Educational Research and Evaluation

Read on to learn about the field of educational research and evaluation; see how you can assess current methodologies and trends in education and solve related problems. Get employment and education information below.

Is Educational Research and Evaluation for Me?

Career Overview

Educational research and evaluation is performed by research analysts and educational administrators who typically hold graduate degrees in educational research, statistics, evaluation or measurement. Occasionally analyst jobs can be attained if you have a bachelor's degree in education or statistics and experience in the field being evaluated. Schools, non-profits, research institutions and governmental agencies all hire analysts to design and prepare studies, evaluate the resulting data, and produce reports based on these evaluations. This work is normally done to check the efficacy of tests, educational policies or teaching methods.

Required Skills

Along with excellent statistical and analytical skills, you will need good interpersonal skills to work with interviewees and colleagues. You will also need to be able to clearly explain the results of your research. Flexibility may also be highly desired: there may be some travel involved to implement or oversee studies, and while analysts tend to work a 40-hour week, an educational administrator's hours are generally less predictable.

Employment Statistics

As of June 2014, Salary.com reported that research directors and assistant directors at the university level earned median salaries of $87,119 and $68,747, respectively. According to PayScale.com in June 2014, research analysts in general earned a median of $50,636 per year.

How Can I Work in Educational Research and Evaluation?

Education

Educational research and evaluation degree programs are generally offered at the graduate level. With the exception of certificate programs, most master's and doctoral programs require students to take a group of classes in a field outside of educational research. Choices might include topics in psychology, statistics, curriculum and instruction, sociology or computer science. Capstone papers, comprehensive exams and/or dissertations may be required.

Graduate Certificates

Post-baccalaureate certificate programs in educational research and evaluation typically take 1-2 years to complete. They include coursework in educational measurement, evaluation of educational programs and evaluation and statistical methods in education. This type of certificate would prepare an educational administrator or testing coordinator working in a public school system to evaluate testing programs and results.

Master's Programs

Master's degree programs will include coursework in methods of educational research, qualitative assessment and educational administration and policy. You will also study topics such as educational measurement, hierarchical linear modeling and data presentation and reporting. Earning a master's degree in educational research and evaluation would prepare you to work in research and evaluation positions in government, as well as for educational institutions, social service agencies and corporations.

Doctoral Programs

Doctoral degrees in educational research and evaluation are also available. Coursework will cover topics such as multivariate analysis, evaluation of educational programs and survey research in education. You'll also need to write and defend a doctoral dissertation that you have independently researched. Doctoral programs in education can take 4-6 years to complete and would prepare you to work in research, teach at the university level or lead research teams.

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