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Is An Ed.D. Worth It? 5 Big Questions Answered

The Ed.D., or Doctor of Education degree, is approximately 100 years old—dating back to the first Ed.D. program at Harvard University. Over the years, Ed.D. programs have evolved and diversified into a multitude of doctoral programs with different focus areas in the education industry and beyond. 

This long history begs the question—has the evolution of the Ed.D. kept pace with industry demands? Is getting your Ed.D. worth it now and a good investment in your future?

We’re here to help answer top questions about the value of an Ed.D. degree so you can take a holistic approach to determine if this degree is worth pursuing.

Why Should I Consider Getting An Ed.D.?

Getting a doctoral degree is a serious undertaking. You want to ensure the time you’re investing in your education will be worth it. The first thing you need to do when evaluating the fit of an Ed.D. degree is to determine whether this degree aligns with your career goals. 

You should consider getting an Ed.D. if your career goals include:

  • Gaining the skills to become a more effective leader and change agent in your business or nonprofit organization.
  • Becoming a thought leader in the field of organizational leadership, opening the doors to publication and speaking opportunities.
  • Solving pressing problems in the education system as a teacher or administrator.
  • Becoming a faculty member—full time or adjunct—at a college or university.
  • Opening the door to executive and leadership positions, as well as increasing earnings potential.

Are Ed.D. Jobs In Demand?

According to labor market analytics firm EMSI, over the next 10 years, there is a projected 8.6% increase for all target positions that hold a doctoral or professional degree in education. Let’s look at three of the different career paths for Ed.D. graduates and the projected growth and salaries they offer.

There is a growing demand for educators at all levels. The continued growth across the education field shows the viability of getting an education degree in the future job market. An Ed.D. degree is a great way for you to advance your career as a teacher in higher education or increase your earning potential or leadership responsibilities as a teacher in other levels of education.


Earning a doctorate is challenging and rewarding, but do you know what to really expect? Download this free guide for tips and insights to help you prepare for success


There is a growing demand for education administrators with doctoral degrees. Whether you want to work as a principal, superintendent or work in higher education as a college dean or department administrator, an Ed.D. degree will give you the tools you need to succeed. An Ed.D. offers the opportunity to complete a dissertation in practice, which helps you apply in-depth research to propose an evidence-based solution to problems facing your organization.

There is a growing demand for organizational leaders with a doctoral degree. An Ed.D. prepares you to become an effective leader and a change agent in your organization. You gain the skills to apply research to pressing business challenges, use data to drive strategic decisions and lead diverse workforces in complex organizations.

What’s The Average Salary of Ed.D. Graduates?

The average salary of a professional with an Ed.D. is $79,000 (Payscale). However, there are many factors that impact salary in addition to education. If you want an Ed.D. to act as a catalyst for salary advancement, you should also be aware that these factors also play a large role in salary expectations.

  • The sector in which you’re employed—whether that’s public to private education or for-profit or nonprofit organizations—will impact how much you’re paid. Public sector and for-profit companies tend to pay more than their counterparts.
  • The number of years of professional experience you have will directly influence your salary, as more experience tends to lead to higher salaries.
  • Your ideal job role and level of responsibilities will influence the salary bracket you fall into within an organization. As you climb the career ladder, your salary will continue to increase.
  • The size of an employer influences how much you’ll earn, as larger employers typically have larger budgets for employee salaries.

Is An Ed.D. Well Respected?

An Ed.D. is a well-recognized and respected degree. If you work in the education field, an Ed.D. is a very common degree for leaders at the school, district or university level. Many education administrators pursue this path to advance their practical research skills and apply them to challenges they face every day.

If you work in a different field, an Ed.D. may be less common. However, if you pursue an Ed.D. with a broad focus, such as Franklin University’s Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, this degree is applicable to leadership positions in all types of organizations. The organizational leadership track will prepare you to effectively lead organizational change, evaluate real-world situations and recommend management practices to ensure success.

However, you should be aware that Ed.D. programs are not standardized. It’s important to thoroughly research potential programs to ensure the university is accredited, the curriculum aligns with your career goals and the dissertation process will prepare you to develop evidence-based solutions in your workplace.

What Are The Top Benefits Of An Ed.D. Degree?

There are many advantages to getting your Ed.D. degree. The skills you build in a doctoral program are vastly different from undergraduate or master’s degree programs. As a doctoral student, you are the driving force behind your education and the path you pursue. Instead of a curriculum dictating what you learn, you can pursue your passions and conduct research on a dissertation topic that is relevant to your career.

With an Ed.D. degree you will gain advanced skills that enable you to:

  • Apply research to analyze organizational problems (within your area of focus), develop solutions, and measure their impact.
  • Demonstrate ethical leadership and management in an organization.
  • Analyze organizations and employees to determine leadership, learning and performance needs.
  • Use data to inform the strategic future of your organization and determine the best course to implement positive change.
  • Respond to industry legal and regulatory requirements impacting your organization.

Find The Right Ed.D. Program For Your Career Goals

If you’re a working professional looking to balance your education and career, it’s understandable to weigh the pros and cons of getting an Ed.D degree. One of the major factors in the successful completion of an Ed.D. is the university you choose to attend.

Franklin University is built for working adults, providing a flexible, online Ed.D. degree program that will prepare you to be an impactful leader. Unlike a theory-focused Ph.D. program, an Ed.D. provides practical research skills that are applied to real-world challenges you face as an organizational leader. Franklin’s no-fear, integrated dissertation and dedicated faculty mentorship prepare you to succeed and reach the highest level of educational attainment.

Explore the Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership to see how this program will help you advance your career.

Free Guide:
How to Complete Your Doctoral Journey
Discover common pitfalls and the 5 key metrics that will help you finish your doctorate degree.