Online Education Degrees Blog at Bradley


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Around the world, the demand for well-trained education professionals is higher than ever before. Remote learning, teacher shortages, diversity and inclusion, and underfunding impact virtually every educational institution, and its effects reverberate through other aspects of our lives as well. As we look to the future, new considerations (e.g., affirmative action, student loan repayment, majority English as a Second Language (ESL) students) arise that will challenge the structures and systems that define education.

All of this responsibility does not (and cannot) fall on our teachers and students; leaders in education, government, and policy must leverage their knowledge and influence to improve learning environments for future generations. To do that, education professionals need an advanced toolkit of skills, knowledge, and perspective that comes from continuing education—all of which is found in an online Doctor of Education degree.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the DoE degree, its professional applications, and how it can enhance your career.

The Basics Of A Doctor Of Education

If you work in education, then you’ve likely encountered someone with the postnominals Ed.D. at the end of their name. In the vast world of graduate degrees, an Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) degree is an advanced graduate degree that cannot be earned outside of education. Doctoral programs in education are usually rigorous and research-driven with a dissertation component, but how and when that dissertation takes place can sometimes be customized based on the student.

To qualify for an Ed.D., you must have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education or a related field, although every school has its own admission requirements.

What Is The Difference Between An Ed.D. And A Ph.D.?

The differences between a Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) are not immediately obvious to most people. Ed.D. and Ph.D.s are both advanced graduate degrees, but the main distinction lies in what discipline or field you intend to work. For example, an Ed.D. is unique to the academic discipline of education and is not available in other fields of study (i.e., you cannot get an Ed.D. in Engineering like you can with a Ph.D.). Unlike a Ph.D., which emphasizes attainment of advanced knowledge and skill within an academic discipline for teaching and scholarship, an Ed.D emphasizes attainment of advanced knowledge and skill for purposes of professional practice. In other words, an Ed.D is aimed at solving real-world educational problems and institutional changes, whereas a Ph.D.’s work might never move outside of academia.

Like individuals with a Ph.D., those who earn an Ed.D. are prepared to teach and research within their field. But unlike most Ph.D. graduates, an Ed.D grad is also prepared to apply their knowledge and skills in the workplace. At Bradley University, this is reinforced by an action research project that students complete as part of their scholarly research project (as opposed to the traditional practice of completing all coursework before beginning a dissertation).

The Ed.D. is typically geared toward professionals pursuing leadership roles in education, such as school administrators and directors, chief learning officers, or educational policy makers. Ph.D. graduates, on the other hand, often gravitate toward careers in academia and research. For this reason, some refer to a Ph.D. as an academic doctorate and an Ed.D. as a practical or clinical doctorate.

Ed.D. Concentrations At Bradley University

Some universities offer general doctoral programs in education, but Bradley offers further nuance and personalization through two concentrations: higher educational administration and leadership or educational technology. In Bradley’s online Ed.D. programs, the core and concentration courses build practical knowledge and skills, while the action research courses drill deeper into scholarly knowledge and specializations. The internship (HEAL concentration) or digital portfolio (EdTech concentration) further integrate academics and scholarship through practical application that is customized according to each student’s personal and career goals.

Find out more about each concentration below.

Ed.D. In Educational Technology

As the world becomes increasingly digital, so do the ways in which we research, teach, and learn. Educational technology has become a critical part of the learning experience at all ages and grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate for remote learning. In fact, the EdTech market (which was valued at $142.37 billion in 2023) is projected to grow 14% by 2030.1

EdTech is focused on the application of technology to enhance learning outcomes, increase accessibility, and explore new educational opportunities. This can be through something as straightforward as a laptop, or as complex as AI robots. Since current generations (and those that follow) will grow up as complete digital natives, it’s important to introduce technology as an educational tool, rather than just as a means of entertainment or distraction.

Bradley recognizes the magnitude of EdTech in modern education, and thus created the online Doctor of Education with a concentration in educational technology to address the evolving landscape of educational leadership within the digital era. This program takes a multifaceted approach to developing leaders who are not only adept at navigating current educational technologies, but who also want to shape the future of education through technological innovation. By immersing themselves in the planning, design, development, application, assessment, and management of digital learning environments, students build a holistic understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of educational technology.

The primary focus areas for the EdTech concentration are:

  • Advanced instructional design
  • Learning theory
  • Media production
  • Data analytics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Applied educational media

The online education technology doctoral program culminates in a unique dual capstone experience: an action research project and a digital portfolio. The rigorous action research project (Bradley’s alternative to a traditional dissertation model) will teach students to test theories, assess technologies in live environments, and make data-driven decisions to solve real-world problems. Unlike other universities, The process of designing, conducting, and writing the scholarly research project is embedded within the program’s five action research courses and completed under the guidance of instructors. This is supplemented by the creation of a digital portfolio, which is a ready-made professional showcase of students’ scholarly work and technological abilities.

Ed.D. In Higher Ed Administration And Leadership

Ranked among the Best Online Doctor of Education Programs in 2023, the higher educational administration and leadership concentration focuses on educational leadership within multiple institutional settings: public, private, residential, charter, community college, and state education.2 This online higher education leadership degree is ideal for those in associate director/director level positions and up who want to influence educational policy at the local, regional, or national level. Just like in the EdTech concentration, students will complete doctoral scholarship in the form of a scholarly research project (paper and presentation), but they will complete an internship as well.

The main learning outcomes from this concentration are:

  • Organizational behavior
  • Leadership strategies
  • Educational frameworks
  • Policy development
  • Economic development capabilities
  • Management and team building

The final portion of the higher ed administration and leadership track is a two-semester internship in a higher education institution. Within a live educational setting, doctoral students will focus on applying the skills they’ve gained thus far to address present and future leadership challenges. This internship will be essential for networking, problem solving, and real-time development and application.

Career Opportunities For A Dr. Of Education

Your job prospects after earning a doctor of education degree depend on which concentration you choose. If you pursue the educational technology doctoral program, then you will be able to apply your technical, digital skills to positions in curriculum and instruction, learning design, and even recruitment. These jobs typically require at least a master’s degree, and often a doctorate, in education and include more direct interaction with students, faculty, education administrators, and policy makers.

Total Pay Averages In EdTech

  • Director of Educational Technology: $142,2943
  • Director of Curriculum and Instruction: $92,0534
  • Instructional Systems Specialist: $92,6465
  • Instructional Technologist: $74,4366
  • Learning Development Specialist: $72,8937
  • Learning Management Systems Administrator: $74,4148

Those who choose the higher ed administration and leadership doctorate will qualify for a different subset of education job opportunities. This leadership track allows you to impact students and faculty without holding a traditional teaching role. Career opportunities with an Ed.D. in Higher Educational Administration include working as a department head, principal, or athletic director and typically boast higher salaries because of the advanced education. While jobs for classroom teachers typically offer median salaries around $60,000, those in educational administration make $100,000 on average.9,10,11

Total Pay Averages In Higher Ed Admin

  • Academic Affairs Vice President: $149,04312
  • Academic Dean: $140,59313
  • Admissions Director: $97,16014
  • College President: $188,77715
  • Financial Aid Director: $155,18116
  • Provost: $86,00617

How To Get Started In An Online Doctor Of Education Program

If you’re interested in exploring Bradley’s online Ed.D. programs, then set up some time to talk with one of our Admission Advisors. Once they get to know more about your background, interests, and goals, they can guide you through the admissions process and provide more detailed information on course outlines, faculty mentors, and the higher ed internship or EdTech portfolio.

  1. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/education-technology-market
  2. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from princetonreview.com/education-school-rankings?rankings=best-online-doctor-education-programs&exdt=2&gad_source=1&gclid=cjwkcaiamsurbhbveiwa6e-wpfnmpyvyf5bexvmqzscvgewz0wpegy4cvttxu9rehx7wx0ux0cal9bocumiqavd_bwe
  3. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/director-of-educational-technology-salary-SRCH_KO0,34.htm
  4. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/director-of-curriculum-and-instruction-salary-SRCH_KO0,38.htm
  5. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/instructional-systems-specialist-salary-SRCH_KO0,32.htm
  6. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/instructional-technologist-salary-SRCH_KO0,26.htm
  7. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/learning-and-development-specialist-salary-SRCH_KO0,35.htm
  8. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/lms-administrator-salary-SRCH_KO0,17.htm
  9. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from bls.gov/ooh/Management/Elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm#tab-8
  10. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes119032.htm
  11. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm
  12. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/vice-president-of-academic-affairs-salary-SRCH_KO0,34.htm
  13. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/academic-dean-salary-SRCH_KO0,13.htm
  14. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/director-of-admissions-salary-SRCH_KO0,22.htm
  15. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/college-presidents-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm
  16. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/director-of-financial-aid-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm
  17. Retrieved on February 1, 2024, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/provost-and-vice-president-for-academic-affairs-salary-SRCH_KO0,47.htm


Fall 2024

Final Application Date
July 20, 2024
Fall 2024
Start Date
August 21, 2024
Fall 2024

Spring 2025

Final Application Deadline
November 15, 2024
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Start Date
January 22, 2025
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Summer 2025

Final Application Deadline
April 15, 2025
Summer 2025
Start Date
May 21, 2025
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