Is an Ed.D. the same as a Ph.D.? Here is a guide on Ed.D. vs. Ph.D.
Educators interested in getting research or terminal degree in their field have two main program choices: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.).
The Ed.D.., doctor of training, degree, and the Ph.D., doctor of philosophy, are terminal degrees in higher education.
An institution will confer an Ed.D. Solely in education-related fields, a Ph.D. could be a terminal degree in education-associated areas and other disciplines.
What is the difference between a Ph.D. and Ed.D.?
Is an Ed.D. Called a Doctor?
Pursuing an advanced degree in education is a desire many people crave for. It broadens their horizon regarding job opportunities, career advancement, and many other areas.
While that is a constant, what type of degree you earn can determine what you do.
One of the most talked-about comparisons involves Ed.D. vs. Ph.D. Many people have difficulties differentiating between the two as they’re both advanced degrees.
If you’ve had difficulty figuring out the similarities between Ed.D. and Ph.D., this article will provide you with all the necessary details.
What’s an Ed.D.?
The differences and similarities between Ed.D. and Ph.D. in education begin by looking at each program or degree.
It starts with an Ed.D., which stands for Doctor of Education. It’s one of the vital requirements persons seeking to hold educational leadership roles will need.
An Ed.D. is a practical degree that helps equip students with research skills to positively influence educational policy and practice. What more?
With an Ed.D. degree, you can apply skills learned to real-world problems toward achieving positive outcomes.
Specializations or concentrations under this program include diversity & multiculturalism and curriculum development & instruction.
Others are adult education, community college leadership, adult education, education policy, early childhood, and educational leadership & administration.
More Ed.D. specializations include education technology & e-learning, healthcare professions, entrepreneurship in education, and K-12 leadership.
Higher education leadership, special education, and organizational leadership are among several specializations you can leverage on.
Ph.D. in Education: What is it?
A Doctor of Philosophy in Education is suitable for pursuing a career path in academia.
This largely theory-based degree is terminal and mostly study-based. By earning a Ph.D. in education, you get to benefit from increased exposure.
Such exposure includes attending conferences and appearing in or being published in reputable journals. Part of earning a Ph.D. degree includes choosing your specialization program.
Examples include literacy development & learning programs, and learning sciences.
Others include school psychology, educational statistics & research methods, mathematics education, and sociocultural & community-based approaches to education.
Ed.D. Vs. Ph.D. Education Degrees
Comparing Ed.D. vs. Ph.D. degrees will require highlighting key areas like orientation, degree completion time, learning style, program cost, and career paths.
These points will better help organize our discussion. So, without further ado, let’s proceed.
i. Degree Orientation
We stated earlier that an Ed.D. degree is designed for leadership and administration.
Ph.D. in education degrees, on the other hand, are more inclined toward persons in academia. In other words, obtaining a Ph.D. is mainly for teaching and professors.
More specifically, being administration-inclined, pursuing an Ed.D. isn’t as demanding as a Ph.D. in an education program. Here, you’re able to hold a full-time job while studying.
An Ed.D. tends to be more practical than philosophical.
A Ph.D. in education on the other hand, a Ph.D. in education is more research-intensive, there are more program options to select from, and funding opportunities tend to be more common than for Ed.D. programs.
Ph.D. students are prepared for faculty careers in higher education.
ii. Study Completion Time
The length of the study is of significant importance for applicants. In other words, people often want to know how long it will take them to complete their program.
Now, the study completion time for both degrees isn’t the same. On average, pursuing an Ed.D. program will likely take anywhere from 2 to 3 years.
Sometimes, people spend four years studying for an Ed.D. degree. The reasons are that they aren’t far-fetched.
One of the main ones has to do with student commitments. Students with work or professional obligations cannot commit to full-time study as they don’t have the luxury of time.
On the other hand, the duration for obtaining a Ph.D. in education tends to be twice longer than an Ed.D. degree. Some people might spend seven years before completing their Ph.D. degrees.
Such extension is caused by factors similar to those mentioned for Ed.D. degrees.
iii. Style of Learning
Still, the learning style focuses on distinguishing factors between Ed.D. degrees and Ph.D. in education degrees. Under the Ed.D. learning style, courses tend to have a more practical approach.
Based on such structuring, the average number of units required to earn this degree is 60.
On the other hand, pursuing a Ph.D. in education follows a different learning style. Unlike Ed.D. degrees, whose learning style is practice-based, Ph.D. in education degrees are primarily research-based.
From this crucial feature, you can decide what path to follow.
iv. Cost of Program
Cost is crucial for students or future applications seeking to earn a degree. To know if a degree is worth acquiring, one must consider its earning potential.
This allows you to weigh the pros and cons. You’re investing in your education and want to gain something back regarding clear opportunities and career advancements.
Earning an Ed.D. degree will likely cost anywhere from $20 to $50k. Your area of specialization or career largely determines your earning potential.
For example, a provost earns an average income of $147,100 per year, while an education administrator is slightly shy of the 6-figure mark at $97,640.
A Ph.D. in education degree will cost more than an Ed.D. Expect to pay anywhere from $60 to $120k
v. Career Paths
Now you may wish to know what you can do with either degree. While both are highly desirable, they take you down separate career paths.
For example, an Ed.D. degree allows you to take any of the following; an elementary & secondary school administrator and a postsecondary education administrator.
More positions you can hold with an Ed.D. degree include a top executive, postsecondary teacher, instructional coordinator, and school principal.
On the other hand, a Ph.D. in education degree also allows you to practice as a postsecondary teacher and an academic researcher.
Differences Between PH.D. ED. And ED.D. Degree Programs – Overview
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of programs – the kind you should attend depends on your education and ultimate career goals.
Is a Ph.D. more prestigious than an Ed.D.?
Doctor of Philosophy in Education
Ph.D. programs in education are great for students who want to go into research or teacher education.
There’s a lot of flexibility with this type of degree. You can focus your education on the topic that most interests you within the academic field, such as unique education research, educational theory, or student feedback.
After you graduate, you’ll be prepared to work studying educational processes or teaching at the college level.
A small percentage of students also tailor their Ph.D. program to focus on more practical educational skills to prepare to work as an academic administrator (such as a curriculum developer or school superintendent) when they graduate.
The main advantage of earning a Ph.D. is the versatility you have during your education and after you graduate. If you have a specific passion within the educational world, a Ph.D. allows you to explore that passion.
Even after you graduate, you can continue learning; most college professors still do research projects, publish papers, and otherwise continue studying in their field of interest.
A Ph.D., in other words, is excellent for students who want to be students for the rest of their lives.
Doctor of Education
Earning an Ed.D. allows you to take a more functional role in the educational world.
Students who choose Ed.D. programs rather than Ph.D. programs typically become administrators or work in other educational leadership positions.
There’s some overlap here; with a flexible Ed.D. program, you can also tailor your education to focus more on research, which allows you to take a more academic approach, similar to a Ph.D. program.
With an Ed.D., you can choose a specific broader topic in some cases (such as Psychology), or you can choose to focus on education itself, learning more about issues that are also available to Ph.D. students, such as educational theory.
The main advantage of an Ed.D. program over a Ph.D. program is that you’ll focus less on research projects than practical skills you can use in the workforce.
With a Ph.D. program, you certainly get to explore more academic areas. This doesn’t always translate to education that will help your career.
Building Your Resume with a Doctorate Degree
A Ph.D. and an Ed.D. will help you qualify for top jobs in education. However, for some students, earning a Ph.D. makes more sense based on the prestige of this kind of program.
Is an Ed.D. a doctor?
Practically speaking, PhDs and Ed.Ds are equal.
While one type of degree is slightly better for researchers/educators and the other is marginally better for practitioners, they are both extremely demanding programs requiring tons of student work.
Ph.D. degrees are older, so some people still give more merit to this type of education on a resume than an Ed.D., but as more colleges start offering Ed.D. programs, this perception is changing.
Something important to remember is that certifications and honors often mean as much as the degree itself.
While earning a Ph.D. or Ed.D., take as many educational opportunities as possible to build your resume with a high GPA, published papers, strong recommendations from your professors, and more.
How a degree looks on your resume also depends on your school. If you earn your Ph.D. or Ed.D. from a top school in education, it should matter less to employers as much as which degree you make.
Harvard has the oldest Ed.D. program in the United States, but there are other great programs.
Doctorate Degree Work and Cost
Regarding how much work you must do to graduate, Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs run neck and neck. It depends on the college you attend and the research type, but most programs last three to six years.
You’ll start with two to three years of classes and two to three years working on a dissertation or research project. Some students take even longer, working on a part-time basis.
In terms of cost, Ph.D. programs and Ed.D. programs are also equal.
These are apparent similarities and differences between Ed.D. and Ph.D. in education degrees. You can determine what will work best for you with the information supplied.