It’s an exciting time to be part of the higher education system. Today, universities and colleges leverage a significant quantity of resources to understand how to illuminate the different challenges that students face and improve the student experience. They seek answers on how to lead in an ever-changing academic landscape. A Doctor of Education (EdD) in Higher Education Leadership prepares graduates with essential leadership knowledge and critical competencies to tackle these challenges.
What Is an EdD?
Like the PhD, an EdD is a terminal degree. However, rather than focus on preparing students for careers in research, the EdD prepares students for administrative leadership roles. EdD coursework is practitioner-based. It focuses on providing students with the necessary leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills to make an impact in an evolving higher education field. Students who pursue EdD studies gain knowledge in quantitative research, data collection, strategy development, and other critical skills to address the pressing challenges in education.
Benefits: Online EdD in Higher Education
From developing strategies that can help solve problems in higher education to influencing policy at the highest levels, an EdD provides educators with an opportunity to shape the future of higher education. The following are three key benefits of earning an EdD in Higher Education:
1. Learn Strategies for Tackling Social and Technological Challenges
Educators and students are grappling with tough educational environments. In a recent article in Educational Leadership by Anthony Jackson, Jackson advocated for education that questions and investigates different perspectives. The ability to unpack different ideas is critical for both students and administrators.
Educational leaders can spearhead discussions on campuses with faculty and students to create safe spaces in their academic community. By working to understand different perspectives, administrators can foster schoolwide conversations about justice, activism, and education. They can also offer guidance to students who are interested in becoming more active on campus and off campus.
In addition to keeping pace with a changing social atmosphere on campuses, higher education leaders must learn how to manage a changing technological one. Both outside and inside the classroom, technology is emerging that can help facilitate learning in the classroom and improve university operations. Leaders face tough decisions on which technologies to invest in to make the lives of their students and faculty more fulfilling and secure. These technologies also bring added risks to security and may strain budgets if invested in too hastily. Leaders must take pause and explore how new technology investments will affect the curriculum and student interactions.
2. Delve Into Topics of Interest with Your Dissertation
Having the opportunity to discuss important topics in education is one of the many benefits of enrolling in a doctorate program. By diving into research, you have the chance to fully comprehend pressing issues in higher education and expand your investigations as you learn more throughout your study. The final result is a dissertation that dives deeper into subjects that are important to you as an educator. The dissertation gives you a chance to find solutions that you can implement as a leader in higher education. By immersing yourself in relevant higher education topics from day one in your coursework, you can start putting into practice what you are learning — in real time.
3. Stay Competitive in a Complex Education Environment
Administrators and educators face growing challenges to differentiate their universities, attract strong student bodies, and foster communities of individuals dedicated to reaching their full academic and civic potential. As more employers seek to hire employees that they don’t have to train, according to a recent article in Entrepreneur, universities are responsible for preparing graduates for jobs of the future. Over 20 million students attended college or university in 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. These students seek out a range of amenities on campus, as well as the ability to express themselves in extracurricular activities. They’re interested in classes in a range of subjects with challenging material with fellow students who are equally engaged in the material. It’s a tall order for higher education leaders. However, they know the payoff is equally high. Strong college communities translate into engaged students inside and outside of the classroom and offer them the chance to blossom into members of a global community who can excel in their chosen careers.
What Can I Do with an EdD?
EdD graduates can become teacher educators and academic advisers or move on to serve in college administrator roles, such as department dean and president. In addition to working in educational institutions and school districts, EdD graduates can serve as leaders in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and the private sector.
For educational professionals who strive to be seen as leaders in higher education, earning an EdD in Higher Education Leadership is an important step. As part of an EdD program, you can contribute to conversations about the challenges of a changing academic environment with fellow professionals. An EdD program also provides opportunities to learn how to incorporate research to create solutions while working with top minds in the field.