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Higher Ed Admin or Instructional Design PhD - advice needed


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I am currently looking at PhD programs and was originally set on higher ed admin until I spoke to faculty members in the instructional design program. Now, I'm not sure which I'd prefer. I have passions in both - higher ed for International education, and ID for learning science and edtech.

I'm trying to be realistic about job prospects, as, again, I have passions in both so I'd be happy, content-wise in either. I'm looking at ROI and the ability to get a good job. I've scoured higher ed jobs and have found positions in both areas I like, but I'm not sure about job market outlook/growth/saturation.

My background is in language education. I am currently a university ESL teacher (10 yrs, MA TESOL) with experience using numerous technologies, some advising and curriculum design, social media work, event programming, some short term program design. 7 years abroad. 

Admissions and funding not an issue. 

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This may depend on what you want to do after.  If it is academia - would you rather be in academic in a higher ed program or instructional design program?  I don't know that much about instructional design programs - but there are only about 100 or so higher ed programs in the U.S. and last year, roughly 40 tenure-track assistant professor positions open.  That was considered a big year in terms of available job openings.  It is hard to know this year whether it will be another good year in terms of openings. 

The good news about higher ed is there are  many more available jobs outside of academia in either administration, educ policy, think tanks, student affairs, educ research, educ non-profits, etc.  Usually those jobs have better salaries and sometimes better work-life balance.  For higher ed - generally people are able to secure some type of related job in the field assuming that they attended a decent PhD program - it just might not be their preferred one.

Edited by ZeChocMoose
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15 hours ago, acircleda@ said:

Thanks for the reply. I would not be trying to get a tenure-track position but rather one in admin such as director, assistant director, or coordinator. 

In what though?  In higher ed admin?  Or you going to try to admin at a center of learning and teaching within a university? Or something else?

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