In order to become an educational researcher, students must earn a master’s degree and most likely will need to earn a doctorate degree. Educational researchers usually work in academic organizations collecting and analyzing for projects and professors.
Educational researchers can start their careers as general research assistants in college while they finish their bachelor’s degree in a major related to statistics, research and education. Working as a research assistant for a database, education or information technology professor is ideal. High GPAs, well-written research papers and demonstrable proficiency with computers will help students obtain research assistant positions. During this time, students should search for an appropriate undergraduate internship, which will give them the work skills they need to gather, evaluate and communicate data. Many private think-tanks, non-profits organizations and even governmental agencies outsource to universities for education research, according to Institute of Education Sciences.
Hone the Right Skills
During college, students will need to hone their analytical, organizational and interpersonal skills to successfully work with both numbers and colleagues. Education researchers must continually challenge and examine their own assertions in order to expose assumed biases and personal attitudes that influence their research designs, questions, methodologies and collection techniques. Some researchers will lean towards quantitative and objective facts, while others will prefer subjective and qualitative assertions. Students should pursue classes and strategies that deliver different experiences with mixed and alternative methodologies. During their bachelor’s degree program, students should select general electives related to statistical research and qualitative experiments. In this way, they can apply their newly acquired knowledge to undergraduate assignments and research projects.
Complete a Master’s Program
Generally speaking, there are only a few types of master’s degree programs related to education research and statistics. These include master of sciences in educational research, evaluations and measurements. The first program, educational research, is the most popular because it offers a broad array of courses in statistics and qualitative research. All these programs combine graduate seminars, rigorous research activities and thesis projects. Students learn to use statistical methods to analyze research data, measure scores and evaluate survey responses. Coursework in these programs covers data collection, test theories, response analyses, parameter definitions and inferential statistics.
Complete a Doctoral Program
The majority of educational researchers choose to complete a doctoral program because the most sought after jobs require a Ph.D. These programs focus on advanced topics, such as statistical methodologies for mapping curricula, higher education instruction assessments and research for culture specific curriculum development. Throughout these doctoral programs, students will simultaneously perform applied research while also building a professional portfolio that will impress and future employers. After graduation, students will be prepared to analyze professional topics and current educational trends. These programs include classes on advanced education theories, quantifying educational leadership and applied academic research writing. Other classes may include the principles of educational administration, institutional funding and curriculum collaboration.
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While they become an educational researcher, master’s and doctorate students should take advantage of available practicums and internships.