Choosing A Career Option Between EdD and PhD

If you want to get a doctorate in education, one of the first questions you’ll have to answer is: Should I apply for an EdD program or a distance learning PhD program?

The choice between these two final degrees might be career-defining since, despite their similar levels, they serve very distinct purposes. You should first study about the differences in program content and potential employment prospects associated with each degree to ensure you choose the path that best fits your future professional goals.

Learn about the differences between an EdD and a PhD in Education and which program is appropriate for you by reading on.

Differences between an EdD and a PhD for education

A Doctor of Education (EdD) is a professional degree for educators who want to be in educational leadership positions. On the other hand, a PhD in education is intended to prepare students for careers in research and teaching.

What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD?

An EdD, or Doctor of Education, is a professional doctorate best suited for experienced educators and mid-to senior-level working professionals who wish to manage and implement change within their company.

Candidates for an EdD work in various settings, including K-12 and higher education, nonprofits, government, healthcare, and the military. They all share a desire to make a difference in their daily lives by applying what they’ve learned throughout their doctorates to complex, crucial workplace issues.

The EdD is a practical degree. Students in an EdD degree want to do more than just research in their field of interest; they want to use that research to help their community or organization make better decisions.

Those pursuing a doctorate in education concentrate on qualitative, exploratory research. Students gather data and perform individual interviews, observations, or focus groups to produce hypotheses and solutions to address or clarify a practice problem, such as supporting student veterans transitioning to civilian life or fostering more female leaders in higher education.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Education?

While an EdD can be used in a variety of fields, including K-12, higher education, nonprofits, and civic service, there are a few job titles you’ll certainly encounter among your classmates. They are as follows:

  • Postsecondary Education Administrators: Postsecondary education administrators are in charge of faculty research, academics, admissions, and student affairs in colleges and universities. President, vice president, provost, and dean are examples of job titles that fit within this category.
  • Superintendents of Elementary and Secondary Schools: Superintendents, the top executives of a school district, belong to this category. They are in charge of all academic programs, funding, and staffing in their district’s educational facilities.
  • Top Executives: A top executive in education could be a “chief learning officer” or “chief academic officer”—senior-level experts who drive and design strategies to assist their organization reach crucial commercial goals.
  • Instructional Coordinators: The development and implementation of school curricula and other educational materials is the responsibility of instructional coordinators. They assist teachers in implementing effective classroom learning practices and assessing the effectiveness of what is taught and how it is delivered.

What Does A Doctorate In Education Entail?

Distance education PhD programs refer to a terminal degree designed for those interested in pursuing a career in academia or university research.

Students enrolled in a PhD program learn in a more theoretical, study-based manner. Most of the time, their purpose is to master a single subject or contribute their unique insights to an existing body of knowledge. PhD candidates do original research with the goal of influencing change in their field or encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

A PhD is the most common degree among people who want to be professors or hold a tenured position. Students in these programs are more likely to get published in prestigious journals, present at national conferences, and train future educators.

What Can a PhD in Education Get You?

While some of the aforementioned positions can be obtained without a PhD, the following are the most popular job titles requiring PhD holders:

  • Postsecondary Teachers: Students at a college or university are taught by postsecondary teachers. They spend much of their time outside of the classroom conducting research, attending conferences, and writing scholarly papers and books.
  • Academic Researcher: Academic researchers frequently have the chance to establish their centers or institutes, engage staff to assist them in their work, and acquire funding.


After you’ve learned about the distinctions between an EdD and a PhD in Education, The most crucial thing you should ask yourself is: What’s the next step in my career, and which degree will help me reach my professional goals? Which degree you eventually pursue will be determined by your response to this question. No matter which path you take, earning a doctorate can pay off. Regardless of which degree you eventually choose, you have many opportunities to enhance your career in teaching. Understanding whether an EdD or distance learning PhD program in education is best suited to your personal and professional goals can be determined by evaluating your requirements and ideals.