Best PhD for Teaching Careers

Jul 29, 2019

Earning a PhD qualifies you to teach college and university students. Find out some of the best available subjects for becoming a teacher, and what you can expect to make when you earn your doctorate.

Almost any PhD will prepare you for a career as a teacher at the university level. Your best bet is to find a subject you're truly passionate about and will want to share with eager students. Listed below are examples of paths you could take as a PhD candidate.

List of Top PhDs for Teaching Careers


The act of teaching is a great point of research if you plan to become an educator. You may find several different tracks to choose from when pursuing a PhD in Education. For example, studying language and literacy can help you understand the perception of material through many different cultural windows. You can study languages and their development while analyzing the impact of socialization and disability. Another option is a track in school organization and educational policy, where you'll examine how educational institutions affect communication strategy and decision making.

Computer Science

Researching in computer science will give you the chance to study anything from artificial intelligence to robotics. Many different tracks are available when entering a program, allowing you to collaborate with faculty members in systems and networking, machine learning, or computer science theory. You'll use what you learn in your research projects and internships to help future students discover their passion in technology. You might have the option to pursue further specializations in computer science that supplement your existing research, including cognitive science or bioinformatics.


If you have a mind for how finance operates in the business world, you could turn your love of economics into a teaching career. Earning a PhD in Finance allows you to teach students about a number of topics that relate to economics and business. You can study under faculty members who are experts in behavioral theory as it relates to savings and portfolios or focus on pricing techniques and financial fragility. Some of the specific research tracks you might cover while in a finance PhD program can include macroeconomics, corporate finance, and asset pricing.


Do you love studying medicine, but prefer to examine books instead of patients? Many different options are available to you through a PhD in a medical field. You'll study under faculty members and practicing researchers/physicians who have experience in and out of clinical offices and labs. Epidemiology, biomedical science, and anatomy are just some of the areas you could study in a medical PhD program. Some universities also offer a dual degree program that combines a PhD with an MD.


Your love of music doesn't have to end in the recording studio. A PhD in music can open the door for you to instruct students in the art of composition or theory. Some universities may offer an interdisciplinary approach to the study of music, allowing you to explore topics in other areas like women's studies, romance languages, and media to benefit your existing research. You may need to study a foreign language before you graduate with a doctorate, allowing you to become an expert in reading several different methods of communication. You can pick from areas like ethnomusicology, creative practice and critical inquiry if you pursue a PhD in music.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

No matter what you choose to study for your doctorate, you can expect a positive result when you enter the job market after graduation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15% increase in college and university professor job openings through 2026, a much faster than average rate than the average career. During May 2018, the median salary for a postsecondary teacher was $78,470. This number can vary depending on the subject you teach; for example, computer science professors earned median salaries of $82,220, while education teachers took home $64,780.

Many different PhD options are out there if you plan to become a teacher. Ensure that you find a research area you are interested in once you begin applying, and think about what you will love to share with students in the future.

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