What Can You Do With a Ph.D in Education?

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Possible career opportunities for people who earn a Ph.D. in education include administrative positions in public schools or at the college level, teaching positions in colleges and universities, research positions in education, and jobs in the government or private sector that require expertise in education. Often, the specialty area of the Ph.D. in education dictates what types of jobs are available.

Administrative jobs at the local school system level include superintendent and assistant superintendent positions, curriculum directors and technology directors. Superintendents are responsible for all of the system's employees. They set policy for the system, advocate for the system and represent it at the state level. Superintendents also prepare the budget. Assistants usually manage one specific area, such as buildings and maintenance or curriculum.

Curriculum directors set the policy for what is studied and how it is presented and work closely with teachers, training them to follow curriculum. Technology directors keep up with and integrate new technology into the schools. They also oversee teacher training in their area of expertise.

Administrative positions in colleges and universities frequently require a Ph.D. Deans, provosts, vice presidents and presidents of colleges typically have a doctorate in some field.

Most opportunities for professors in colleges and universities require a Ph.D. Those with advanced degrees in education usually teach prospective teachers in areas such as curriculum and methodology.

Positions in education research exist, as new information leads to improved teaching methods. A Ph.D. in education sometimes leads to developing a whole new program to sell to schools. Lobbying and working for the department of education at the state or federal level are other options. Private industry sometimes hires educational experts to help train employees or to develop training programs. Some of these people work as private consultants.