Leadership positions available with EdD compared to PhD

Leadership positions available with EdD compared to PhD

If you love to impact your immediate society and community, becoming a leader is a great way to achieve this. As an educational professional, one way to position yourself for leadership is by earning a Doctor of Education (EdD). Professionals who get this degree are prepared for leadership roles within and outside the school environment, particularly in private, government, and nonprofit organizations. Employers also seek these graduates since they can identify and solve issues from multiple perspectives.

Have you enrolled in a Doctor of Education or considering it? Below are five leadership roles available to you as a graduate:

College president

College presidents are the leaders of colleges or the university. They set strategic visions for the school, oversee the organization of school events, spearhead fundraising, deliver speeches, and represent the school in public. They maintain a positive image of the school in the community as they are held accountable for any wrongdoing. They also collaborate with other school administrators to devise new ways to improve quality and maintain academic standards. This role is challenging, but the pay is worth it.


While becoming a college president may be a long-term goal, in the meantime, you can be appointed as a provost. The provost of any institution is a senior-level academic administrator who assists the president. This office collaborates with the heads of departments and deans of faculties to allocate resources to various departments. They also support school initiatives and supervise staff members’ daily operations and work.


An EdD specializing in leadership allows you to work as a superintendent for a school district. This leader supervises the school under the designated district. The number of schools under you depends on your location. The superintendent’s office handles expenditures and payroll, conducts elections, runs school programs, and supports technology services.

Academic dean

Deans of universities or colleges are senior administrators. Although their roles vary depending on the school, they often manage the faculties under their jurisdiction, implement strategic academic goals, oversee the department’s budgets, promote student development, and support research initiatives within the school. Deans work in admissions, student affairs, research, and advancement departments. These offices perform specific functions needed for the overall growth of the college.

Chief learning officer

Away from leadership in the educational sector, a Doctor of Education can lead in various capacities, such as being an organization’s chief learning officer. Organizations hoping to get ahead of their competitors often hire learning officers to coordinate and train staff. They understand that top-notch training keeps their employees competitive with their counterparts in other organizations. The chief learning officer also ensures employees enjoy their time at the office and customers are satisfied with the quality of service they receive. This role is expanding its scope thanks to technology.

Education policy analyst

Education policy analysts work in schools, nonprofit organizations, lobbying organizations, and the public and the private sector. They research educational topics, evaluate the effects of education policies, and research to produce articles and reports. Using this research, they make policies for the present and the future.

Director of a nonprofit organization

Nonprofit organizations prefer candidates with advanced degrees. An EdD equips graduates with the theoretical and practical problem-solving skills necessary to lead any organization. Because these organizations face multiple challenges daily, they need an expert versed in problem-solving. These leaders oversee the budget, hire and manage staff, and supervise external relations and fundraising initiatives.

Human resources manager

Graduates of EdD who wish to venture into the corporate world can specialize in human resource management. This field coordinates and trains employees in compliance with the company’s policies. Degree holders interested in legislation can also consider this field.

Five reasons to get an EdD

Pursuing a doctorate is a big decision, especially because it consumes time and resources. However, if you’re looking to maximize your earning and career potential, you must take this leap of faith. Here are five reasons to earn your EdD:

Become a better educational administrator

The education sector is a rapidly changing field. Some innovations we see today were not present 10 years ago. As the world tilts toward technology and the rise of artificial intelligence, administrators must think out of the box to manage their domain. An EdD expands your scope of knowledge and experience to solve problems and fix loopholes in the educational system you manage.

Leverage technology

Thanks to the rise of many online institutions, students can get a degree (up to PhD level) from the comfort of their homes. This means that conventional classrooms are gradually phasing out. Technology is used in classrooms and training rooms to train staff. With basic computer skills, one can make a major impact.

Boost your resume

It is nearly impossible for an employee to overlook an applicant with an EdD, especially if your job experience fits the role advertised. Whether you want to pursue a career in the educational field, government, or private sector, this degree is useful. It helps your application stand out from the rest. Your professional and leadership experience also adds extra appeal to your application.

Gain tools to effect change

An EdD curriculum is filled with courses on effective communication, management, and other in-demand skills for the 21st-century workplace. Organizations face daily challenges that require leadership to solve. Your employer will feel at ease knowing there’s someone with a multifaceted approach to addressing such problems.

Admission requirements for an EdD program

Before applying to an EdD program, you must have the educational requirements. It starts with putting together a strong application supplemented with the necessary documents. Having the correct documents attached can increase your chances of getting accepted. So, what do you need to be admitted to this program? Here are the requirements:

Master’s degree

No one will let you advance to a doctorate without a master’s degree. Most schools (online and offline) have a minimum requirement of a 3.0 GPA or above. Check the school’s website to confirm that you qualify before applying.

Professional experience

Most people applying for advanced degrees are full- or part-time workers. However, for an EdD, the schools expect applicants to have professional experience in the field to which they are applying. While some universities say five years, others are okay with three years of experience.

Personal statement

A personal statement explains why you want to undertake the study. This piece of writing should be carefully written because it will help convince the school that you are worth giving the opportunity. The statement lays out your interest in the course, goals, achievements, experience, and passion for the degree.

Letters of recommendation

Most doctorate programs require candidates to submit letters of recommendation from their former bosses. Your supervisor, professor, or other professionals within your space can also write to vouch for your character and dedication to duty.


Your resume for an EdD application is mostly similar to the one you submit to employers. However, it is slightly different because it highlights your accomplishments and professional experience in the field of education only.


After vetting the documents submitted, many schools conduct interviews to confirm that the candidate’s claims are true. Prospective doctoral students who wish to pursue an online degree follow similar steps as online institutions have comparable application requirements. The only difference is that the documents are uploaded and submitted online, after which an interview is scheduled.

How to boost your EdD application

Some say gaining admission into a Doctor of Education takes a lot of work. Well, the process is only complicated for people who do not know the steps. Of course, this course is competitive, considering its benefits. Applicants must stand out in their applications to be given a place in the course. Here’s how you can boost your chances of landing admission:

Research the program

All universities list admission requirements for various degrees. Applicants interested in any program must check if their background, goals, and experience match these requirements. Better still, these institutions have course advisors to guide you in your chosen career. Applying when you don’t meet the standard requirements is a waste of your time and resources, so make sure you’re informed.

Highlight your leadership skills

EdD students are trained to be leaders. However, they need prior leadership skills before gaining admission. An institution will want to gauge your passion for leadership before offering you admission. Outlining your leadership experiences may seem like boasting, but that’s what is expected of you. Mention specific projects and how you managed them to their completion. Also, explain how you managed a challenging situation—the kind that everyone thought would break the company. These convincing details help to highlight your skills and give you an edge.

Strengthen your recommendation letters

Your recommendation letters should be written by someone higher than you in rank. They must have worked with you on a project and be able to confirm your leadership skills. It is advisable to present your reference with key materials for the letter. If they insist on writing it alone, show them evidence of your qualifications, academic, and leadership skills. This boosts your chances of getting the job.

Identify your interests

The term “Leadership” is broad. While getting an EdD equips you to be a leader, you have specific interests. PhD graduates are also leaders in their field, but they choose another path. If both degrees prepare you to become a leader, what is the difference between a PhD and EdD? While the former focuses on research, the latter emphasizes the practical application of the research. Therefore, leaders seeking roles across industries prefer an EdD over PhD. At Rockhurst University, professionals can obtain an EdD degree online in only two years.

Advantages of earning an EdD online

Many have argued that online programs offer a different quality than conventional schools. The COVID-19 pandemic and the eventual shutdown of many schools changed that perspective. According to a labor market analytics firm, EMSI, more people completed their doctoral degrees in education online than in person in 2020. This shows that the investment in online learning is paying off. More people now understand its importance, unlike in the previous decade. The trend will continue to accelerate until conventional classrooms become obsolete. Online doctoral programs follow the same curricula as regular ones while allowing you to balance additional responsibilities.

Here are three reasons you should consider earning an EdD online:

Enjoy transfer Credit Policies

Transfer credit is the credit a university or college grants before learning. It is no news that most universities with residency requirements do not offer transfer credit. However, online degrees may accept up to 24 credit hours or at least 40% of the required credits. This is possible because most online institutions are built to meet the demands of nontraditional students.

Avoid hidden Costs

When you enroll for your doctorate online, you pay your tuition fees, buy additional books if you want, and use the internet to take your classes. With offline degrees, you incur more expenses than you bargained for. On-campus, you have your rent to settle, utility bills payment, recreation fees, and all other costs associated with living on or traveling to campus. These costs sometimes become higher than the tuition. Online degrees are not only flexible, but they are also cost-effective.


Many online doctorate programs assign mentors to students to help them with questions and motivation. These experts understand that taking a doctorate from home is arduous, especially because you have to do it alongside your job. It is also easier to give up and focus on your job, so they assign someone to help you navigate the challenges. While there are mentors in conventional schools, scheduling an appointment with them may be challenging. With online mentorship, all you need to get started is to schedule an online meeting whenever you’re available. Mentorship doesn’t end with a counselor discussing your academic challenges. You can consult resources online to help reenergize yourself whenever you hit an obstacle in your studies.

Considerations when completing your Doctor of Education

Completing this degree requires financial, intellectual, and emotional commitment. It is important to have a plan in place to ensure that you are on top of your academic work. Here are some skills to consider:

Time management

Because earning a doctorate is time-consuming, one needs to plan their time to create a studies/work/life balance. You want to be able to balance your academic work with whatever other commitments you have in your life, whether that be with working, family, or maintaining a healthy social life. It is also important to section off time to just relax. Sometimes, it is easy to get carried away in a particular task or activity, and passion is always good. But if you are not deliberate about your time, you can run the risk of missing deadlines and becoming behind on your work, which will create more work later down the line.

The best way to avoid this and stay on track is to set a weekly or daily calendar and stick to it. This keeps you in check during your studies. Managing your time might sound difficult or unnecessary, but when exam season comes around, you will be thanking yourself for planning ahead.


Many prospective students can form unrealistic expectations around the work involved in a course, which can lead to difficulty. A doctorate requires time and conscious effort, and there is no denying that this places additional pressure on you. Gaining a degree opens so many doors and gives you access to countless opportunities, but it can be hard work, so make sure you are prepared.


Academic writing is a skill to be practiced, perfected, and continually checked and honed. A significant proportion of your work will be graded based on your writing technique—fluency, clarity, and even how enjoyable it is to read. After all, the assessor will be marking potentially hundreds of papers, and they will reward those that stand out. Writing at a doctorate level is far superior to that at a master’s and bachelor’s level. It is complex and requires expert skills. Universities are not expecting everyone to be perfect at first, of course. Therefore, there are many services in place to support students in their writing—use them!


An EdD degree helps leaders resolve real-world problems in learning and education. The opportunities are enormous, and the BLS is positive about the future. Because of the popularity of EdD in recent times, the stakes for admissions are high. Thanks to online institutions, you can obtain a degree without the hassles on in-person study. However, you must follow the steps outlined in the article. To get the best out of this degree, continue with the enthusiasm with which you started during the application process. With determination, you can ace your courses and become the Doctor of Education you want to be.

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