Why Earn a Doctorate in Education (EdD) Degree?

If you’re a professional looking to earn a Doctor of Education, there are a variety of EdD programs to consider. It’s important to carefully choose the program that best suits your personal career ambitions. If you have aspirations of becoming a leader in your field, enrolling in an EdD program may be the best route to take to give you the proper skills to be an effective organizational leader and to help you shine in the candidate pool.

Some professionals are reluctant to pursue doctorates due to time constraints or a lack of local doctorate programs. Other professionals would like to embark on a doctoral program but cannot afford to temporarily give up their jobs. Thanks to the advancements in online learning, working professionals can earn a Doctor of Education from home. USC Rossier Online now offers a Doctor of Education (EdD) in Organizational Change and Leadership that is a combination of online learning and real-world, hands-on experiences. Current and future leaders can enroll in the 60-unit program that focuses on problem solving, leadership, accountability and reflection. (Candidates with a master’s degree may be admitted with Advanced Standing and only need to complete 43 units to earn an EdD.) The online EdD program prepares current and emerging leaders for careers in leadership positions across a variety of private and public sectors. The flexible learning environment allows students to attend classes wherever there’s an Internet connection, making it easier for professionals to juggle work, school and family.

Is this EdD right for you?


USC’s online EdD is ideal for working professionals and leaders looking to advance their careers within higher education settings, K–12 schools and systems, private firms, non-profits and government organizations. The EdD offers professionals an opportunity to effect change in an organization by sharpening their communication, assessment, inquiry and management skills.

Learn More about USC Rossier’s online EdD

Doctor of Education jobs


The doctorate can prepare you for a host of leadership careers. This is just a sampling of potential positions:

  • Teacher trainer
  • Nonprofit director
  • Educational consultant
  • Leader in the armed services or police
  • Superintendent
  • Dean
  • Corporate trainer
  • College professor
  • Chief academic officer/Chief learning officer
  • Education researcher
  • Director of human resources in the private or public sectors
  • Education lobbyist
  • CEO
  • Curriculum specialist

What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD in education?


Not all doctorate programs are the same, and there are some distinctive differences between the EdD and the PhD.

  • Doctor of Education (EdD): An EdD is focused on building the skills and foundational knowledge to successfully address organizational, leadership and educational issues and apply these skills through real-world experiences.
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): A doctoral program is best for those on a research-based pathway. With a focus on research methodology, this degree is suitable for future college professors. Dissertation research focuses on national and international trends.

What is the difference between an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership and an MBA?


If you have interests in nonprofits, government agencies or human resources, both an MBA and an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership may seem like suitable programs. Here’s a breakdown of what each type of program entails.

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): MBA programs usually take two years to complete (for full-time students), and these programs will prepare graduates to become leaders in the business, government and nonprofit sectors. You will typically need to choose a specialization, like human resources and finance, which will be the focus of your studies. MBA programs are specifically geared toward students who come from (or plan on returning to) the business industry. MBA programs develop business leaders. The EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership program develops leaders who want to promote change and learning in an organization.
  • EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership: This 3–4 year program prepares students for leadership roles in a variety of settings including but not limited to the education field. There is no specialization; instead, you will be focusing on coursework that can be applied across multiple organizations. Additionally, students will write and defend a dissertation on an organization where they are currently working. If taken online through USC Rossier, students have the advantage of being able to enroll in this program.


If you are interested in earning an EdD and joining other organizational leaders in driving innovation and change, explore USC Rossier’s online EdD program.