Many who work in the education sector are inclined to pursue advanced degrees, like a doctor or education degree, particularly if their peers or their academic environment require it.
Of course, they can attend a traditional college but many turn to online programs because they offer flexible scheduling, are very affordable and allow students to work at the same time.
How is an online doctor of education viewed by peers and employers in the academic sector? An EdD can be respected when obtained from an accredited university with a good reputation.
A brief history of online education
Distance learning started with correspondence courses in America in the late 1800s. Those were the days when a learning institution would mail your coursework and you would send back your assignments and exam papers.
After a while, more colleges started to broadcast their courses over the radio as well as offer televised college courses and telephone-based distance learning programs.
By the 1980s, online education became a new form of distance learning. This was encouraged by the growing percentage of those who had personal computers and access to the Internet.
Soon enough, many universities had started to add online courses to their curriculum while others began to offer entirely online degrees. In the 2000s, businesses began to use e-learning platforms to upskill their employees.
How online degrees developed a poor reputation
Although online degrees gained popularity fast, they were met with skepticism. This was due to internet education scams such as the diploma mills. They would pose as legitimate schools but they were offering inferior qualifications.
As a result, employers became wary of diploma mills. They also concluded that many online colleges were scams too. So they were likely to hire employees with degrees from a traditional college rather than an online university.
During the late 90s and early 2000s, academic institutions kept pushing the notion that online doctoral degrees were a scam and should be avoided. But later, they realized that education shouldn’t be restricted to a physical classroom.
How the perception of online degrees has changed
Today, online education is being viewed in a much better light. Both online and traditional degrees are now accepted by many employers. There are several respected online learning institutions with excellent EdD programs.
Many traditional universities are also offering online courses. As more educators continue to earn their doctor of education online, the easier it will be for the academic community to accept the effectiveness of online EdD programs.
Whether traditional or online, a doctoral degree requires four years of study and performance. Students are expected to have bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Both often follow the same curriculum and work on a dissertation.
The major difference between them is that a traditional degree can be very demanding and students might have to quit their jobs in order to concentrate on their studies. But an online student can work while pursuing their degree.
How to choose the right online EdD program.
An online doctor of education degree can help you become a leader in the field of education. However, you have to choose the right college or university for your online education. Here are some tips that you can follow:
1. Pick the right concentration
There are different specializations that you can choose for your EdD program. They help to gain knowledge and training in specific areas. For example, if you want to work with children, you can choose early childhood education. If you prefer college students, you can concentrate on higher education leadership.
2. Check for accreditation
An online EdD program has to be accredited by an external organization. This means that the online university or program provides quality education and respects educational standards. The program can be approved by national or regional accreditation agencies such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
3. Avoid programs that are too good to be true
There are a few ways to detect a scam college. First of all, they appear to be ridiculously cheap, especially when compared to other colleges. They may claim that students can earn a degree with little time and effort. Scam colleges might also have zero admission criteria for enrolling into their program.
4. Check reviews and testimonials
A good online university should have a review or testimonial page on its website. Their past students will speak about their experience in the program and if it was truly worth it. They are often honest about the dissertation, faculty support and how the school impacted their life.
5. Consider your budget
When choosing an EdD program, you need to consider your budget. Look at your income, expenses, and savings. Then determine how much you can afford to spend on your school’s tuition. If you need a student loan, you should also check if there are financial aid options.
6. Check for student support and resources
A doctor of education degree program has to provide adequate support and resources for students. This could be in form of student advisors, online libraries, academic support, technical support and personal counselling. Make sure that your preferred online program offers some or all of these resources.