Why Earn a Doctorate in Education?

A Doctor of Education (EdD) degree may be a step worth exploring if you’re a professional who wants to become a leader in your field. An EdD program can provide the skills and education needed to be an effective organizational leader in the public or private sector 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 doctoral programs. Other professionals would like to embark on a doctoral program but cannot afford to temporarily give up their jobs. While it may seem daunting, there are options that can help you negotiate those challenges successfully. If juggling a full-time job while earning a degree feels like a stretch, an online EdD program such as the Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership online (OCL online) from USC Rossier may fit your schedule and needs. It offers a combination of online learning and real-world, hands-on experiences that enables busy professionals to take classes while continuing full-time work. 

Current and emerging leaders who enroll in the 60-unit program will focus on the following topics:

  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership
  • Organizational accountability
  • Effective, adaptable work environments

Candidates who already have a master’s degree in another area may be admitted with “Advanced Standing” and only need to complete 43 units to complete their degree. 

Is an Online EdD Right for You?

Why earn an online EdD? The Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership online (OCL online) from USC Rossier is ideal for working professionals and leaders looking to advance their careers within higher education settings, private firms, nonprofits and government organizations. The program offers professionals an opportunity to effect change in an organization by sharpening their communication, assessment, inquiry and management skills.

The flexible learning environment allows students to attend classes wherever there’s an internet connection, making it easier for professionals to balance work, school, and family.

EdD Careers

An EdD degree can help prepare you for a host of leadership careers. This is just a sampling of potential positions: 

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

Is an EdD Worth It?

Whether you’re a professional in human resources, higher education, business or government affairs, earning an EdD may help propel you into a leadership role or hone your skills in your current managerial, supervisory or administrative job. Top executives and leaders in a variety of fields—including nonprofits, higher education, human resources and government agencies—have the potential to earn annual salaries well into the six-figure range, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

EdD vs. PhD

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

Doctor of Education (EdD): An EdD focuses on helping individuals build the skills and foundational knowledge to successfully address organizational, leadership and educational issues in their field and to apply these skills through real-world experiences. EdD candidates typically use what they’ve learned in their programs to create effective organizational systems and positive work cultures.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): A PhD program is best for those on a research-based pathway. An individual pursuing a PhD may be interested in research in an academic setting and in becoming a college professor. They may also conduct research in non-university environments, too, including work in cultural institutions such as museums. A dissertation—an extensive scholarly research and writing project—is required in PhD programs.

EdD vs. MBA

If you have interest in nonprofits, government agencies or the human resources field, either an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) may seem like a suitable option. Here’s a breakdown of what each type of program entails. 

EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership online: This three- to four-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, the focus is on coursework that can be applied across multiple industries and organizations. Additionally, students will write and defend a dissertation on an organization where they are currently working. This program is available online through USC Rossier.

Master of Business Administration (MBA): MBA programs usually take two years to complete for full-time students. They prepare graduates to become leaders in the business, government and nonprofit sectors. Students can choose to specialize in an area such as human resources or finance. MBA programs are specifically geared toward students who come from or plan to return to the business industry. 

MBA programs develop business leaders while an EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership program develops leaders who want to promote change and learning in their organizations.

Do you want to join other organizational leaders in driving innovation and change? Explore the USC Rossier EdD in Organizational Change and Leadership online program.

Citation for this content:The USC Rossier OCL online program.