What Can I Do with a Doctorate in Education Leadership?

Doctor of Education (EdD) degree programs in educational leadership can train you for advanced careers in school administration. Read on to learn more about careers available to those with an EdD degree. Schools offering Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

EdD vs. PhD

If you are an experienced educator looking to further your scope of practice, you may consider pursuing a doctorate in education after completing a master's degree. One big decision to make is whether to enroll in a Doctor of Education (EdD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. The main difference in these two types of programs is the end career goal: typically, PhD graduates pursue careers in research and academia, while EdD graduates pursue careers as school administrators and leaders of other educational organizations. This article gives details of some careers typical for those with an EdD in Educational Leadership, although someone who earns a PhD in Educational Leadership might also consider these options.

Career Options

In order to work as a principal or school administrator in elementary or secondary schools, you must typically have a master's degree in educational leadership or administration, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Administrative positions at the postsecondary level also typically require a master's degree, though the position of university provost generally requires a doctoral degree.

Aspiring principals and administrators who want to stand out in the job field, gain a more in-depth understanding of policy-making, and conduct research might consider going beyond a master's degree and earning an EdD in Educational Leadership. Here are some potential education leader jobs, educational leadership salaries, and job outlooks for those with this degree:

Careers for an EdD in Educational Leadership: Comparison

Principal College Provost Superintendent
Median Salary $95,310 (for all elementary, middle, and high school principals, 2018)* $94,340 (for all postsecondary education administrators, 2018)* $116,797 (2019)**
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% (for all elementary, middle, and high school principals)* 10% (for all postsecondary education administrators) 5-9% (for all elementary and secondary school education administrators)*
Key Skills Communication, decision-making, and leadership skills Computer, interpersonal, and organizational skills Administrative, critical-thinking, and human resources skills
Work Environment Public and private schools; year-round schedule Colleges and universities; usually full-time Elementary and secondary schools; year-round schedule

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Principal

If you're interested in working at the elementary, middle or secondary school levels, you may consider a career as a principal. You'll manage your school and work in conjunction with teachers to make sure that the curricula meet high academic standards. Some of your duties can involve hiring and observing teachers, preparing budget reports and establishing school objectives. You'll meet with other administrators in the district, along with parents and community members, to discuss administrative decisions.

College Provost

If you want to work in higher education leadership (at the college/university level), you could choose an EdD curriculum with an emphasis in higher education and pursue employment at a postsecondary institution. Your responsibilities will include developing academic programs and policies, making budgets and appointing faculty. You'll assist the college president and supervise upper-level staff. This role ultimately requires you to maintain the institution's standards and meet its long-term goals.

Superintendent

An EdD in Educational Leadership can also prepare you to work as a superintendent for a school district. Even with a doctoral degree, however, you will likely work your way to this position from a role as a principal or school administrator. You'll oversee the schools assigned to your district, and the number of schools will vary by location. Your office will handle fiscal duties, such as processing expenditures and payroll, as well as conduct school elections. Additional duties you'll have include running school programs and supporting technology services.

Overview of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Programs

Many Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership programs will require you to choose an area of specialization, such as higher education or curriculum and instruction. Programs focus on giving you a comprehensive overview of essential managerial, financial and multicultural leadership principles. Curricula usually emphasize collaboration amongst students and the development of research and analytical skills. Many programs culminate in an extensive research project, but EdD programs typically do not require a dissertation like PhD programs.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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