What Can I Do With a PhD in Leadership?

Discover the types of jobs you might pursue that will either require or utilize a Ph.D. in leadership. Learn about the different job duties, salaries, and projected growth. Schools offering Business Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Jobs for which you Might Qualify with a Ph.D. in Leadership

Postsecondary Teacher

An individual with a Ph.D. in leadership can become a college/university professor and teach in fields such as psychology, organizational discipline, or behavioral sciences. They will form lesson plans, work with their students to ensure they are gaining knowledge and/or career skills for their field, and work with other professors in the same department to develop or change course curriculum. Depending on the size of the university, a professor may also conduct research and write papers for their area of specialty in addition to teaching.


Provosts, also known as postsecondary education administrators, work in colleges and universities of all sizes. Provosts manage budgets, participate in making faculty appointments, help make tenure decisions, assist college presidents in developing academic policies, and oversee faculty research on campus. A Ph.D. is usually required to become a provost, and a doctorate in leadership could be useful.

Academic Dean

Academic deans are also labeled as postsecondary education administrators and often must hold a Ph.D. to work in colleges and universities coordinating activities. Depending on the university's size, there may be separate deans for individual colleges or schools. For example, a dean for a university's law school coordinates their activities, while a separate dean for the same university's medical school will do the same.

College or University President

College and university presidents are the leaders of a postsecondary institution, and a Ph.D. is often preferred for this position. They manage issues such as student achievement and the school's relations with government agencies and any stakeholders. They also manage and approve the allocation of budgets and resources, and oversee general operations.

Chief Executive Officer

Chief executive officers, also sometimes referred to as executive director, managing director, or president, provide direction for companies and organizations. They manage company operations, formulate and implement policies, ensure company goals are met, collaborate with other top executives, and report the company's statistics to a board of directors. A Ph.D in leadership could be useful for a CEO, as they use leadership skills in their job and might be more competitive for advancement by holding this degree.

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers work with businesses and companies to oversee training programs, staff, and budgets, and typically teach training methods to training and development specialists, who then teach the employees. Training methods are usually created by and/or approved by managers, and come in the form of instructional videos, in-person instruction or mentoring, an online program, or through a computer or tablet. Leadership Ph.D. holders may use their knowledge of organizational leadership and educational development for this position.

Management Analysts

A management analyst, or management consultant, works with companies and organizations to analyze their efficiency and propose ways to improve it, in addition to consulting the company on how to stay competitive in their respective markets. Some management analysts work in a special area, such as finance or corporate structure, and may either be part of a consulting company or freelance; if they freelance, they must write bids or proposals in order to get a job. Knowledge in organizational design, which is obtained through a leadership Ph.D., could be useful.

Operations Research Analysts

Operations research analysts work with companies and organizations to determine problems, the best way to solve them, and how to make decisions, particularly with production schedules and pricing. They use computer software to collect data, analyze it, and create predictive models in order to find out what could happen if a company made a certain decision, and then determine which decision is best, based on the predicted outcomes. Research and analysis skills learned in a Ph.D. leadership program could be helpful for this job.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)*
Postsecondary Teacher $78,470* 15%
Provost $148,783 (2019)** 10% (postsecondary education administrators)
Academic Dean $90,859 (2019)** 10% (postsecondary education administrators)
College or University President $150,143 (2019)** 8%
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) $158,978 (2019)** -4% (chief executives)
Training and Development Managers $111,340* 10%
Management Analysts $83,610* 14%
Operations Research Analysts $83,390* 27%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ; **Payscale.com

A Ph.D. in leadership can prepare an individual for positions in education, research, administration, and business. An individual carrying this type of degree may use leadership, organizational, financial, analytical, research, and interpersonal skills to succeed in whatever field they choose.

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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  • Liberty University

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  • Walden University

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  • Capella University

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  • Regent University

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  • The Chicago School

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  • University of Management and Technology

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    • Virginia: Arlington
  • University of Wisconsin

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    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Lawrence Technological University

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    • Michigan: Southfield