Though it may seem to be limited to a specific set of jobs, a career in educational technology can move in many directions. Aside from becoming a professor or taking an instructor position at a university or college, there are other opportunities outside of higher education.
This brief list of five positions that require a doctorate degree are all ones that could be filled by someone with experience in educational technology. A program like CMU’s Doctor of Educational Technology can offer students a number of pathways toward positions that they may want to hold in the future.
- Curriculum/Instructional Coordinators: Candidates in these positions will create curriculum and assessments, design professional development opportunities for other educators, and evaluate the effectiveness of these curricular materials, teaching practices, and assessments. These positions serve in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and government agencies. Median pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $63,750 per year (BLS, “Instructional Designers“).
- Chief Learning Officer (CLO)/Chief Academic Officer (CAO):
- Candidates in a CLO position are responsible for corporate learning programs. They are involved in formulating strategies for training and development, many of which are using more and more technology. Notable companies that have CLO positions are Facebook, Bank of American, J.P. Morgan, GE, HP, and Goldman Sachs. These positions can be classified in human resources, professional training, management consulting, or government administration, to name a few. Median pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $108,250 per year (BLS, “Training and Development Managers”).
- Candidates in a CAO position often fall under the category of postsecondary education administrators. They would be involved with colleges, universities, and professional schools, helping these organizations meet their business goals and aid in the development of strategies to support students. These positions ensure that the school is admitting the proper number of students, that financial aid requirements are being met, and that student data is analyzed in meaningful ways. Median pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $92,360 per year (BLS, “Postsecondary Education Administrators”).
- Professional Researcher: These positions could be available in any field. After all the quantitative and qualitative work one completes in research during their time as a graduate student, doctorate holders are considered experts in research methodology. These positions serve in a wide range of job fields from public administration, government, and politics to public relations, journalists, and marketing. Median pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ranges from $49, 050 to $61,540 depending on the position per year (BLS, “Market Research Analysts”, “Social Science Research Assistants”).
- Educational Software Developer: Candidates in these positions are responsible for analyzing the users’ needs and designing software to meet those needs, recommending software upgrades for the users’ existing systems, and collaborating with computer specialists to create the optimal experience. A candidate in this position could work in such fields as computer systems and design, software publishers, finance, manufacturing, or management of companies and enterprises. Median pay, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $103,560 per year (BLS, “Software Developers”).
- Freelance consultant: Candidates in these positions provide career-specific advice to individual clients who work in a variety of professional fields. These consultants could be responsible for carrying out a range of activities, conducting skill evaluations, making hiring or policy recommendations, and offering other kinds of guidance and support, depending on the client’s needs. Median pay, according to Indeed, is $23.34 per hour for these position in the U.S. (Indeed, “Freelance Consultant Salaries in the U.S.”).
Although most graduates of a doctoral program in education stay in an academic institution, there are options outside of academia. And, as our first round of graduates demonstrate, CMU’s unique DET degree prepares individuals to be leaders across many fields. Pursing a DET can be both intellectually and, in the end, financially rewarding, leading candidates to a fulfilling career.