Resources
- Education Research and Theory
- Instruction Methodology
- Curriculum Design
- Instructional Design
Career opportunities for graduates of an online PhD program in professional studies in education vary widely, depending on discipline study during the dissertation portion of the degree program. Often, a professional studies in education doctoral degree program prepares students for leadership positions within an educational institution. Common career opportunities for doctoral graduates from top online colleges include:
- Professor of Education: Professors of education work in colleges or universities, and teach secondary students various skills needed for the field, including teaching practices, theory and research. Professors of education earn an average of $69,500 per year. Job growth is expected at a faster than average rate, particularly in online doctorate programs.
- Education Administrator: Education administrators ensure that education policy and practice is being met in an educational institution, including areas of finance, resource distribution, safety practices and educator training. An education administrator earns an average of $88,000 per year. Job growth is expected at an average rate.
- Mentor Teacher: Mentor teachers typically work within a university education program for teachers, and assist them in real-life teaching practice. Mentor teachers earn an average of $65,000 per year. Job growth is expected at an average rate for the next ten years.
- Principal: A principal is in charge of a school and is responsible for student achievement scores, employment, fiscal issues and safety. A principal earns an average of $91,000 per year. As most graduates of an online PhD program in professional studies in education work in a secondary school, job growth is expected at a faster than average rate.
- Advocate, Education Reform: Education reform advocates research critical issues relating to education, develop theories and promote change to current policy. Education reform advocates earn an average of $65,000 per year. Job growth is expected at an average rate.
A PhD in professional studies in education from a top online school provides a strong foundation in theory and practice across all education disciplines. This doctoral program leads to exciting and fulfilling leadership positions within the education field.