The Best-Educated Educators: What You Can Do as a Doctor of Education

Experienced educators like yourself have many choices as to how to grow your career in an industry that continues to evolve with new challenges and rewards. Innovative, collaborative leaders are in high demand, particularly as today’s administrative executives begin to age out of full-time roles and make the transition into retirement. Taking the opportunity to invest in your own education with a terminal degree can make all the difference in reaching your greatest goals for success.

Doctor of Education versus Doctor of Philosophy

The difference between a Doctor of Education (EdD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree has everything to do with your career goals. If you strive to be an academic with a strong theoretical research focus, the PhD path is right for you. However, if you want to be a hands-on administrator, with a chance to influence the real-world practicalities of higher education, the EdD has your name on it.

Doctor of Education degrees have been developed specifically to support professionals who seek to make a positive difference in the lives of students, alumni and staff, as well as in the communities they serve. The opportunity to impact the future of so many is a unique and important attribute of degrees in Higher Education Leadership.

Doctor of Education Degree Programs

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best program for your needs. Some of these include:

• Comprehensive curriculum that is continually enhanced to reflect current trends in higher education leadership.
• Specialization in higher education leadership with a focus on building partnerships and championing solutions.
• The opportunity to conduct practice-based research with real-world applications relevant to your interests and goals.
• Access to faculty advisors and cohorts who share your passion for improving operational foundations and, thus, the student experience.
• Online study and virtual residency options that allow you the flexibility to learn in harmony with your own teaching schedule.

Careers for Higher Education Leaders

Outstanding career positions exist for educators who seek to achieve a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership. While different in their specific levels of responsibility and influence, all educational leadership roles present the opportunity to effect lasting change.

Both growth and attrition have created openings for higher education administrators and executives, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizing the profession as growing “faster than average” (at 9%) through 2024. BLS statistics also indicate that the median annual wage for “post-secondary education administrators” at colleges and universities was $91,090 in May 2015. The top 10 percent of earners in this category averaged $174,280 per year.

According to data reflected on, the breakdown of median salaries for key roles in higher education leadership is as follows:

Chief Academic Officer $215,347
President $143,608
Provost $140,000
Dean of Students $ 94,643
Academic Dean $ 92,437
Postsecondary Education Administrator $ 91,160
Department Chair $ 78,869
Admissions Director $ 66,847

Investing in a Doctor of Education degree can pay off over the long run if you are serious about growing your future as leader in higher education. Maryville University’s ED.D. program is 100% online and offers the unique opportunity to graduate in as few as 32 months. To learn more, visit Maryville University online.

Sources – Should You Get an EdD of PhD?

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Postsecondary Education Administrators

Payscale – Doctor of Education Degree

EdD or not EdD?

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