What is an Ed.D. in Educational Technology?
An Ed.D. in Educational Technology is an interdisciplinary program that blends together advanced studies in information technology, instructional design & educational theory. Experts in this field facilitate learning and improve student performance by creating, implementing, and managing technology-driven solutions.
Education professionals may seek a doctorate in educational technology in order to:
- Qualify for high-level positions in learning institutions, corporations, non-profits, or public sector agencies
- Explore cutting-edge research, trends, and challenges in educational technology
- Find innovative ways to address education & performance needs in diverse settings
- Create technology solutions that make meaningful improvements in learning & instruction
Ed.D. in Educational Technology students tend to be a diverse bunch, with roles in teaching, instructional design, administration, faculty development, student services, and more.
Types of Doctorate in Educational Technology Programs
Ed.D. in Educational Technology
Broadly speaking, “Educational Technology” is a field that is focused on utilizing all aspects of technology to support education goals. That means Ed.D. students in these programs are often interested in management and decision-making roles.
Having said that, universities have considerable freedom to shape the curriculum for this degree, so you’re going to find a lot of variety in our listings. For example, there are Ed.D. in Educational Technology programs that focus on:
- Leadership (e.g. Morehead State University’s Ed.D. in Educational Technology Leadership and New Jersey City University’s Ed.D. in Educational Technology Leadership)
- Education Levels (e.g. Johns Hopkins University’s Online Ed.D. in Technology Integration in K-16 Education)
- Online Learning (e.g. Regent University’s Online Ed.D. in Educational Technology & Online Learning and Northcentral University’s Ed.D. in E-Learning)
- Specific Subjects (e.g. Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Online Ed.D. in Educational Psychology and Technology)
Ed.D. in Instructional Technology
Within the listings, you’ll also discover a large number of doctoral programs in “Instructional Technology.” Traditionally, instructional technology has had more of a practical, hands-on feel than educational technology. Students are often interested in exploring, designing, and implementing tech solutions that address a specific skill or knowledge gap.
In addition to standard titles, there are Ed.D. in Instructional Technology programs in:
- Design & Technology (e.g. West Virginia University’s Ed.D. in Instructional Design and Technology and Sam Houston State University’s Online Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Design and Technology)
- Online Learning (e.g. Nova Southeastern University’s Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Distance Education)
- Unique Specializations (e.g. Towson University’s Ed.D. in Instructional Technology with multiple tracks)
- State Certification (e.g. Kennesaw State University’s Ed.D. in Instructional Technology – Certification Track for Georgia educators)
Ed.D. in Educational Technology vs. Ed.D. in Instructional Technology
The distinction between doctoral programs in educational technology and instructional technology can be quite murky.
- In many cases, an Ed.D. in Educational Technology will be concerned with leadership issues. This is the kind of program that would suit administrators who don’t wish to get sunk into a lot of technical work.
- In certain cases, an Ed.D. in Educational Technology might be hands-on, blending instructional design & technology coursework with educational leadership concerns.
- In addition, a lot of Ed.D. programs in Instructional Technology include credits in management, organizational concerns, and leadership.
To get a sense of where the coursework is headed, we recommend you follow the curriculum links in our listings. You could also consider programs that blend the two majors (e.g. Texas Tech University’s Ed.D. in Educational and Instructional Technology).
Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Technology
Educational technology employs 21st century tools to aid program development and student learning. So it makes sense that educational technology often appears as a subspecialty within Ed.D. programs in Curriculum & Instruction.
Examples of this trend include Boise State University’s Online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Technology, New Mexico State University’s Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Learning Technologies, and the University of South Carolina’s Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Technology.
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership – Educational Technology
If you’re interested in management or administrative roles, you could also consider pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with concentration coursework in Educational Technology (e.g. Concordia University Chicago’s Online Ed.D. in Leadership – Educational Technology).
Earning an Ed.D. in Educational Technology
Educational Technology Prerequisites
- Master’s Degree: Ed.D. programs usually require an M.Ed., M.A. in Education, or a comparable master’s degree, but the Ed.D. in Educational Technology is a special case. Check with the Ed.D. program coordinator if you have a master’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a relevant field—schools may be more than willing to consider you. Holding an educational specialist degree (Ed.S.) typically grants advanced placement.
- Work Experience: Universities may or may not have a minimum work experience requirement (e.g. 3 years). However, they will be looking closely at your résumé.
- Minimum GPA: The standard minimum for an Ed.D. in Educational or Instructional Technology is 3.0. High-flying Colleges of Education may raise it to 3.25-3.5.
- Additional Requirements: Schools can also ask for GRE scores, an admission essay or statement of purpose, an academic writing sample, letters of recommendation, and/or your résumé.
Educational Technology Coursework
All Ed.D. programs in Educational Technology or Instructional Technology will contain coursework in research theories, methodologies, and tools. But beyond that, the curriculum can vary quite a bit. Generally speaking:
- Educational Technology: An Ed.D. in Educational Technology blends coursework in the field (e.g. trends in educational technology, transforming education through technology, etc.) with credits in areas such as leadership, curriculum & instruction (e.g. instructional design), and assessment & supervision (e.g. program evaluation). In recent years, online learning technologies and human-computer interaction (HCI) have become popular elements.
- Instructional Technology: An Ed.D. in Instructional Technology covers areas such as advanced instructional design & performance improvement, systems analysis & design, project management, program assessment & evaluation, trends & issues in instructional technology, and the like. You may also be exploring principles of distance education and instructional models & tools for online learning.
If you’re unsure about which program is right for your career goals, check out the curriculum links in our listings. You will be able to match the coursework to your short- and long-term aims.
Educational Technology Internship and Fieldwork
Ed.D. programs in Educational Technology often require a small amount of fieldwork or an internship—this usually takes the form of individual work on a capstone project. Students and faculty advisors are generally given a great deal of latitude with respect to the format and requirements of this work. The internship in Towson University’s Ed.D. in Instructional Technology is fairly typical in this respect.
Educational Technology Dissertation
Because of the program’s practical bent, an Ed.D. in Educational Technology or Instructional Technology is less likely to require a traditional dissertation, and more likely to offer a Dissertation in Practice (DiP) or capstone project. We discuss the difference between these options in our guide to No Dissertation Ed.D. Programs.
For example, as an alternative to its applied dissertation, Nova Southeastern University’s Ed.D. in Instructional Technology and Distance Education allows doctoral students to tackle a Strategic Research Project (SRP). Students who choose this project are expected to solve advanced problems in a real-world setting.
Online Ed.D. in Educational Technology Programs
Are Ed.D. in Educational Technology Programs Offered Online?
You bet. Our listings contains scores of online doctorates in educational technology and instructional technology. We’ve flagged them all with an “Offered Online” marker. A large number of them come from CAEP-accredited schools.
Do Online Ed.D. in Educational Technology Programs Contain Residencies?
Most Online Ed.D. programs in Educational Technology or Instructional Technology will have an on-campus residency requirement. However, these intensives are often short (e.g. long weekend) and held during the summer, to accommodate busy professionals.
If you don’t want to travel, you will find 100% online programs in our listings. For instance, Boise State University’s Online Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Technology has no campus requirements.
Educational Technology Careers
Ed.D. in Educational Technology Jobs
Graduates with a doctorate in educational technology or instructional technology apply to mid- and senior-level positions in their chosen realm (e.g. K-20 education, business, government, etc.) and field of interest (e.g. program design, management, employee training, etc.). Sample job titles in these areas include:
- Director of Educational Technology
- Director of Instructional Technology
- Director of Instructional Design
- Director of Teaching & Learning with Technology
- Chief Learning Officer
- Senior Instructional Designer
- Instructional Technology Specialist
- Instructional Technologist
- Design & Development Specialist
- Online Curriculum Developer
- Online Course Designer
- Online Course Director
- Educational Software Consultant
- Training & Development Manager
- Director of Training & Development
- Worldwide Training Director
- Corporate Trainer
- Vice President for Professional Development
- Instructional Technology Professor
- Educational Technology Professor
Ed.D. in Educational Technology Salary
The easiest way to find info on your chosen job in educational technology or instructional technology is to examine data from common salary sites. For example, you could compare average salary numbers for a “Director of Educational Technology” on Glassdoor, PayScale, and Neuvoo. Bear in mind that these averages are just an estimate—individual wages will reflect the geographic region, job demand, and type of institution.
Is an Ed.D. in Educational Technology Worth it?
Strictly speaking, you don’t need an Ed.D. in Educational Technology or Instructional Technology to work within the field—a master’s degree will usually suffice. But it’s a new, fast-growing, competitive career track, and professionals who plan to advance to high-level positions will need to find ways to stand out. A terminal degree tends to do that.
Talk to your mentors and recent Ed.D. graduates before you make a decision. If you do decide to go for an education doctorate, you should make sure that it a) closely aligns with your career goals; b) focuses on applied research and real-world training; c) has a track record of success.
Educational Technology Resources
- The Consortium for School Networking (COSN): COSN is the most prominent professional development organization for educational technology specialists in the United States, offering online courses, webinars, and a certification program for leaders in the field.
- EDUCAUSE: EDUCAUSE is to networking and advocacy efforts what COSN is to professional development. It sponsors a job board, extensive research opportunities, and regular conferences for educational technology professionals. There are also substantive volunteer opportunities.
- International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education: If you’re interested in how colleges and universities use educational technology to advance their goals, this journal will keep you up to date.
- International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): ISTE brings together experts in educational technology from all over the world.
- State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA): In addition to providing resources & networking opportunities for educational technology directors, SETDA offers extensive policy and collaboration opportunities for other professionals.