Here’s why an advanced degree is worth the effort.
Considering a return to school? Perhaps the idea of earning a doctorate seems intimidating. At the same time, maybe you’re curious about what it would be like to achieve something both challenging and rewarding. But will a doctoral degree truly make a difference in your income and enhance your career prospects?
In today’s job market, earning a doctoral degree qualifies you for top-level positions within various industries. The valuable insight and research you’ll contribute to a company based on your degree will distinguish you as a respected thought leader in your field. You’ll also expand your professional network and position yourself for optimal earning potential.
If you’re ready to embrace a new season of growth, then earning a doctoral degree can produce unmatched professional dividends. Here are answers to five common questions that explain why it’s worth it.
What can I earn with a doctorate salary?
According to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the expected lifetime earnings for someone with a doctoral degree is $3.3 million, exceeding the projected outcome for those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The center also highlights the top 10 occupations for those with doctoral degrees, including careers in educational administration, management and chief executive positions. In all three of those areas, the projected lifetime earnings exceed the $3.3 million lifetime average. Educational administrators, for example, are projected to earn $3.5 while managers will likely bring in $4.7 million. Chief executives are set to earn more than $5 million.
Two of Trevecca’s doctoral degrees can prepare you to step into professional paths such as these—a Doctor of Education in leadership and professional practice (Ed.D.) and a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).
How is a professional doctoral degree different from a Ph.D. and how can it help me?
The main distinction lies in its functionality—one has an academic focus, the other a professional one. While Ph.D. students develop original research on a topic or body of work, professional doctoral students contribute research and data to existing problems in their field. This is referred to as applied research. The dissertation process for a professional doctoral degree often includes creating an applied doctoral project (ADP) or writing a more practical dissertation based on the applied research. These are intended to equip you with the expertise needed to implement meaningful reform or improvement in a workplace setting.
With a professional doctorate, you’ll create solutions to real-time issues in your current or desired workplace and become a valued teammate, thought leader and agent of change. Recent reports also show that earning a professional doctoral degree can improve your resume and build valuable analytical skills, confidence and the ability to see the big picture when it comes to your work environment.
Does earning a doctorate provide additional job security?
A doctorate allows you to rise to the top in terms of what you can offer a business, school or organization. It demonstrates you’ve got a stellar work ethic and the ability to think critically while juggling multiple ideas and responsibilities. It also sets you apart as someone who’s gone the distance. You’ll join an elite group of only four percent of the U.S. population who has earned a doctoral degree. This distinction can not only provide job security but also makes you eligible for certain promotions or opportunities that otherwise would remain out of reach.
Can I keep working while earning a doctoral degree?
Yes! Trevecca’s doctoral programs are designed with working adults like you in mind, which is why we offer a flexible learning format. Our degree programs require approximately 15-20 hours a week of study. You’ll take only one course at a time, so you can still prioritize work and family life.
At Trevecca, you can earn a Doctor of Education in leadership and professional practice or a Doctor of Business online. Or you can choose to earn your Doctor of Education in leadership and professional practice on campus by attending class one Saturday per month with two three-day residency requirements during each of the summers you are enrolled. Both online and on-campus options use a cohort model, where students begin and complete their degree alongside a group of other classmates all working toward the same goal. This kind of supportive environment has made our programs a tremendous success for hundreds of working adults through the years!
How do I choose which doctoral degree is right for me?
Consider your goals and what kind of personal and professional growth you’d like to achieve. Also think about the existing challenges or advancements you’d like to see happen in your workplace.
With a Doctor of Education in leadership and professional practice, you’ll garner skills and knowledge in exceptional leadership for a variety of roles in education, business, consulting, government and nonprofit work. Our students learn how to create effective organizations, ways to plan for strategic improvement, and the cultural influences to consider when leading and building a team. You’ll also receive tools to build teamwork and foster collaboration. Finally, you’ll examine the value of intrapersonal effectiveness as you journey toward becoming a holistic leader. You’ll discover the benefit of learning to lead yourself well in order to effectively lead others in the same way.
Pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration will elevate your business acumen in order to heighten your influence in a corporate or academic setting. This degree is increasingly becoming a distinguishing credential for executives. Professionals who’ve obtained a DBA are uniquely prepared to run major corporations, international companies or teach business at a prestigious school. They are strong candidates for careers in research organizations, firms, banks or other enterprises.
At Trevecca you can customize your DBA by choosing from one of three tracks. The higher education track is designed for those interested in teaching business or serving as a college administrator. The consulting and coaching track is structured to equip graduates to serve as internal or external executive consultants and coaches. The enterprise leading and managing track focuses on developing enterprise-level leaders who work in complex and/or entrepreneurial settings. All three of these options provide the training and resources needed to progress in upper management or other executive opportunities.
Your journey starts here!
Considering a return to school to earn your doctorate? At Trevecca, we provide options for professional growth in all industries including healthcare, business, ministry, government and more! Still not sure what doctorate program is right for you? Take our quiz and we’ll help you decide.