The Best Online Doctorate in Educational Technology Programs 2021

The Best Online Doctorate in Educational Technology Programs 2021

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An Ed.D. in educational technology will give you the expertise to assess, develop, and implement technological learning tools to enhance students' learning and improve educational outcomes.

As the highest available degree for education professionals, a doctorate in education demonstrates expertise. An Ed.D. in educational technology prepares graduates for administrative roles within school districts and institutions of higher learning.

Doctoral programs in educational technology hone knowledge and skills related to both software and hardware used in learning. Students explore technology-based learning curricula, including how it can be used to help students learn more effectively.

The use of technology in education continues to increase, especially with online learning's growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With a doctorate in educational technology, graduates can meet the growing demand for technology professionals with education, training, and library backgrounds. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% growth in employment in these roles from 2019-2029.

The Best Online Doctorate in Educational Technology Programs

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4

University of Memphis 

Memphis, TN Apply Now

About this school

Memphis offers an online Ed.D. in instructional design and technology program that prepares students for successful careers as professors, corporate trainers, human resource professionals, researchers, and school administrators. This degree emphasizes both research and examining practical applications of various technologies in the learning environment.

This 54-credit online Ed.D. program in educational technology features a cohort learning model, with students taking most classes with the same group of their fellow learners. Each semester includes one 14-week and two seven-week classes, creating a manageable schedule for working professionals. Each student must complete a research project and dissertation, which will be presented to a faculty committee at the end of the program. Applicants must have a master's degree from an accredited institution and submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and a resume to be considered.

5

Oklahoma State University-Main Campus 

Stillwater, OK Apply Now

About this school

Oklahoma State offers a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in educational technology. This 60-credit program features a variety of online courses, with some on-campus classes completed at the university's Stillwater or Tulsa campuses. This Ph.D. in educational technology online program includes coursework on advanced computer applications, digital media production, facilitation of online learning, instructional development, and library networks.

Students must research, create, and present a dissertation at the end of the program. Available student resources include IT assistance, a digital library, and financial aid help. Applicants must have a master's degree earned with a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be considered. They must also provide evidence of their writing abilities, GRE or GMAT scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

6

Indiana University-Bloomington 

Bloomington, IN Apply Now

About this school

Indiana offers one of the best online Ed.D. programs in educational technology in the U.S. This 60-credit program takes a hands-on approach to education, preparing students to develop instructional materials applicable to various settings. This program is ideal for those who want to become applied researchers and includes courses on topics such as doctoral readings, intermediate statistics, qualitative inquiry in education, adult learning, and learning and cognition.

The last nine credits of the curriculum includes a dissertation, which each student presents to a committee before graduating. Applicants must have a master's degree earned from an accredited postsecondary institution and submit GRE scores, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement to be considered.

7

Duquesne University 

Pittsburgh, PA Apply Now

About this school

Duquesne offers a 57-credit online doctoral program in instructional technology and leadership that teaches students to use technology to create positive change in various educational settings. All courses emphasize access to opportunity and equality. This online doctorate program in educational technology includes courses on topics like instructional technology, digital media, electronic literacy, and classroom design.

Classes are delivered online through Blackboard Monday through Thursday evenings each week. This schedule is ideal for working professionals who are typically not available during the day. While most coursework is delivered online, students must attend a two-week residency on Duquesne's campus to begin the program. Applicants must have a master's degree in a technology- or education-related field earned with a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be considered. They must also be proficient in using technology, have high-speed internet access, and submit official GRE scores.

8

The University of West Florida 

Pensacola, FL Apply Now

About this school

UWF offers an online Ed.D. in instructional design and technology that emphasizes project management, critical thinking, communication, and ethics. This program is ideal for those who want to use technology to drive innovation, change, and productivity in education.

This online Ed.D. program in educational technology offers two concentrations: distance learning and performance technology. The distance learning track emphasizes online learning methods in K-12, postsecondary, and business settings. The performance technology concentration focuses on using technology to enhance the performance of individuals and organizations. All students must complete a research project and dissertation, which takes up the final 18 credits of the program.

Applicants must have a master's degree earned from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be considered. They must also submit GRE or GMAT scores, a resume, three professional references, and a statement of intent.

9

Old Dominion University 

Norfolk, VA Apply Now

About this school

ODU Online offers a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in instructional design and technology. This flexible 60-credit program allows students to explore a variety of topics, including technology-mediated instruction, human performance technology, research, distance education, and instructional message design.

Although courses in this online doctorate program in educational technology take place at scheduled times, students can also access digital content at their convenience. The curriculum includes core courses on instructional systems design, cognition and instruction, and multimedia design. The final 15 credits consist of each student's dissertation. Applicants must have a master's degree from an accredited institution and must submit a writing sample, a personal essay, a resume, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores to be considered.

10

Concordia University-Chicago 

River Forest, IL Apply Now

About this school

CUC, located in the suburban community of River Forest, Illinois, offers a doctorate degree in leadership with a specialization in educational technology. This program emphasizes learning in the digital age while preparing the next generation of K-12, university, and other educational leaders.

This online Ed.D. program in educational technology includes 61-67 credits of courses on topics such as data management, learning environment design, technology department management, school district improvement, and curriculum development. Students may also choose from electives that emphasize learning in K-12, higher education, or corporate settings. Applicants must have a master's degree in a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution, along with a 3.0 GPA or better. They must also demonstrate familiarity with commonly used word processing spreadsheet, and presentation applications.

11

Regent University 

Virginia Beach, VA Apply Now

About this school

Located in Virginia Beach, Regent offers a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in educational technology and online learning. In this program, students conduct their own research, use research and analytical methods to address problems, and seek publication in journals. This Ph.D. in educational technology online program features courses on advanced leadership practice, strategic planning and evaluation, instructional design, research design and analysis, and educational statistics.

The final year of the program focuses largely on a dissertation, which students must present to a committee before graduation. Applicants must have both a bachelor's and master's degree earned from regionally-accredited institutions. They must also provide GRE scores, a current resume, and a peer-reviewed scholarly paper along with the completion of an admissions questionnaire.

12

Boise State University 

Boise, ID Apply Now

About this school

Boise State offers a doctor of educational technology degree that teaches students how to incorporate emerging technologies into K-12 and university settings. The program covers various topics, including academic technology leadership, software development, mobile applications, and digital games and activities.

Students enroll in courses focused on instructional design, website creation, research, statistics, and contemporary theories of learning and technology. Before graduating, all students must complete a thesis and final portfolio that they present to a faculty committee. Students can seek limited funding opportunities, including full- and part-time assistantships. Applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution and must submit a scholarly paper, three professional references, and official GRE scores to be considered.

13

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago 

Chicago, IL Apply Now

About this school

The Chicago School offers an online Ed.D. in educational psychology and technology degree that immerses students in the cutting-edge technologies and advancements that influence teaching and learning across multiple contexts. This degree covers a wide variety of topics, including interactions between computers and cognition, technology in the learning environment, and philosophical and ethical issues in educational technology.

While most classes are delivered online, students must attend two residency sessions at the school's campus in downtown Chicago. These residencies cover include the study of special topics, exams, and collaborative research projects. Applicants to this online Ed.D. program in educational technology must have a master's degree and submit a personal essay and resume to be considered. Those with a master's degree in non-related subjects should have at least three years of professional experience.

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Online Doctorate in Educational Technology Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology?

Most doctoral programs in educational technology require a master's degree in education or a similar field. Applicants need experience working in education-related settings and typically must submit letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a resume for consideration.

Educational technology doctorates vary in specific coursework, but most curricula blend courses in both research and practice. Core classes introduce students to leadership, global and cultural perspectives, and writing in educational technology.

Research coursework trains learners to conduct qualitative and quantitative data gathering and assessment, while technology and media classes teach students how to use modern technologies in the classroom. With access to virtual and augmented reality systems, digital toy and game design tools, and artificial intelligence technology, individuals gain practical experience innovating the use of technology in the classroom.

The length of an Ed.D. in educational technology differs between programs. Online educational technology doctorates may allow learners to earn degrees on an accelerated timeline or take classes part-time over five years or more. Synchronous programs with cohorts of students usually span a predetermined number of semesters.

What's the Difference Between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D.?

A doctorate of education and a doctorate of philosophy in education differ in focus and outcome. An Ed.D. offers a pathway for practicing education professionals to advance to leadership roles, while a Ph.D. in education emphasizes research.

Both an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in education focus on educational technology, incorporating coursework in principles and policies as they apply to the topic. However, an Ed.D. trains students to incorporate that information into practical settings. An individual with an Ed.D. in educational technology can pursue employment as an academic provost or school district administrator, among other options.

Meanwhile, a Ph.D. in educational technology or instructional technology emphasizes research and analysis. As such, individuals with edcational technology Ph.D.s pursue careers as college professors, instructional technology directors, and training and development managers.

Choosing an Online Doctoral Educational Technology Program

Students should take multiple factors into consideration when choosing online doctorates in educational technology, including program length, course delivery format, and degree requirements. Tuition, fees, and eligibility can also influence the choice of an educational technology doctorate program.

While a Ph.D. in educational technology may take more than five years to complete, a degree-seeker can complete an online Ed.D. in educational technology in as little as three years. Programs vary in practical and research requirements, both of which Ed.D. students can complete within their current workplaces.

Candidates should also research accreditation status of their prospective schools and programs.

Accreditation for Online Educational Technology Degree Programs

When choosing an online educational technology program, students should take the regional or national accreditation status of a college or university into consideration. Accreditation attests to the quality and credibility of an institution, and regional accreditation indicates a school offers rigorous academic programs rather than vocational ones. Regionally and nationally accredited institutions also differ in admission requirements, costs, transfer opportunities, and financial aid options.

Programmatic accreditation is awarded through specialized or professional agencies. An education student should research whether their prospective Ed.D. in educational technology holds accreditation through an agency like the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

What Else Can I Expect From an Ed.D. in Educational Technology Program?

Common courses for an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in educational technology focus on trends, tools, and techniques for using technology in educational settings. An Ed.D. in educational technology emphasizes pedagogical theory, instructional design, and information technology.

An Ed.D. trains educational technology leaders to become innovative creators while simultaneously meeting the social and cultural demands of students and instructors. Enrollees also explore various aspects of information technology, such as online learning, data mining, games and simulations, and mobile technologies.

Common Courses for an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology

  • Emerging Trends in Educational Technology: By exploring industry literature and best practices in the field, students identify and discuss the practical applications of modern technology in education.
  • Leadership in Educational Technology: This course explores contemporary, innovative modes of leadership used in the field, emphasizing the models, processes, and theories that drive programs and projects in educational technology. Learners build teamwork, human resources, and organizational psychology skills.
  • Global and Cultural Perspectives in Educational Technology: This course takes a global approach to educational technology, exploring various international communications systems.
  • Statistics for Educational Technology: This course introduces students to concepts like confidence intervals, chi-square, analysis of variance, central tendency and variability, and one and two-sample tests, all with the aim of helping them understand how statistics apply to education.
  • Research in Educational Technology: Students focus on quantitative and qualitative methods as the primary mode of conducting educational technology research. The course also covers the building blocks of doctoral research and the use of case studies.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology Program?

Online doctorates in educational technology vary in length. Earning a Ph.D. in educational technology or a Ph.D. in instructional technology may take five years or more, but an Ed.D. often features a shorter timeline.

Working professionals can pursue online Ed.D. degrees while still tending to personal and professional commitments. Students can even complete programs with asynchronous coursework on accelerated timelines to earn their degrees in just three years. By contrast, cohort-based, synchronous doctoral programs in educational technology follow a specific curriculum across a predetermined number of semesters.

Other factors that affect program length include prerequisites, research requirements, and practical activities. Individuals who need to make up coursework at the beginning of a doctoral program often take longer to graduate, and conducting research and completing internships or practica may also add to the length of the degree.

Educational Technology Jobs

Graduates of online Ed.D. programs in educational technology become prepared for advanced careers in IT, education, and instructional design. Candidates holding terminal degrees in educational technology qualify for top jobs in computer science, instructional research, and higher education. Some of the most common careers for educational technologists are listed below.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Median Salary: $146,360 Projected Job Growth: 10%


IT managers coordinate and oversee all computerized operations within a school or educational organization. They typically help organizations identify and implement the high-functioning computer systems needed to facilitate learning programs. Graduates of online Ed.D. programs in educational technology may qualify for advanced positions, including chief information officer or chief technology officer.

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Median Salary: $122,840 Projected Job Growth: 15%


Computer and information research scientists design new learning technologies and update existing systems. These professionals also provide critical services to the science, medicine, and corporate business sectors. A computer scientist with at least a master's degree and advanced skills in data mining should remain in high demand over the next decade.

Software Developer

Median Salary: $107,510 Projected Job Growth: 22%


Software developers create computer software and applications to meet the needs of students and educators in the digital landscape. While most entry-level software developer jobs do not need a doctoral degree, a candidate who earns a Ph.D. in educational technology online may qualify for high-level jobs like IT project manager, overseeing the development of new learning tools.

Computer Systems Analyst

Median Salary: $90,920 Projected Job Growth: 7%


Sometimes called systems architects, computer systems analysts evaluate school computer networks to ensure maximum efficiency, safety, and effectiveness, often implementing new or modified designs. Graduates of online doctorate programs in educational technology, especially those with considerable IT experience, are poised for significant advancement in this field.

Postsecondary Teacher

Median Salary: $79,540 Projected Job Growth: 9%


Becoming a postsecondary teacher of education technology requires a terminal degree in the field. Graduates of online Ed.D. programs in educational technology can become professors of education technology or related subjects at colleges or universities. They may also conduct and publish graduate- and postgraduate-level research.

Instructional Coordinator

Median Salary: $66,290 Projected Job Growth: 6%


Instructional coordinators oversee school curricula, monitoring teaching practices, and develop, implement, and assess educational materials. Instructional coordinators work closely with teachers and school administrators while adhering to district, state, and federal guidelines and regulations. Many instructional coordinators focus on specific grades, subjects, or types of students.

Educational Technology Professional Organizations

Sitting at the nexus of education, technology, and communication, professional organizations can help educational technologists network with other professionals, pursue continuing education opportunities, access field advocacy efforts, and engage in discourse about educational technology policy reform. Many professional organizations also offer affordable memberships and financial support through scholarships and awards.

Members can attend exclusive workshops and seminars, subscribe to member newsletters, and pursue job placements through career services. Some of the field's most visible organizations are listed below.

  • International Society for Technology in Education ISTE is an international organization that serves a diverse group of educators specializing in technology-based education. Member benefits include networking, publishing, and continuing education opportunities.
  • State Educational Technology Directors Association SETDA connects educational technologists together in each state, engaging members in advocacy and policy reform events that affect each state's educational system. Through SETDA, educational technology professionals can attend webinars, conferences, and other public events that support the organization's four main priorities: equity of access, digital content, digital learning, and interoperability.
  • Association for Educational Communications and Technology AECT is the nation's premier organization for educational technologists and instructional designers, promoting values such as leadership, professional standards, sustainability, financial stability, and collaboration. The organization administers a system of standards for professional education programs and offers an endorsement for individuals without degrees through a certificate program.
  • Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education Formed to advance information technology in education, AACE also fosters e-learning research, development, and practice. AACE unites scholars, researchers, and practitioners through conferences and events, awards programs, and career development resources. Members receive access to its extensive learning and technology library, association publications, and discipline-specific updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do With a Doctorate in Educational Technology?

With a doctorate in educational technology, graduates can advance to leadership roles in educational settings. The degree prepares learners to develop, implement, and assess technological tools and techniques in learning environments.

What Is the Difference Between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in Education?

An Ed.D. and Ph.D. in education both explore theory, practice, and policy in education. An Ed.D. focuses more on practical skills and leadership in educational settings, while a Ph.D. emphasizes research and analysis.

Is It Worth It to Get a Ph.D. in Education?

A Ph.D. in education facilitates career advancement and earning potential. With a doctorate in education, professionals can demonstrate expertise to colleagues, peers, and students alike.

How Much Can You Make With a Ph.D. in Education?

Education doctorate holders can take on roles as postsecondary educators, school administrators, and training and development managers. According to the BLS, postsecondary teachers earned a median salary of over $79,500 in 2019, while school administrators earned a median income of just under $96,000. Training and development managers took home a median salary exceeding $113,000 during the same period.

What Is Meant by

Instructional technology refers to the design, development, implementation, and assessment of computer hardware and software in educational settings. The field blends educational theory with technology applications to optimize learning outcomes.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Instructional Technology?

What Can You Do With a Degree in Instructional Technology? A degree in instructional technology opens career opportunities in instructional design, training analysis, and learning consultancy. Additional roles for individuals with degrees in instructional technology include instructional writer, instructional curriculum specialist, and academic director.

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