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Careers with a Doctor of Education degree

Education is a complex field. The professionals working in it are often tasked with solving increasingly difficult problems in public schools, such as decreased funding and distracted students. With a Doctor of Education degree (popularly known as an EdD), individuals can help educational organizations, including schools, evaluate studies and emerging data to determine if adjustments need to be made within those organizations. They can also serve as change agents leading educational teams through crises and new developments in the field of education.

To successfully complete coursework and earn an EdD, students must write and defend a dissertation. Though the dissertation process is no easy task, it is a fulfilling accomplishment. It also enables doctoral graduates to explore a variety of exciting career opportunities.

What is a dissertation?  

At its most basic level, a dissertation is a form of academic writing rooted in original research. A dissertation begins with a thesis. It is then supported through research, study and references to data, both preexisting and newly discovered. There are many excellent resources online that are a vital component of any doctoral program. This includes information about researching, writing and defending a dissertation.

What jobs can a Doctor of Education degree prepare you for?

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was only about 1.6 percent on average in 2023 for those holding a doctoral degree According to the BLS, as of 2023, the median weekly income for a doctoral graduate is more than $2,100. 

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

But what types of jobs will education program graduates typically pursue after they’ve earned their doctorate? An EdD might prepare someone for a career as a dean of students or a school administrator. Other careers may also be attainable with the right blend of experience and education. They include dean or vice president of academic affairs, college president and provost.

Read on to learn more about these potential career paths for a successful doctoral candidate who earns an EdD.

Careers as an academic affairs dean

Academic affairs deans, or postsecondary education administrators, typically use their completed coursework, experience and EdD to pursue roles helping students with academic and educational issues at private or public schools. These individuals typically work on-site in an administrative department. Day to day, they may meet with students and faculty/teachers to discuss academic performance issues such as declining grades.

An EdD graduate in this role may also ensure teachers are adhering to the curriculum including, for example, a dissertation. They are also responsible for fostering a successful learning environment in which students can complete coursework. This role is essentially focused on helping students reach their full academic potential.

As of May 2023, the median salary for postsecondary education administrators (such as an academic affairs dean) iwas $102,610, according to BLS.

Careers as a dean of students

The dean of students at a private or public school usually oversees the entire school or campus. They are often the first person students meet within the administration.

With a doctorate, a dean typically focuses on the concept of "student life.” This refers to the activities that are outside of the classroom. Their objective is to ensure students have a rewarding college experience. A dean of students might have experience as a school administrator or in a similar position.

As BLS notes, the median salary in 2023 for postsecondary education administrators (including a dean of students working at a university, college or community college) was $102,610.

Careers as a provost

A provost oversees a school’s entire academic program and curriculum. They also decide how to allocate financial, scholarly and other resources. This helps to keep faculty and students on the right track in terms of the school’s overall academic goals for each semester.

They use their planning and strategy skills, as well as their leadership training and knowledge of academia and school culture, to inspire everyone. Achieving or exceeding an academic mission is often tied to a provost.

Doris Savron, vice provost of colleges at University of Phoenix, put it this way: "As a faculty member, I'm on your team. I'm your coach and your cheerleader."

What you’ll learn in our Doctor of Education program

In addition to completing your coursework, doctoral degree and dissertation (which will begin in your third course and follow a schedule of milestones throughout your program), University of Phoenix’s EdD/Doctor of Education program covers the following educational principles.

  • Leadership theory and principles
  • Change management
  • Legal, regulatory and compliance issues in education
  • Problem-solving in diverse educational settings

Get started with your Doctor of Education degree

A Doctor of Education degree, or EdD, is generally designed to prepare a graduate for a leadership role in the education field. If you are looking to become a student director or department administrator, an EdD is something to consider. Those wishing to become teachers, on the other hand, might pursue teacher preparation education programs.

If you’re hoping an EdD can set you on the path toward an administrative role, consider University of Phoenix’s online Doctor of Education degree program!

Q: Can I get my Doctor of Education degree online?

A: Yes. This program is offered 100 percent online at University of Phoenix.

Q: Why get a degree from University of Phoenix?

A: Beyond the online-based programs, there are many reasons why taking college courses toward an EdD degree through University of Phoenix is a good idea. Among other perks, adult learners enjoy:

Our Career Services for Life™ commitment. University of Phoenix has a talented team available to all program graduates for the rest of their lives. For consultations and career help, as well as access to tools and resources to get on the right career track, contact us.

Exceptional flexibility. For more than four decades, University of Phoenix has been working with adults to set them up with an educational schedule that they can handle alongside their outside responsibilities.

Earn your degree without starting from scratch. On average, students at University of Phoenix who are taking courses toward a degree and who have preexisting and eligible college course credits and/or life experience related to their chosen field can save thousands of dollars each year on their undergraduate degree costs. Visit the University of Phoenix website for more details.

Q: How much do successful Doctor of Education candidates make?

A: Salary ranges depend on a variety of factors specific to the individual, including location, experience and opportunities available at the time. The median annual wage for postsecondary education administrators was $102,610 in May 2023, accordion to BLS.

A degree from our Doctor of Education/EdD/doctoral program can help prepare you for various administrative educational roles, including overseeing teacher training, student activities and coursework at public schools, private universities and many educational organizations in between. Get your education career on track through University of Phoenix!

Portrait of Michael Feder


Brian Fairbanks is a freelance writer with a background in SEO content creation and blog article development

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