5 Careers for an Educational Leadership Doctoral Graduate

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Updated August 4, 2020

Educational Leadership Careers

  • University President
  • University Provost
  • Dean
  • Superintendent
  • Principal

Individuals considering an Educational Leadership Doctoral degree usually have one of the following five careers in mind. For some of them, a Doctorate is almost a necessity. Of course, the degree will definitely give you a leg up on the competition when you apply for any of these positions.

Resource: Top 10 Online Ed.D Programs in Educational Leadership

University President

A university president tends to "provide the university with long-range strategic vision" and develop ways to improve campus life. However, the position entails much more than that. Regular meetings with those in the college community and attending a variety of the school's events take up much of this individual's time. The high visibility of the position also means that the college president is directly involved with many of the school's public relations efforts, both positively and to help manage crises. Overseeing the athletics department is usually part of the job as well, which can be a pivotal one if the school's sports teams enjoy significant visibility. Fundraising is an important aspect of this position as well.

University Provost

A university provost determines a school's academic priorities as well as how funds are allocated to meet those expectations. This individual works closely with the college's president, deans, department heads and other affiliated people to ensure that the students are enjoying the best academic offerings possible. Recruiting, supporting and retaining top faculty members make up part of this job description as well. The provost will also look at how the university's schools relate to each other and if any improvements need to be made.


While a provost oversees a school's overall academic mission, a dean is responsible for a specific academic unit within the university. This person will usually develop, administer and promote that department's academic offerings. Hiring and retaining faculty is a significant part of this individual's job description as well. At some schools, he will also ensure that departments within that academic unit work together. For example, a university's communications department may be responsible for those studying journalism as well as students taking theatre classes. Fundraising is often a significant part of this person's responsibilities as well.


The superintendent is essentially the CEO of a school district. In many cases, she is appointed by a school board. This individual oversees the academic programs offered by the schools in the district and who is working at those schools, especially those in leadership positions there. The upkeep and development of new facilities is also under this individual's eye. How money is spent and what fundraising efforts are utilized to attain more of it are part of this person's job as well. However, simply setting a vision for the district and putting that plan into action is perhaps a superintendent's most important – and most visible – mission.


A principal is responsible for leading a high, middle or elementary school. Ensuring that money is spent in the most productive way possible is a significant part of what a principal does. He will also be responsible for hiring teachers and setting academic and other policies. Student recruitment may be necessary as well, especially if the school is a private one. The principal also tends to be a school's most visible individual, so she will need to be comfortable being in the limelight, both at the school itself as well as with the media.

An Educational Leadership Doctorate has also proved helpful to those already holding one of these positions. This is because the knowledge earned while completing this degree can be immediately put to use.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Master's in Education Degree Programs

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