Question: What can I do with a Doctor of Education (EdD)?

Updated: February 1, 2024

Answer: Earning a Doctor of Education degree can prepare students for a wide range of careers both in and outside of academia. Many EdD graduates go on to top-level positions in PreK-12 or higher education, working in school or district administration, curriculum development, educational policy, research, teaching, or more. However, there are also options for those interested in leadership or training roles in business or corporate settings, the government, military, nonprofits, or nearly any sector, depending on one’s particular qualifications and degree specialization.

For the most part, EdD programs prepare students for careers in educational leadership, focusing on advanced theories and practical skills related to effective management, problem solving, and producing positive change in learning environments. Those who pursue this degree typically work in academia already, either as an educator or administrator, and are looking to advance in their current positions or move into higher level roles. However, an EdD can also be put to use in other industries, including those outside of academia. There are programs that focus on broader fields such as human resource development or organizational leadership, preparing students for careers not explicitly tied to education. To learn more about some potential career paths for EdD graduates, continue reading below.

Potential Career Paths in Education for EdD Graduates

There are a variety of career paths available in academia for those with a Doctor of Education degree. As discussed above, many EdD graduates take on administrative roles, overseeing institutions, programs, departments, or entire districts at the grade school or college level. Others work behind the scenes, using their expertise to develop and assess curricula or instructional methods, train other teachers, advocate for education reform, or further research in the field.

Below is a list of some common career paths one might pursue with an EdD. While many of these positions do not explicitly require an EdD, earning a doctorate can better prepare professionals for top-level positions, as well as help them stand out in the competitive job market.

  • Primary or Secondary School Principal
  • School District Superintendent
  • College President
  • Academic Dean
  • Provost
  • Admissions Director
  • Program Administrator
  • Chief Academic Officer
  • Chief Learning Officer
  • Professor/Instructor
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Teaching Coach
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Director of Assessment
  • Educational Advisor
  • Education Lobbyist
  • Public Policy Leader
  • Education Researcher
  • Director of an Educational Organization or Company
  • Charter School Executive Director
  • Education Consultant

Note: Some of the administrative roles listed above, such as principal or superintendent, may require additional training and/or state-specific licensure that is separate from earning an EdD.

Students can also choose to specialize in a certain aspect of education, pursuing their EdD in a specific area of interest or instructional setting. Programs are available in a wide range of specializations, including early childhood education, education policy, curriculum and instruction, education technology, special education, community college leadership, adult education, student affairs administration, and more. Below are a few examples of careers related to these degree concentrations.

  • Education Technology Specialist
  • Director of Special Education
  • Adult Education Director
  • Vocational School Director
  • Community College Administrator
  • Director of Education Accessibility
  • Preschool or Childcare Director
  • Dean of Online Programs
  • Director of Student Affairs
  • Education Policy Specialist
  • Literacy Program Director
  • Health Education Coordinator
  • Director of Career Advising

There are many EdD specializations available for students interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in education. To learn more about the different concentrations, check out our Online EdD Program Specializations page.

Potential Non-Academic Career Paths for EdD Graduates

Along with the education focused specializations discussed above, there are EdD programs that prepare students for leadership roles outside academia. Students can choose to concentrate more broadly on organizational leadership, human resources, or entrepreneurship, and even take coursework in niche areas such as nursing or healthcare administration. Graduates of these programs can be found working in the public or private sector for businesses, corporations, nonprofits, the government, military, or other organizations, either in management positions or as educational experts, leading or developing employee training programs.

The following are examples of careers outside academia students might pursue with an EdD, depending on their particular degree focus. Keep in mind, some positions may require additional licensure, training, or certification.

  • Training and Development Manager
  • Human Resources Manager/Director
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Executive of Non-Profit or For-Profit Company
  • Government Administrator
  • Non-Profit Director
  • Program Improvement Specialist
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Social or Community Service Manager
  • Survey Researcher
  • Leader in Armed Forces
  • Healthcare Administrator
  • Professional Development Specialist