There has been much confusion between the two terminal degrees in higher education: the PhD in Higher Education and the EdD in Higher Education, as both are forms of advancing one’s career. However, with a proper understanding of what each degree is, the differences can be easily distinguished.
First of all, we will make sense of the abbreviation. ‘PhD’ is an abbreviation on Doctor of Philosophy, which emphasizes on original researches in specific fields. In the PhD in this field, the original researches focused are in specific academic fields of study. During the course of this study, the first two years will usually focus much on particular fields that you are interested in specializing. A dissertation is handed in as the last project for this degree. This degree, in a lot of countries, is one of the highest degrees in education one can get, which opens out the doors to a lot of career options. In fact, some job positions only recruit PhD holders, such as a university professor.
In contrast, EdD is the abbreviation for Doctor of Education Degree, which emphasizes on the practice of education. The focus in Phd would be the practice of higher education. This means that the degree prepares us for work in teaching, administrative, or research positions in academic faculties. Research is still needed to complete this degree; however, as compared to the PhD, a doctoral study is the last project that is handed in. Unlike dissertations that address specific issues, a doctoral study addresses issues that arise out of the practice in education. A lot of academic faculties accept this degree for teaching positions; however, it is not as lucrative and well-accepted in every institution as the PhD.
Choosing which degree in higher education may be confusing, but here is a word of advice: if you know what specific area of research you are interested in, you might want to take a PhD. On the other hand, if you are unsure on which area you would like to take, an EdD will suffice. Nevertheless, if you have dreams of advancing your career in particular institutions, check out which degree is accepted.