What Can You Do With a PhD in Education?

Those who want to earn a PhD in education may choose from degree concentrations in areas such as early childhood leadership, early childhood special education, educational leadership and management, or higher education leadership. This degree can pave the way for graduates to secure jobs in education administration or in training and development management.

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Securing a PhD in education gives graduates a good understanding of how the education system operates and how to properly manage all facets of educational institutions. They have learned how to be effective leaders and should have the skills necessary to analyze data and uncover problems. Additionally, those holding this degree should be familiar with methods and policies that could aid in solving issues they may encounter. Graduates have access to high end education jobs, some of which are listed in the table below.

PhD in Education Jobs/Salary

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Instructional Coordinators $63,750 11%
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals $94,390 8%
Postsecondary Education Administrators in Admissions $92,360 (Postsecondary Education Administrators) 10% (Postsecondary Education Administrators)
Training and Development Managers $108,250 10%
Postsecondary Education Teachers $64,020 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Educational Evaluation and Research
  • ESL Teaching
  • International and Comparative Education
  • Library Science and Related Professions
  • Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Education for Specific Levels and Methods
  • Teacher Education for Specific Subject Areas
  • Teaching Assistant

PhD in Education Careers

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators create and organize training conferences and workshops for teachers. They meet with instructors to discuss the implementation of curriculum standards and analyze student test data. Additionally, they review and recommend educational materials such as textbooks and develop ways that instructors can work them into their curriculum. Since most positions require at least a master's degree in education, those with a PhD will increase their chances of securing such a job.

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

Elementary, middle, and high school principals establish school curriculums, set curriculum standards, and determine class schedules. They monitor the performance of teachers and meet with parents and teachers to discuss students' behavior and performance. Furthermore, they establish security standards for students, educators, and visitors, and handle the discipline of students. At least a master's degree is required, and having a PhD in education will give prospective job seekers a good understanding of the education process and the institutions that are a part of its makeup.

Postsecondary Education Administrators in Admissions

Postsecondary education administrators working in admissions help educational institutions determine how many students will be admitted. They work to get prospective students to apply and review their applications to figure out if they are eligible for admittance. Furthermore, they generate promotional materials and analyze their effectiveness. While individuals in this field might have master's degrees, holding a PhD in education allows them to be very versatile and competitive in the field.

Training and Development Managers

Training and development managers observe employees within an organization to determine their training and development needs and monitor and manage their implementation. They meet with managers and administrators to determine their strategic goals and create training programs that are designed to achieve them. Additionally, they effectively use available resources to create training programs and analyze vendor training materials. In education, training and development managers might supervise instructional designers and instructors. Some positions require at least a master's degree, so applicants with a PhD in education should be competitive in this growing arena.

Postsecondary Education Teachers

Postsecondary education teachers aid in the development of future administrators and teachers. They may instruct students on how to manage young learners, fellow educators and administrators. Additionally, they will ensure that future educators have the proper leadership and teaching skills to guide and prepare students under their charge. Teaching and conducting research at a university usually requires a PhD.

In gaining a PhD in education, recent graduates have a good understanding of how educational institutions operate and should have the leadership and analytical skills necessary to institute policies designed to make teachers more effective. This knowledge, combined with their understanding of management, gives them the ability to secure careers within education at the highest levels.

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