If you have obtained a master’s degree and passed the required examinations to begin teaching, you may be beginning to explore options for expanding your teaching opportunities and earning a greater income. Getting a secondary education doctoral degree can open doors that lead to more challenging educational or administrative positions in the subject area for which you are most passionate.
If your goal is to enter the administrative side of education, a doctorate in secondary education program that focuses on supervisory and administrative tasks in a school will be beneficial. On the other hand, if you want to teach in secondary schools, then it would be beneficial to pursue a curriculum/instructional design specialization in your doctoral program. These programs are readily available online so they are accessible without leaving employment. This page provides more detail about the programs, where you can take them, and what the career prospects are.
What do the programs involve?
After completing a master’s program, a secondary education doctoral program will take an additional three years. In most cases, individuals getting their degree are working as full-time teachers and take longer to complete the program so that they can accommodate their work schedule. Most of these programs are flexible and take into account the fact that the students participating are working teachers/administrators.
It is important to note that the type of doctoral program most useful to you will depend on whether you want to concentrate on teaching in secondary schools or want to enter administration/management.
Programs in the first category (e.g., a Doctor of Education/Curriculum and Instruction) prepare educators as change agents and teacher-leaders in secondary education. Typical content would include instructional systems design, theory and technologies to accomplish optimal educational and training results; leadership skills for effective management of instructional design projects; evaluation of various multimedia applications; and, integration of technology solutions. Some programs concentrate on e-learning and include visioning, planning, and designing an e-learning environment; the legal aspects of e-learning; technology resources; teaching and learning in synchronous and asynchronous environments; and instructional design for e-learning.
Programs in the second category (e.g., a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership) are designed to enhance your expertise and career potential in secondary school administration. More details of these can be found on the educational administration and leadership page.
What are the prospects with a secondary education doctoral degree?
The pay scale for completion of a program will vary based on several factors. Some subject areas are in extreme demand and the pay will be in excess of $100,000 per year. However, in most cases, an individual who completes a program can expect to make a minimum of $40,000 to $63,000 per year. This amount will vary on the location that you are going to teach and the type of school district you choose to work in.