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What Types of Certifications are Necessary for an Educational Researcher?

There is no nationally recognized certificate for educational researchers, but it is highly recommended to have some type of graduate certificate. The American Educational Research Association (AERA) only offers professional development courses and fellowship/funding opportunities. However, many colleges and universities offer graduate level certification programs to research students.

Educational Statistics

An educational statistics or measurement certificate program will provide students with the knowledge necessary to review analytical techniques and apply new methodologies. Students will learn about the development procedures of psychological tests and pedagogical measures. This includes the conceptual procedures for collecting and analyzing test data, such as generalizability, classical test and item response theory. Students will learn how to create and apply quantitative methods and statistical models to educational data.

Educational Research Applications

This type of graduate certificate is perfect for students who want to conduct grant-based evaluations. Most national grants have an evaluation component that needs specialized training to complete. Every state’s Department of Education needs official evaluations to approve funding and validate budget requests. This certificate’s classes would cover topics like evaluation fundamentals, project measurement and quantitative analysis. Students would learn the techniques for evaluating staff, materials and curriculum.

Quantitative Research

This technical certificate requires strong data, computer and STEM skills. Students will learn how to complete statistical calculations for various disciplines, school outcomes and academic programs. This certificate will cover advanced statistical methods and experimental design, so they will learn the statistical tools ANOVA and MANOVA. Multivariate statistics involves procedures like factor, discriminate and principal components.

Research Methodology

This certificate covers educational evaluation, statistics and testing. Students receive training in quantitative inquiry, so they will know parametric statistics and gain hands-on experience. Basic quantitative research involves tools like regression, correlation and analysis of variance. After completing this certificate, students will know the differences between SPSS and ANOVA software as well as descriptive and inferential statistics. Students will demonstrate competence in data manipulations, procedural analysis and the replication of research findings.

Research Evaluation

This certificate focuses on how to examine and constructively critique existing research data and findings. Students learn about the alternative research philosophies and methods of formulating hypotheses, procedures and research plans. Critical discourse analysis training prepares students to transform educational practices and improve classroom interactions. Graduates will be able to translate sophisticated data into meaningful dialogue. Students will know how to examine research data to conceptually contribute to the science of education.

Educational Psychology

This certificate is perfect for students who aren’t as interested in raw data and boring statistics as the psychological factors that influence human learning. This certificate is ideal for researchers who want to conduct face-to-face investigations through interviews, study groups and classroom observations. Graduates with this certificate may find employment in federal, state and local agencies as well as schools as policy developers and evaluation specialists.

Educational researchers with graduate certification may find employment in private research laboratories, doctoral departments, private think tanks and non-profit research programs. Job titles include psychometrician, research fellow, clinical professor, measurement specialist and school district researcher.