Educational technology has transformed many aspects of education, improving efficiency and engagement. Students enrolled in online PhD in educational technology programs can expect course work in areas such as course design, learning psychology, multimedia in the classroom, education evaluation and assessments, emerging technologies, and innovation in education. Doctoral students will also complete their advanced research in their own area of interest. Graduates may go on to work as instructional coordinators, educational consultants, or professors, to name a few options.

Why a Ph.D.?

Often a master’s degree is sufficient to pursue a career in the field of educational technology. However, some students, especially those interested in advanced research or teaching at the college level, may need to continue on to a Ph.D. Graduates from this type of program will have the research experience and academic credentials to fill instructional coordinator, educational consulting, and other related positions. This could include jobs with schools, school districts, government agencies, non-profit groups, or educational development companies, to name some options.

Getting Into a Ph.D. Program

An online PhD in educational technology is a rigorous course of study that requires dedicated students. Because of this, schools will typically have more strict admissions requirements for these types of programs. Below are a few common criteria you might expect see:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited university
  • Official transcripts from all colleges you have attended
  • Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
  • GRE score results
  • Resume or curriculum vitae
  • Application form and fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation

Inside an Educational Technology Ph.D. Program

Those considering an online doctoral program in educational technology will find a growing number of schools offering distance learning options. Students should expect a research-focused program with advanced seminars and some survey courses. Subjects frequently include learning psychology, education evaluation and assessment, innovation and change, multimedia and learning, and instructional design, to name a few. Students will also need to complete a dissertation, which is a lengthy research paper worthy of publication in an academic journal. Any field work that needs to be done can be arranged in your local area as well.

Many online students opt to continue working while earning an advanced degree. Because there are no fixed course times, students can work on whatever timetable suits their needs, as long as set deadlines are met. Students can access course materials, turn in assignments, post in discussion boards, and review instructor feedback through the virtual learning platform 24/7. Web conferencing, chat, and streaming video are also utilized to enhance the learning process.

What’s Next for Educational Technology Ph.D. Holders?

Graduates who earn a doctorate in this field are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in curriculum development, educational consulting, or academia, to name a few options. Potential employers could be public or private schools, colleges and universities, school districts, non-profit organizations, educational development companies, or even government agencies. Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show strong job prospects in this field. In fact, over the projection period of 2010 to 2020, the demand for professionals in this occupation is expected to increase by 20%. This is higher than the 14% growth anticipated for jobs overall during this time frame.

The average salary reported for instructional coordinators in May of 2012 was $62,420. The most positions were found with elementary and secondary schools and colleges, universities, and professional schools. Actual starting pay and job prospects will vary based on your location, level of experience, the general economic climate, and the specific employer.