In recent years, traditional research-based Ph.D.doctorates have been supplemented by career orientated professional doctorates. Professional doctorates are not aimed at preparing a person for a career in academia, but rather to allow them to deepen their understanding of a field and foster innovative new ideas.
The doctorate of education qualification is widely considered to be the first of the professional doctorates offered by American institutions. It was first offered by Harvard University in 1921 as a way of creating practical expertise more suited towards implementation as opposed to academia.
Studying for a doctorate in education can set you up for a number of very deep careers helping in the hugely diverse educational environment. Deciding what your career path will be is very important before applying to study. Knowing what you want to do with your new degree will allow you to specialize in your study and network accordingly with your peers.
We have compiled a list of some of the most interesting career paths you can take with the help of a doctorate in education.
Chief Learning Officer
Chief learning officers are tasked with the academic development of an institution. Using innovative new ideas and technology, a chief learning officer seeks to catalyze the academic prowess of their employing organization. In recent years, chief learning officers have been responsible for the planning and execution of online learning strategies. This work's value has become extremely obvious during the current COVID-19 pandemic – with a huge amount of learning being undertaken using online platforms.
College presidents are often the highest-paid staff members of an institution. They need to be highly motivated, business savvy, and capable of long-game strategic planning in education. It is the high point in many educational careers and allows you to really push for the betterment of an educational institution.
A doctorate isn’t all you’ll need to become a college president. You’ll need a proven track record of innovation in both business and education, a well thought out plan for the improvement of the institution, and amazing interpersonal skills. Networking, budget planning, staff hiring, and academic planning are all tasks that a college president will need to be top-notch at. If this is a career you want to have, you’ll need to begin building up a portfolio of your education administration achievements and work hard on a core ethos that drives your plans.
School superintendents are in an executive position within local school districts. They work in collaboration with school boards and principles to ensure the safe and successful running of the district’s educational facilities. It is a job defined by politics and multitasking.
As superintendent, you’ll be tasked with hiring staff, setting goals, securing budgets, and pleasing the often varied and contradictory desires of teachers, parents, and board members. You will need to be supportive of student and staff wellbeing and have a genuine love of learning. For those with the right priorities, this job can be frustrating, satisfying, and an absolutely amazing work experience. The best superintendents are valued additions to the school system they serve.
This role is often practiced in a freelance capacity, but you can earn your doctorate in education online, which makes it an easier career to achieve. An educational consultant is hired by academic institutions, local governments, and think tanks to create an innovative and futureproof educational strategy that fits in with the aims of the hiring body. It can be very challenging and varied work and requires deep research and out of the box thinking.
Educational consultants need to be willing to embed themselves within an institution in order to identify issues that need to be corrected and to also be able to take a look at what needs to be done in order to allow institutions to adapt and react to society as a whole. You’ll need to battle inequality in learning whilst keeping the parent institution's business aims in your plans. It's tough stuff, but you’ll be rewarded with great pay and varied, fascinating work.
When hired by a governmental organization or think tank contracted to work for the government, you’ll need to take into account the political potency of education when formulating plans for your consultee. This is a fine art indeed.
Academic deans do very important work within educational institutions. They manage faculty and staff, set academic goals, and ensure that there are the correct amount of students enrolled. They have a dual academic and business part to play and are expected to be experts in both fields.
Academic deans are crucial to the success of an institution, and when you gain a reputation as a dean to be entrusted, you’ll be in great demand. Universities around the world regularly headhunt for academic deans, offering them great pay, interesting work, and a constantly evolving workspace. You need to keep up to date with trends and innovations in higher education if you want to succeed as an academic dean, and can’t rest on your laurels for too long.
Executive Director of Education
As you might be able to guess, the executive director of education at an academic institution or non-profit trust is an extremely important person. They work with boards of directors, ultimately having executive control over the day to day running of an organization. You’ll need to specialize in knowing the business of education when completing your doctorate. Managing budgets, staff, signing off on programs, and equipment purchasing are all tasks you’ll need to be adept at.
The business decisions you’ll be involved in making will affect the education of likely hundreds, if not thousands, of people. It is certainly a big responsibility, but it is a senior job that suits a person keen to administer education fairly and efficiently and has a passion for turning around struggling organizations using your business and education experience. Generally, pay fluctuates from institution to institution, but more often that not it is usually one of the highest paid jobs in the organization.