Program Insights

Building On Momentum: Earning an EdD Right After Grad School

By The Room 241 Team December 6, 2019
  • Having a clear and realistic understanding of future career paths and how an EdD degree will help in achieving those career goals is important to your success.
  • Continuing straight into an EdD program immediately following graduate studies can allow a more focused approach.

Holders of doctoral degrees are considered leaders in their fields and regularly contribute to innovation and the development of relevant knowledge and best practices. Because an EdD can be a qualification for the highest positions in academic and non-academic careers, its acquirement can offer some of the most flexible career paths available in the field of education. 

The decision to pursue a doctoral degree in education can be daunting for many. And, deciding when to pursue an EdD degree can add another level of consideration.

Some EdD candidates choose to pursue a career in education, establishing years of experience before continuing into a doctoral program. Others continue the educational momentum after the completion of a master’s degree program.

Although there is no set time for pursuing an advanced degree, the decision of when to begin, or continue, on the road to a doctorate should be examined carefully. 

When to earn your EdD

The right time to begin an EdD program is when being a successful student is possible.

The EdD program can be more challenging than other educational degrees. Graduate studies are a long road of studying, reading, test-taking, and research. It requires effective planning and initiative, maturity to rebound from disappointments, and the stamina to complete a year-long project without much interaction or direction from others.

There is a greater need for self-motivation and initiative. Advisors will be there to counsel, guide, and help in meeting goals. However, they will not dictate what needs to be done or when it should be accomplished. It is up to the student to take charge of how to plan — both short-term and long-term. 

Things to consider

Earning an EdD can make a difference in the lives of children, communities, and organizations by contributing to the improvement and advancement of education.

Many EdD holders choose to remain in academia working as professors, department heads, or other top-level administrative positions in educational institutions. Others work as policymakers, systems analysts, or administrative leaders in nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies.

In seeking an EdD, having a clear and realistic understanding of future career paths and how an EdD degree will help in achieving those career goals is important to your success.

Making the decision to keep the momentum

Earning an EdD such as Concordia University- Portland’s EdD can be a three-year experience of focused educational advancement. This time is about diving deep into studies and becoming an expert in the field of education.

Many of today’s students are earning degrees while raising a family and working full time, so continuing straight into an EdD program immediately following graduate studies can allow a more focused approach.

Good reasons for immediately continuing advanced graduate studies:

  • Being already established as a student: Continuing the strength of the educational trajectory has been proven to decrease the length of time spent and increase the quality of work in collegiate learning. 
  • Reducing the stress of juggling responsibilities: One might expect that learning would be the hardest part in obtaining an advanced degree. In actuality, a full-time job coupled with family responsibilities can add tremendous stress and even delay or end a degree program. Programs such as those offered through Concordia University-Portland can be completed alongside personal responsibilities, but having fewer responsibilities can ease the strain of advanced degree studies.
  • Building on sharp study skills: Being a student is a unique experience that can often be diminished as careers and career responsibilities move to the forefront of a to-do list. Being accustomed to student life — and all that entails — lessens the transitional periods older students often find necessary for returning to life as a student. 
  • Continuing the passion for learning: Being a student is exciting, interesting, and motivational. The thought of spending more years immersed in research and the opportunities to teach classes and publish academic articles can be motivational in itself. 
  • Starting earlier, means finishing earlier: Valuable experiences can happen with the delay of graduate studies: working, volunteering, joining community organizations, or completing independent projects while building relevant skills. However, taking time off can extend studies further into the future, lengthening an EdD timeline and delaying career goals.

Financial considerations

Financial concerns play an important role in deciding to continue in an advanced degree program. Many schools provide funding opportunities for students. Concordia University-Portland offers and accepts numerous funding options such as school-based scholarships, grants, federal financial aid, monthly payments, military benefits, and additional promotions to those candidates that qualify. Meeting with Concordia University-Portland’s enrollment specialists and admissions counselors can provide answers and information regarding opportunities available. 

Completing a doctorate degree doesn’t just require years of hard work. It also usually means the need to take on more loans while earning a steady income, which will possibly take more time. Money will be tight, but earning your EdD will make you more likely to earn a higher salary in your future career than someone holding a master’s degree.

One consideration to alleviate monetary concerns is to weigh the costs of education against future earning potential. Recognizing future career earnings is an important step in understanding the benefits of an EdD.

  • According to the McNair Program at California State University, Bakersfield, holders of doctorate degrees have the lowest unemployment rates and the highest lifetime earning potentials of the various levels of degree holders. 
  • The United States Census Bureau states employee’s work-life salaries could have a 24% monetary difference. Those holding a doctorate degree in education earn an average of $2,802,000 to those with a master’s earning $2,260,000 within their lifetime.  
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics compares the weekly salary of those with a master’s degree at $1,401 to those with a doctorate at $1,743. 
  • Payscale.com: calibrating by career indicates that those with an EdD can earn on average an annual salary of $64,016 to $95,176.

Research findings have also concluded that not only does higher education stimulate higher salaries, but higher satisfaction as well. 

Finalizing the timeline of study can be a challenging and personal venture. There are no right answers or one-size-fits-all approach to expanding career options in the field of education. 

Discover Concordia University- Portland’s EdD programs

Concordia University-Portland offers an outstanding Doctorate of Education program designed for educational professionals.

Concentrations include:

Visit Concordia today, and begin crafting your timeline to professional success.

Have questions about earning your EdD? Check out Earning Your EdD: Top 12 FAQs or join an info session.

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