Career Resource for Education Doctorate Students

The EdD is a type of doctoral degree in the field of education that prepares graduates for professional practice in leadership roles, school administration, and related fields. The EdD is distinguished from the Ph.D. degree that prepares graduates for contributions to education research, college level faculty, graduate school teaching, and academic scholarship.

While the EdD is a professional practice degree, and the Ph.D. is an academic and research degree, there are high percentages of EdD holders in higher education, and there are likewise substantial numbers of PhDs in business and policy positions. The differences in the degrees relate to coursework and emphasis. The EdD focuses on existing data and efforts to improve education, education systems, the administration of education, company leadership, data and people management.

The EdD is a practice-oriented degree that prepares graduates for vital roles in educational improvement, administration, and organization. In business settings, the EdD, as well as the Online EdD, can be an excellent educational background for leadership, training and development, and people management.

Brief History of the EdD

The Columbia Teachers college awarded the first Ph.D. in Education in 1893. Harvard College awarded the first EdD in 1921. The purpose of the Harvard EdD was to create a core of professional trainers for college-level faculty. The program attracted candidates with backgrounds in teaching. The EdD dissertation requirement used existing knowledge to apply to current problems in education. This was a departure from the Ph.D. that required original research and a unique contribution to the body of knowledge. In the decades that followed, there were many efforts to reform education and better rationalize the relationship between the Ph.D. in Education and the EdD.

Over its history, the purposes of the degrees have had a lot of overlap, and the coursework for each is similar. The overall direction has been to reinforce the EdD as a tool for improving the effectiveness of leadership and education at all levels, focusing on practice rather than theory. Today, most leading schools offer both degrees.

10 EdD Careers to Look at in 2019


1. Education Administrator – $92,360 median annual salary 1

Education administrators oversee the operation of the teaching and learning processes at educational institutions. Their work ensures high-quality education that meets the standards for accreditation, career development, further education, and applicable federal rules for financial aid to students. Education administrators also have a prominent role in the learning environment at their institutions including educational policies, co-curricular activities, and research opportunities.

Education administrators can have titles such as Registrar, Vice president, Dean, or Provost. Many have titles such as Academic Dean of a department or school in which they have overall responsibility for a significant part of a college or university; for example, a Dean of the School of Law. The outlook for this occupation estimates about ten percent growth over the next few decades.


2. Training and Development Manager – $108,250 median annual salary 1

Training and development management involves planning, directing, and overseeing education and learning programs to refresh, raise, or install high levels of knowledge and skills in an organization’s group of employees. Training and development executives can be managers, directors or more senior officers that oversee a staff of managers and training specialists. The important role plans and carries out training that improves effectiveness and productivity of the employee workforce.

The training and development manager must align the training function with the immediate situation, long-term organizational goals, and make effective use of resources. Training must occur at multiple levels of employment including unit trainers and staff-level supervisors. The outlook for this role is estimated strong at ten percent growth over the next decade.

HR director

3. HR Director – $110,120 median annual salary 1

Many top Human Resources positions require at least a master’s degree and significant experience or a doctoral degree. The EdD can be an ideal qualification for HR Director. In small, medium, and large corporations, the responsibilities can cover hundreds or thousands of employees. Managing human assets is the core of some businesses and a critical element of every type of organization.

The HR function covers every aspect of the employee relationship to the organization including, tenure, salary, benefits and reward systems. The overall education and training levels of employee group relate to the mission of the top Human Resources executive. The Human Resources function must support all other organizational operations. The BLS ten-year outlook estimates nine percent growth.


4. Instructional Coordinator – $63,750 median annual salary 1

The typical work environment for an instructional coordinator is an educational institution, but this role also exists in business settings. They also play key leadership roles in state and local governments that are responsible for the quality of education in their school systems. These education coordinators make sure that school curriculums and teaching standards meet their expected levels of quality.

Their roles include developing instructional materials, coordinating implementation of changes and new programs, and assessing the overall effectiveness of education within their organizations. The BLS job outlook for 2016 through 2026 approximates 11 percent growth. The EdD prepares graduates for Instructional Coordinator positions with their education and experience in people management, educational content, and managing educational systems.

social care

5. Nonprofit Director – $76,486 median annual salary 1

The Executive Director function in the nonprofit setting has a wide range of applications. Some community-based organizations have large staffs, significant resources, and a competitive salary structure while others may struggle to meet their operations goals. Many nonprofits exist in the social organization space and perform highly visible fundraising, education, and political action. The EdD is an excellent entry qualification for nonprofit management. Particularly in the education field, nonprofits often exist for public benefit and use education and information as part of their essential missions.

Both from the aspect of managing people and managing education and information, the EdD is an excellent educational qualification for nonprofit executive director positions. The outlook for top executives is an eight percent growth rate.


6. Director, Religious Activities and Education – $45,470 median annual salary 1

The Director of Religious Activities and Education plans programs designed to promote religious education. They also engage more generally in activities of a faith or denominational group. In many settings, they provide religious or faith-based services such as counseling, marital counseling, and guidance through personal, financial, and social issues. The EdD is a qualification for faith-based education that involves managing people, developing standards for teaching and learning, and create positive learning environments.

They can direct and coordinate teaching and instruction at schools and colleges and within governments. The director plays a key role in shaping the educational experience at faith-based educational institutions. The employment outlook is a near-average rate of growth at three percent.


7. Leader in the Armed Services – $60,360 median annual salary 1

A leader in the Armed Services can be a training and development specialist - they can be commissioned officers serving in one or more branches of the Armed Services, or they can be civilian employees of one or more of the Armed Services. Education in the Armed Services plays a key role in readiness and adaptation to technology and innovation. The level of education and training revolves around the chain of command and leaders have responsibility for their assigned areas of duty.

Whether by military units or designated personnel, leaders carry out plans and programs for educational attainment. The outlook for this type of occupation is strong as innovation drives military demand for higher levels of education.


8. Chief Academic Officer/Chief Education Officer – $183,270 median annual salary 1

Top executives or the C-Suite officers in small, medium, and large corporations have authority, control, and responsibility for achieving organizational goals. The top academic or education executive typically has responsibility for the education levels of employees including training and development staff, supervisory personnel, and other key employees such as directors, managers, team leaders, and project leaders. The EdD is an optimal educational qualification for top academic and education roles.

The EdD as a course of study prepares graduates to find ways to make education more effective. They have unique advantages for making use of educational resources and overseeing educational systems. The outlook estimates steady growth at approximately ten percent.


9. Education Lobbyist – $102,850 median annual salary 1

Education lobbyists work within the framework of national and state government and other policy-making organization and structures. Lobbyists must use information and persuasion to advance their client’s interests in policy outcomes. The prominent example is in legislation from the US Congress and policies from executive departments and the presidency.

Education lobbyists work to advance the interests of educational institutions, private corporations, and public non-profit organizations engaged in various ways in education. The employment outlook is optimistic at about nine percent.


10. CEO – $183,700 median annual salary 1

Top executives have responsibility for achieving the organization’s goals. Their roles have accountability for planning, strategic plans, and all operations. In the digital age, they have responsibilities for external relations, imaging, and brand. The Chief Executive Officer is emblematic of corporate power and management authority. In modern business, the so-called C-Suite positions are the control centers of modern corporations and typically include the CEO, CFO, COO, CIO covering the executive, finance, operations, and information processes.

The EdD is an excellent education base for C-Suite occupations both in education, business, and non-profit settings. The estimated occupational growth is eight percent.

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Doctorate of Education Employment and Earnings Outlook

The median annual salaries listed above are derived from the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook as of November 30, 2019. However, it's important to note that the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not record a single occupation class for EdD holders.

That said, among the chief occupations are Education Administrators at Postsecondary Levels, whom are known to enroll in EdD programs. Thus, the employment outlook for this important EdD occupation class is for a ten percent growth rate over the decade from 2016 through 2026. Thus, main drivers of this above average occupational growth are the increasing numbers of persons that will seek higher education.

According to a study by the U.S. Census featured on which surveyed mean earnings along with degrees held, average earnings are generally higher for individuals with an advanced degree than for those whose highest degree is a bachelor’s. Average earnings for those with master’s degrees were 23 percent higher than the average for those with bachelor’s degrees, and the average earnings premium for doctoral degree recipients was 63 percent; average earnings were more than twice as high for those with professional degrees as they were for those with only a bachelor’s degree.

All salary information for these careers was retrieved from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of November 30th 2018