Students with a degree in education and an interest in attending grad school might look at the types of jobs in educational research open to them after they finish their studies. Educational research refers to the independent research that some professionals do to gain a better understanding of how students learn. Many of the top jobs in this field require that professionals spend more time conducting research and working on their own instead of being around children, but some positions require that researchers work with teachers and other faculty members.
Some types of jobs in educational research require that professionals look at the ways in which students learn and find ways to make textbooks more effective. As a textbook writer, you will use your own research and the research done by others to determine the layout of those books. You’ll decide whether to use larger or shorter chunks of information, where to include images, and the type of graphs and charts used as well. Textbook writers create textbooks for students in elementary school through college and create books that they can read and understand easier.
When you look back on your past education, you might remember following a curriculum that didn’t work well for you. Curriculum refers to the type of classes that students take and the content covered in those classes. As a curriculum designer or developer, you’ll have the chance to design and help implement a curriculum better suited for today’s modern students. Many developers watch teachers working in their classes, meet with students to talk about how well they learn in those classes and then create new designs that schools can implement to better meet the needs of students.
Some students attend graduate school and study educational research because they want to work as educational consultants. Consultants are those who work directly with school districts and faculty members to ensure that everyone does the best job possible. When working in this field, you might observe teachers in their classes, do research on the thoughts and opinions of students, and make suggestions regarding what those teachers should do to help their students. School boards and school districts often hire educational consultants after students score lower on standardized tests or they identify other problems within local schools.
The most common types of jobs in educational research include jobs as instructional coordinators. Instructional coordinators come into schools, do research, and watch teachers to ensure that those teachers follow the standards of the state. They often work for the state or local government and help schools determine what changes they need to make in regards to the way teachers lead their students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those working in this field must have a master’s degree and those professionals earn a median annual salary of more than $66,000.
Educational Assessment Designer
Educational assessment designers are responsible for age-appropriate tests that mirror current curriculum standards. They create exams that evaluate whether students meet developmental milestones and content mastery benchmarks. They select the assessment format, such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, short-answer, or essay questions. Educational assessment designers write straightforward questions to determine how students perform on intended subjects. They research the best scoring procedures to grade their summative assessments and identify pass/fail requirements. Whether short chapter quizzes or big college entrance exams, educational assessment designers create evaluations of student learning. The BLS includes assessment designers in the instructional coordinator category where there’s 6 percent job growth forecasted. By 2028, there will be 11,500 more of these U.S. jobs in educational research.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 4.5 million school-aged children with diagnosed behavioral problems. Nearly 10 percent of students qualify for an ADHD diagnosis. An educational psychologist is one of the education research jobs that deals with mental and behavioral health. Educational psychologists perform research to improve how teachers adapt curricula to different learning needs. They examine how various childhood disorders affect pupils’ ability to comprehend and retain content knowledge. They investigate school-related social challenges, such as bullying and dating, that interrupt learning. Educational psychologists observe classroom environments and customize strategies for teachers to enhance their craft. The BLS expects the employment of psychologists will jump 14 percent before 2028 for 26,100 new jobs. This education research career delivers an average yearly salary of $87,450.
Postsecondary Education Teacher
Since 2000, the National Center for Education Statistics has tracked U.S. higher education enrollment growth from 13.2 million to 16.6 million students. Expanding college campuses need to recruit top educators for teaching their masses. Postsecondary education teachers don’t simply write syllabi and lecture undergraduates though. They hold one of the education research jobs with the power to conduct original studies. College professors have a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree to plan empirical research in university laboratories. They observe and measure diverse education-related phenomena, such as homeschooling and technology integration. They find scientific evidence to prove or disprove the effectiveness of teaching practices like flipped classrooms and ability grouping. The BLS forecasts a 10-year job growth of 8 percent for 6,100 new postsecondary education jobs. College professors in education departments have a $74,560 mean annual income.
Survey researchers have the U.S. News & World Report‘s 10th best science job. It’s another of the hands-on jobs in educational research for collecting data from targeted groups of people. Survey researchers often work at colleges, universities, K-12 school districts, and other nonprofit educational services. They design opinion polls to evaluate the majority views of participants on certain tested topics. They identify the best methods for asking people’s preferences and beliefs in the education niche. Survey researchers create the ideal sample to ensure their collected data is accurate and unbiased. They chart the findings of mail, email, phone, and in-person surveys to support or disprove research hypotheses. The BLS predicts the demand for survey researchers will grow 1 percent for 100 new jobs. Survey researchers collect average yearly compensation of $59,170.
Looking for jobs in education research that focus on numbers? Educational statisticians are math experts with master’s or Ph.D. degrees who analyze research data. They utilize their vast toolkit of statistical techniques to draw accurate conclusions from research studies. Educational statisticians aim to resolve real-world academic and workplace learning challenges with hard facts. They pore over research data to pinpoint trends and correlative relationships between variables. They double-check research results for biases and sampling errors that hurt validity. Educational statisticians utilize cutting-edge software like SPSS and MATLAB to run data analytics. They also program secure databases for storing confidential research information. The BLS sees much faster-than-average growth of 31 percent for 13,600 new statistician jobs. Educational statisticians enjoy a mean annual paycheck of $105,030.
Many students who study teaching in college imagine themselves working with students and running their own classes, but some of those students prefer working in research and administrative fields. The common types of jobs in educational research include positions working with faculty members behind the scenes and jobs helping teachers in schools.
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