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8 Careers You Can Have with a Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership Degree

Careers You Can Have with a Doctorate of Education in Administration and Leadership

A career in education offers great stability because students will always need qualified teachers. In the 21st century, Americans are becoming more educated than ever, with nine out of 10 new jobs in 2018 going to those with college degrees. This opens new doors to people who want to teach in institutions of higher learning, as well as those who want to ensure younger students are ready for college. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 1.9 million job openings in education positions, from preschool to postsecondary school, between 2014 and 2024. Payscale estimates average earnings of $78,000 per year with a doctorate of education. 

With SNU’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D) in Administration and Leadership, you can open new career doors and break through workplace advancement ceilings. Here are seven roles you’ll be qualified to pursue upon graduation.

Principal or Superintendent 

Put your leadership experience to good use as a principal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2018 median pay for principals was $95,310 annually. Public, private, and charter schools employ principals who may act as the school’s primary leader or work with a president, school board, and other leaders. 

As a principal, you have a powerful chance to make a meaningful difference in the daily lives of students by getting to know them, investing in their education, and reaching out when they struggle. You can also support them over the long term by implementing programs that improve their education and prepare them for their next steps. 

Principals must work with diverse groups of people, including students from various backgrounds, teachers, parents, guardians, and other school leaders. That makes this an ideal occupation for highly social people who enjoy learning from and collaborating with others. 

Successful principals may eventually gain more responsibilities as school superintendents. In this position, you would oversee the entire educational system, often working hand in hand with a school board to design and implement appropriate policies. This role may also be political in nature, requiring a person to gain buy-in from the community and the respect of local families. reports median superintendent earnings of $161,138. 

College Administrator 

College administrators fill numerous roles, tending to bureaucratic, cultural, academic, and other issues in institutions of higher education. Median earnings in 2018 were $94,340. For people interested in improving college settings, jobs in administration offer myriad roles that can support a wide variety of interests. 

You might become an academic dean, overseeing an entire department. In this role, you may help set curriculum goals, work with students to promote greater academic success, and collaborate with industry experts to support emerging educational trends. Some administrators work in admissions departments, screening incoming students and establishing institutional standards. Others support students with special needs, such as by working in disability support offices. 

Some administrators have highly public-facing roles. You might work on policy-level issues, oversee public relations, help manage crises, partner with the school’s legal team, or field complaints. 

Employment Training and Development 

You don’t have to work in a school to put your doctorate to good use. Many organizations, especially larger ones, employ training and development experts to design staff or volunteer programs. For example, you might help a local corporation develop a management training curriculum, join a human resources department as an education and training expert, or work on a contract basis to promote your own training program. 

The amount you can earn depends on where you work, how large the organization is, how long you have worked in the role, and other factors. At larger companies, however, trainers are an integral and well-remunerated component of corporate operations. 

Social and Community Services 

Numerous community services organizations employ educational experts. You might consult with the organization’s leadership on strategy and policy, or work with outside agencies on shared projects. In some cases, social and community service organizations look to hire candidates with educational doctorates as executives. 

People who work in community service and nonprofit roles typically earn less than those working in the private sector, but your opportunities to improve the lives of others are immense. If you choose the right organization, you may still earn a good living with great benefits, while gaining the respect of the people you support and serve. 

Is an online degree program ideal for your life situation? Download our guide,  What to Expect from an Online Degree Program, to find out!


Your doctoral degree gives you special insight into the world of education. Rather than shifting to an administrative role, you might opt instead to educate future leaders as a college professor. College instructors’ earnings vary widely depending on the number of classes they teach, the type of school at which they teach, and whether they are full professors or adjuncts. In 2018, the BLS put median earnings at $78,470.

Some administrators also fill roles as part-time professors. This strategy gives you the chance to educate tomorrow’s academic leaders while supplementing your primary income. 

Policy Advocacy and Reform 

People interested in shifting educational paradigms or advocating for better teacher working conditions might choose careers in educational policy advocacy and reform. There’s no single role that’s right for everyone, but some options include: 

  • Working as a lobbyist for a nonprofit or non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Joining the staff of a lawmaker as a policy analyst 
  • Partnering with community organizations to draft model legislation 
  • Starting your own educational policy nonprofit 

Earnings vary widely. In some roles—such as if you volunteer to draft model legislation or start a community service organization—you might not earn much at all, especially early in your career. But in higher-level positions, especially lobbying, you can command a high salary—particularly if you have several clients with a large budget. reports that median lobbyist earnings are $112,948. 

Consulting and Self-Employment

Your expertise in education and leadership may empower you to start your own business. Educational consultants can work in a wide range of roles, including: 

  • Tutors
  • College admissions coaches 
  • Educational consultants for colleges and high schools 
  • Experts on employee training 

In some cases, you might be able to offer several different services under one umbrella or use a consulting business to supplement income from your day job. Consultants earn a wide range of incomes, but there is no ceiling on your earnings, because the right clients will gladly pay well for experience and expertise. You’ll need to have the independence and motivation that business ownership requires, and you may need outside help to manage taxes, business incorporation, and other issues. 

Pursuing an Ed.D. at SNU

SNU’s cohort-based doctoral program requires 57 hours of coursework, and most students can complete their program in 32 months! With various components of the dissertation embedded into the program, you can be confident that you’ll have the support you need to graduate on time with a wealth of knowledge and a network of professionals that can serve you for a lifetime. We’d love to talk to you about your educational future, so contact us today

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