6 Potential Career Trajectories for Doctor of Education Graduates

Industry Advice Education

By earning your Doctor of Education (EdD), you’re setting yourself up for jobs that can have an immense impact—on future generations of learners, on your community, and on your organization.

While an EdD can be applied to a variety of industries, such as K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, or healthcare, there are some popular job titles you’ll likely hear repeated by classmates within your cohort. Below is a look at six different career trajectories for EdD graduates.

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1) Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators work at colleges and universities in roles such as president, vice president, provost, dean, and chief academic officer. Administrators’ daily tasks vary depending on their specific role, but some departments you might find them in include:

  • Admissions: Admissions officers develop or lead recruitment initiatives and communicate with prospective students. They evaluate applications and decide the number of students who should be admitted to the school, and often have a hand in creating promotional materials for the college or university.
  • Student Affairs: An institution’s student affairs office typically oversees a variety of departments, such as athletics, residence life, diversity and inclusion, and student support services. Student affairs professionals advise students, communicate with their parents or legal guardians, and help create and evaluate nonacademic programs for the college community.
  • Advancement: Also known as “development,” or embedded in “alumni relations” depending on the school, the advancement office is responsible for securing financial support for the institution from potential donors, which might include alumni, corporations, foundations, and government policy makers. They also foster and nurture donor relationships, and work to guarantee gifts are being used according to the donors’ goals and intent.
  • Registrar: Individuals working in the registrar’s office often manage tasks like scheduling space and time for classes, helping students register for courses, preparing students’ transcripts and ensuring they meet graduation requirements, as well as maintaining the school’s academic records.

Overall, there’s a significant uptick in demand for postsecondary education administrators. By 2024, approximately 15,200 new jobs will be created, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the salary for professionals in those roles averages $90,760 per year.

2) Top Executives

In education, this includes roles like “chief learning officer” or “chief academic officer,” which also fall under the category of postsecondary education administrators. These top executives are senior-level professionals who drive and develop strategies that help their college or university meet critical business goals. They make approximately $103,950 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and employment of top executives is estimated to grow by six percent between 2014 and 2024.

3) Elementary and Secondary School Education Administrators

The most popular position that falls under this category is superintendent—the top executive of a school district. Superintendents manage the academic programs, spending, and staffing of all the educational facilities within their district, and collaborate with their school board to set the vision for their district and strategize how best to achieve the goals outlined in that vision. K-12 administrators earn an average $95,390 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4) Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

Principals are the primary leaders within a school and oversee all day-to-day operations. They are responsible for managing teachers and staff, and setting goals for their schools that align with federal and state policies and expectations. They discipline students when needed, but also strive to ensure students are in a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment. Principals earn an average $92,510 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and by 2024, 14,000 new jobs are estimated to be created.

5) Postsecondary Teachers 

Postsecondary teachers instruct students at a college or university in a specific area of expertise, such as business, psychology, computer science, or healthcare. They develop syllabi and course curricula that align with their college’s standards and advise students and assess their progress. When they’re not in the classroom, they’re often focused on conducting research, attending conferences, and publishing scholarly papers and books. Professors’ annual salary averages roughly $75,430, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and employment is projected to grow by 13 percent between 2014 and 2024.

6) Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators develop and manage school curricula and other educational materials. They assess student progress and analyze test data. They also train educators on how to improve their lesson plans, as well as recommend teaching techniques or the use of new technology in the classroom. The average annual salary for instructional coordinators rings in at $62,460, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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