How Long Does it Take to Complete an Online Ed.D. Program?

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Updated April 15, 2021

The choice to complete an online Ed.D. offers an enormous benefit to those who hope to pursue administrative jobs in education, teaching education at the university level, as well as a number of executive or political careers. An online Ed.D. is considered by many to be the preferable way to earn the degree. Taking courses online allows adult students to continue to work in a full- or part-time capacity, which can make paying for classes much easier. This is especially true when working for a company or educational system that offers tuition assistance.

Explore these promoted online degree programs.

These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online graduate degree programs. Figuring out where to apply? Consider one of these online Master’s or PhD programs.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Ed.D.?

The length of time it takes to finish any degree program depends entirely on the amount of time devoted. In general, a full-time student enrolled in a doctorate of education program can expect to spend about three years pursuing their degree. This includes two years of study followed by research and a dissertation. This is assuming that the student already has an undergraduate degree in an appropriate field. Finishing the Doctorate degree online is similar to on-campus classes, as far as length of time is concerned. However, students may choose to take longer due to simple time constraints.

Why Choose a Doctorate of Education?

Undergraduate students can earn a teaching certificate in order to teach at the primary level. A masters in education helps to further their knowledge as well as their career. Some may then wish to move into administration. While a masters is often sufficient to get started in administration, earning a Doctor of Education can provide additional options for career advancement. Additionally, those who earn an Ed.D. can expect a much higher salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that those with doctoral degrees in education earn, on average, a near six figure salary.

Resource: Top 10 Online Ed.D Programs in Educational Leadership

What is the Difference Between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D.?

Though Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs seem similar, they are actually very different both in implementation and outcome. While an Ed.D. takes an average of three years to finish, the average Ph.D. candidate spends eight years studying before he or she can be referred to as "Doctor." The reason for this is the basic approach to the programs. An Ed.D. is more technical in terms of knowledge. Those receiving the degree are expected to implement their knowledge in a hands-on, day-to-day setting. A Ph.D. focuses almost entirely on research. Also, an Ed.D. costs less upfront, simply due to the time it takes to finish. Typical Ph.D. recipients have a debt of over $30,000 by the time they have their first job.

Furthering an educational experience is often an end in itself. However, adding proof of that education can be a great boon when it comes to career prospects. An Ed.D. can help students to get promotions, raises, or change careers if they wish. Best of all, an online education allows students to spend as much or as little time as they wish on their studies. Being able to complete an online Ed.D. can allow any educator or administrator to receive financial and professional benefits while continuing to work a full-time job.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Master's in Education Degree Programs

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