Careers in Education: Pursuing a Doctorate in Education

For many academics, getting a position in a college or university is a dream come true. By working at a college or university, academics can pass their knowledge to their students, and in that way, help shape their future. Additionally, they can combine teaching with research if that is something that interests them. Although many academics can get a full-time or tenure position after many years in academics, many of them realize that they can do a lot more if they take a different career path.

Higher Positions Require Better-Educated Educators

Positions such as director of admissions, department head, or college administrator allow educators to take on new responsibilities and do a lot more for the institutions they work for but they require candidates with a different set of qualifications. They require candidates who understand how the education environment is changing, how they can affect their students, as well as how they can work to put in place better policies and structures to pride their students with better educational outcomes. 

Attaining and bringing the relevant understanding and experience to such positions requires a degree such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (EdD). Between the two, the Doctor of Education degree is the one designed for educators with the requisite skills to work in higher education as well as become leaders in these positions. 

Doctor of Education Versus Doctor of Philosophy

The difference between the two is their focus and career goals. For educators who want a career with a lot more research focus, Doctor of Philosophy is the right degree for them. On the other hand, for educators who want to be administrators who can influence different, real-world aspects of higher education, a Doctor of Education degree is the best choice.

A Closer Look at a Doctorate in Education

A Doctorate in Education is a postgraduate degree designed for those who would like to get into administrative positions in the education sector. Many EdD programs focus on educational leadership. Some even incorporate lessons and insights from national and educational leaders to ensure graduates can apply the best leadership practices once they graduate.

Earning an EdD allows professionals to make an impact in education they would otherwise not have been able to make. Educators who want to get into education administration and governance can do so by enrolling in online EdD programs. These usually take three years and are perfectly suited for active professionals who want to keep working as they earn their doctorate degrees.

Careers for Those with a Doctorate in Education

Working in any postsecondary position requires that you have a master’s degree. However, many of the professionals working at these levels also have doctorate degrees such as an EdD. Another reason to pursue a Doctorate in Education is that the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for education administrators will continue to grow at about 7% annually.

There are lots of different positions and career paths for graduates with an EdD. We will look at some of them plus the skills required to succeed in some of those positions below.

Admissions Director

Admissions directors run the admissions offices in many colleges and universities. They work together with a team of admissions counselors to review all applications made by all students who are interested in the colleges or universities they work for. To get a holistic view of each applicant, they also consider their transcripts referrals and applications and use those to see if the applicant would be a good fit for their institution.

Admissions directors are so important because they set the admissions standards, as well as the social and academic criteria for their institutions, and ensure the institution only admits a set number of students. An admissions director must have great computing interpersonal and networking skills as they might visit different high schools to reach new students and ensure the best batch of students they meet choose their institutions.

College Administrator

If you want to work as a college administrator, you need a Doctorate in Education. College administrators and academic deans are the top organizational members of the colleges they represent. They work with professors, academic chairs, and students to set their departments’ academic directions. They also work on hiring, budgetary oversight, and scheduling.

Furthermore, they also work with CEOs and college presidents to allocate resources in their colleges and universities while ensuring their financial endowment is doing all that it is supposed to be doing. Organization, communication, management, and negotiation skills are vital for college administrators.

Chief Academic Officer

Chief academic officers set the academic standard their institutions have to reach and maintain. In doing this, they use their analysis and strategic planning skills to come up with academic policies that guide all departments in their college or university. They work with deans and department chairs during their formulation of the standards they set to ensure they are upheld and applied uniformly.

They may also be tasked with overseeing different aspects of academic programs and curricula development, hiring tenured professors, and contributing to planning and budgeting.

Department Chair

Department chairs are professors who are experienced enough to run an entire department. Many department chairs keep teaching even though they still have to hold leadership roles and manage their time extremely well. Even with the load of teaching one or two courses a semester, department chairs still have to take care of their administrative responsibilities.

Department chairs do a lot because they have to manage interdepartmental issues, problems, and challenges, assign professors to different classes and courses, develop courses, set schedules and work with other administrators and deans in the university or college. In some ways, department chairs carry information between deans and professors, thereby becoming the link between the two.


Getting into education administration is a path a lot of academics want to follow. A doctorate in education allows them to do so with many educators opting for online doctorate programs. Once they graduate, there are lots of career options available depending on what their specific skills and strengths are, as well as what they are interested in. In short, graduating with a doctorate in education allows graduates to not only pursue a career in education administration but to do so in many ways.

News Reporter