Doctorate degrees typically are highly specialized, providing you with course options directed toward your field of specialty or academic interests. Once you achieve a doctoral degree in education, or an Ed.D., you have a number of options open for work. You may choose to stay in academia or venture into the private sector to work anywhere from government agencies to nonprofit think tanks.
Many students stay at the university where they earn their advanced degrees. While pursuing a doctorate, students often serve as assistants and develop relationships with department heads and students. The transition often is expected for teaching students who may apply for tenure positions once they’ve achieved their credentials. Most doctoral graduates teach in the specialty for which they’ve studied.
As a teacher with a doctoral degree, you may decide to move into the research side of the industry. You may undertake research projects that study learning techniques in the inner city or how various diseases affect the learning process, socialization of students from other countries or the effectiveness of new teaching processes. Nonprofit groups dealing with education may rely on your expertise to author studies and white papers on various issues and topics and present those findings to Congressional committees or funding organizations.
Many doctoral graduates move into leadership positions within the educational community. Leadership roles in professional associations usually are held by teachers with doctoral degrees. During your studies, you may land an internship with an association that opens doors to future career opportunities or move into an administrative role once you graduate. Doctoral candidates in education follow various academic paths toward leadership that also include policy analysis and institutional challenges.
You can parlay your doctorate degree in education to earn a state license to practice psychology. Other requirements may include a number of hours as a school psychologist intern and additional clinical training, but generally states will grant licenses to doctorate degree-holders, according to the National Association of School Psychologists. You have an advantage over other candidates for the position as well because your degree focuses on student learning processes, making you a valuable asset to a school psychology department.
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