North Carolina PhD in Teacher Education Doctorate Graduate Programs

Educators seeking to acquire advanced knowledge and skills related to teaching might consider a Doctorate in Teacher Education. Strategies for instruction and helping fellow educators are some of the areas of focus for a Ph.D. in Teacher Education.

As you know, the field of education is an incredibly dynamic one. Political and economic factors challenge and direct education, and social and cultural underpinnings in schools and districts make each person’s experience a unique one. In schools and districts, social, political, and economic components intermingle to create an ever-evolving system.

This ever-evolving system is one that directly affects our communities, country, and world. According to the Global Partnership for Education, education “is one of the most important investments a country can make in its people and its future, and is critical to reducing poverty and inequality[i]”. To see a thriving populace and world, we must infuse our schools and districts with thoughtful and responsive teachers, administrators, and leaders.

Professionals who earn a doctorate in education dedicate their time, money, and mental power to administering and improving education. They  are given a chance to learn to navigate the complex dynamics of educational systems and to apply knowledge to reveal and resolve issues. They also learn to leverage and strengthen those aspects of education that work well.

Ultimately, people with a doctorate in education have an opportunity to gain highly nuanced perspectives of education’s many moving parts, and they may affect change at personal, local, national, and global levels.

What Career Paths Might I Pursue by earning a Doctorate in Teacher Education?

These are just some of the many areas that professionals with a doctorate in education might pursue potential career opportunities:

Educational Research:

Education’s progress and improvement depends heavily upon the creative, innovative, and well-researched work of talented academics. Educators with doctorate degrees often work as researchers in think-tanks, colleges or universities, and other public and private organizations.  

Teacher Mentorship, Training, and Support:

Many schools and districts incorporate the skills and knowledge of educators with advanced degrees and experience to mentor, train, and support newer teachers or teachers who work in extraordinarily challenging circumstances. Professionals in this area also provide support and mentorship to administrators and leaders in schools and districts. 

Curriculum Design and Instruction:

Schools and teachers depend upon quality curriculum and assessment. Many professionals with a doctorate in education help develop, implement, and assess curricula and teaching methodologies. They might also train others to do the same.  

School Administration:

Much of a school’s or district’s success depends on its leadership. Professionals who engaged in the rigor and challenges of a doctorate in education program often work in administrative and leadership capacities. They might work as principals, vice-presidents, presidents, provosts, or in other administrative roles.

Teaching Future Teachers:

Educators with a doctorate in education often work as professors and researchers at colleges and universities. They teach up-and-coming teachers and leaders about education as a discipline and field. They act as teachers, researchers, mentors, and counselors as prospective teachers earn bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, or PhDs.

Salary Potential for Educators with a Doctorate in Education 

As is the case in any field, pay for educators with a doctorate in education depends upon where they live, what they do, and for whom they work. It can therefore be difficult to determine how much an educator with an advanced degree statistically earns compared to other educators. However, this data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ can give you a sense of the range of salaries for educators:  

  • Kindergarten teachers earned a median annual wage of $50,120[ii]
  • Middle school teachers earned a median annual wage of $53,430[iii]
  • Elementary school teachers earned a mean annual wage of $53,400[ii]
  • High school teachers earned a mean annual wage of $55,050[iv]
  • Postsecondary teachers earned a median annual wage of $68,970[v]
  • Elementary, middle, and high school principals earned a median annual wage of $85,760[vi]
  • Administrators in elementary and secondary schools earned a median annual wage of $91,780[vii]
  • Administrators in postsecondary schools earned a median annual wage of $86,490[vii]

Is Earning a Doctorate in Teacher Education Right for You?

This of course depends on your goals. Here are some things to consider:

  • Do you want to devote the time, money, and resources to earning a doctorate degree in education? Can you make the commitment and devote yourself to this sometimes daunting endeavor?
  • Will earning a doctorate in education enhance your career in the way you want it to? Will it lead to more money? Will it give you the knowledge you need to affect change? Will it help prepare you to pursue a role you find exciting and relevant?
  • Do you need to earn a doctorate in education to fulfill your goals in the field of education? What does your particular career path require of you?
  • What type of doctorate in education do you want to pursue? An Ed.D, Ph.D., and doctorate in curriculum and instruction all help prepare you to pursue careers  in distinct capacities. Have you done your research to determine what degree to pursue?
  • Do you want to know the ins and outs of education? What is learned cannot be unlearned, and earning a doctorate in education reveals to you the underbelly of a dynamic system. Are you ready to work with that information?
  • How will earning a doctorate in education enhance your life, your career, and the lives of the students who will ultimately benefit from your hard work?

When determining whether or not to embark on the rewarding but challenging road of earning a doctorate in education, it’s important to consider your reasons for doing so. In the end, no matter what you choose, we know you’ll impact education in a profound and meaningful way! Good luck on your adventure!


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