Doctorate in Educational Technology Online

Students who complete doctorate in educational technology online programs face a promising career outlook, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting faster than average growth for instructional coordinators between 2016 and 2026. Educational institutions at all levels want to incorporate the latest technological tools into their schools and curricula. Additionally, as society becomes increasingly digitized, schools need educational technology professionals to help them use technology effectively.

Ideal personality traits in the educational technology field include a strong technological aptitude and commitment to education. Educational technology professionals also require strong analytical, communication, decision-making, interpersonal, and leadership skills.

Should I Earn an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology?

Pursuing an online doctorate in educational technology takes a big investment of time and money. Students may have personal and professional reasons for enrolling in this type of program. Before deciding to pursue a doctoral degree, individuals should consider their potential return on investment and ask themselves what they hope to gain from continuing their education.

Earning a doctorate in educational technology can increase career opportunities and potential compensation. Graduates may also qualify for more varied opportunities in the educational technology sphere.

Earning a doctorate in educational technology can increase career opportunities and potential compensation.

Some education professionals earn this degree to transition out of the field of education, while still building upon their existing professional background. Graduates with a doctorate in educational technology may qualify for technology positions outside of education, working for local, state, or federal government agencies; the military; or private corporations.

Another reason to consider earning a doctorate in educational technology includes the chance to teach at the university level. Most postsecondary faculty positions require a doctoral degree. Earning a doctorate in this subject may also be a good way to enter other positions in academia, including research positions. Finally, some people earn a doctorate in educational technology due to their personal interest in the subject; they may be happy in their current positions but want to pursue a particular research question or line of inquiry.

What Can I Do With an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology?

Students in online doctorate in educational technology programs gain extensive knowledge related to emerging technologies and current trends in educational technology. They learn to research, design, and evaluate technologies for learning and teaching. They also become adept at integrating new technologies into workplaces and educational settings.

Students acquire advanced research skills through coursework and completion of a dissertation. Educational technology programs also strengthen project management, writing, communication, and analytical skills.

Graduates of online doctoral programs in educational technology typically pursue information technology careers in K-12 or higher education settings at individual schools, departments of education, or school systems. They learn to create, implement, evaluate, and manage technological tools for education. Graduates can also find employment related to instructional design and technology at local and state government agencies, private companies, and educational services organizations.

Students in online doctorate in educational technology programs gain extensive knowledge related to emerging technologies and current trends in educational technology.

Professional options after graduation include research and scholarly work, teaching, and consulting. The best doctorate in educational technology online programs prepare graduates for varied careers, such as instructional technologists, instructional coordinators, postsecondary teachers, postsecondary education administrators, and training and development managers.

In their day-to-day jobs, educational technology professionals may discover, create, and recommend technologies that can improve learning. They may also create and implement instructional materials, teach courses, conduct research, and coordinate training programs. Job duties and compensation vary by type of position and employer. In the coming years, more employers should need the expertise of highly educated and skilled educational technology professionals to help them integrate technologies into their workplaces and educational settings.

These professionals can also find less traditional career opportunities at start-ups or in other information technology sectors. The following section describes possible careers for students who earn online doctoral degrees in educational technology.

Instructional Technologist

Instructional technologists help education administrators and teachers use technology in their schools and classrooms. They work at all education levels, from preschool to college. They find, recommend, and create technological tools to help students learn. Depending on the state they work in, they may need to be licensed in their specialty area. Instructional technologist positions at the postsecondary level may require a doctoral degree.

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators manage school teaching standards and curricula. They create instructional materials, evaluate material effectiveness, and help teachers implement new material. They work for schools at all levels, state and local governments, and educational support services. They sometimes specialize in specific subject areas or grade levels. Depending on the state they work in, they may need a license to work in public schools.

Postsecondary Teacher

Postsecondary teachers -- or professors -- provide instruction beyond the high school level at colleges, universities, and technical schools. They teach courses, create syllabi for their classes, plan lessons, and assess student progress. Many postsecondary teachers also conduct research and publish their findings. Professors typically need a doctorate in their field of study.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

Education administrators at public and private schools manage areas like admissions, the registrar's office, and student life. They may also take positions as academic deans and provosts. Holding a doctorate can help graduates qualify for advanced positions.

Training and Development Manager

Training and development managers create, manage, and coordinate training programs for an organization's employees. They work in many industries. They assess training needs, create training budgets, review training materials, and evaluate training programs. They may also supervise training staff.

Educational Technology Doctoral Program Overview

When choosing where to pursue an online doctoral degree in educational technology, prospective students should consider factors like application requirements and admission criteria, curricula, and stated program outcomes. Learners must also decide what type of educational technology degree they want.

Types of Doctoral Degrees in Educational Technology

Students can choose from two types of online doctoral programs in educational technology: a Ph.D. or an Ed.D. Some programs offer just one type of degree, while others offer both. These degree types both focus on research and emerging technologies, but the purpose and type of research they focus on differs. Prospective learners should consider their research interests and career goals when deciding whether to pursue a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in educational technology.

Education practitioners who want to learn to create technologies to solve educational problems in their workplaces typically pursue a practice-based Ed.D. in educational technology. The K-12 education field tends to recognize an Ed.D. more readily than a Ph.D. Graduates of Ed.D. programs typically work for K-12 schools and in higher education settings as technologists. Students pursuing an Ed.D. take research, specialization, and core courses that focus on topics like e-learning, emerging technologies, and instructional design.

Learners pursuing a Ph.D. in educational technology focus on current trends in the field and developing technological intervention plans for all types of industries inside and outside of education. More widely recognized than an Ed.D., a theory-based Ph.D. prepares graduates to work in K-12 and higher education settings, as well as government agencies, private companies, and the military. Many Ph.D. graduates also work as consultants. Ph.D. programs often require more credits and take longer to complete than Ed.D. programs.

Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Admission criteria and application requirements for doctorate in educational technology online programs vary by school. Typically, applicants must hold a master's in a relevant field from a regionally accredited university and a minimum GPA of 3.0-3.5. Learners may also need a few years of relevant professional experience to qualify for admission into educational technology doctoral programs. Even when not required, admission committees typically favor candidates with hands-on experience in the educational field.

Most programs require prospective students to submit official transcripts from all prior colleges, a resume or CV, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and official test scores from the GRE or MAT. Not all programs require doctoral students to submit standardized test scores. Some colleges also require supplemental materials, like answers to essay questions. International applicants may need to submit test scores demonstrating English proficiency.

Curriculum

The curricula for most online doctoral programs in educational technology include core/foundation (5-10 credits), concentration/specialty (20-30 credits), research (15-20 credits), and dissertation (20-35 credits) coursework. Some programs also include a practicum or fieldwork requirement.

Online educational technology doctoral programs usually take 3-7 years to complete. Typical courses explore topics like current issues in educational technology, creation of digital media, research methods, and designing instruction experiences for distance learners.

Core or foundation requirements include introductory educational technology courses that explore current issues in the field and its guiding theories. Concentration courses vary depending on a student's chosen specialty area but often cover issues like creation of digital media, instructional design strategies and tools, and e-learners. Research coursework delves into advanced topics like quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis in order to prepare learners for the dissertation process.

Dissertation coursework usually covers doctoral writing and research, along with seminars where learners choose their dissertation topic. Students enroll in dissertation credits while completing their dissertation under the supervision of a committee of faculty members. Doctoral candidates often spend at least one year of full-time study completing their dissertation.

Trends and Issues in Educational Technology

This class investigates new technologies for learning and teaching. The course also explores the way current trends influence creativity and learning.

Creating Digital Media

Students learn to use and create digital media in educational settings. Coursework covers topics like pedagogy and instructional design using digital media.

Innovations and Diffusion of Learning Technologies

This class looks at the ways technological innovations can create social change. Learners also investigate strategies for overcoming barriers to change.

Designing Instruction for e-learning

Students learn to design quality learning experiences for digital spaces. They explore mobile technologies, academic integrity, and collaborative learning for e-learners.

Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research

This course prepares students for the dissertation writing process. Participants learn to narrow their research topics, plan literature reviews, and start creating their prospectuses.

Program Outcomes

Doctorate in educational technology online programs teach students to design, implement, and evaluate technologies that support teaching and learning. They also teach learners to implement technological tools and solutions into existing workplaces and educational settings.

Educational technology doctoral programs draw from the cognitive science, game studies, and education fields. Students gain communication, analytical, research, project management, leadership, and problem-solving skills. These competencies help learners succeed professionally because many organizations need help effectively leveraging technology to support their goals. Graduates emerge as educational leaders who hold expertise related to new technologies, research, and pedagogy.

The K-12 and higher education sectors, private industry, and government all need help incorporating new technologies into their work and learning practices. Graduates of educational technology doctoral programs boast skills that qualify them for advanced careers in instructional research, information technology, and higher education.

Accreditation for Online Educational Technology Doctoral Programs

All prospective students looking for an online educational technology doctoral program should choose an accredited college. A voluntary process that schools undergo to demonstrate they meet minimum quality standards, accreditation signifies that learners will receive a legitimate education.

The six main regional accrediting agencies to look for include the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, New England Commission of Higher Education, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Higher Learning Commission, and WASC Senior College and University Commission. Prospective students can see if their school holds accreditation by visiting a database hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.

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