Education administration majors will learn a combination of leadership and management skills needed to work as principals, policy makers, and other administrators in the field. Common courses included in an online PhD in educational administration are education theory and practice, teacher supervision and evaluation, school funding and budgeting, education law and ethics, leadership, principalship, and research methods, among others. At this level, students will also cater the curriculum to suit their individual research interests. Jobs may be found in academia, government, public or private schools, educational development, or with non-profit organizations.
Why a Ph.D.?
Students who earn their PhD in educational administration online will have the research credentials and industry knowledge to fill leadership positions in schools, non-profit organizations, educational development companies, or government agencies. Some Ph.D. graduates may also opt to teach at the college level. Many jobs as school administrators require at least a master’s degree. A doctorate can then open up a number of other opportunities in postsecondary education or education policy depending on your specific career goals.
Getting Into a Ph.D. Program
Given the rigorous curriculum and amount of advanced research required, students applying to a Ph.D. program should expect more strict admissions requirements. While each school will have their own criteria, below are a few common ones to consider:
- A master’s degree from an accredited university
- Official transcripts from all colleges you have attended
- Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
- GRE or GMAT test scores (if required)
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Application form and fee
- Statement of purpose
- Letters of recommendation
Inside an Educational Administration Ph.D. Program
Most online Ph.D. programs in educational administration take three to five years to complete. This can vary greatly however depending on the specific program requirements, level of enrollment, and how long it takes you to complete your dissertation. Core classes may include topics such as leadership in education, school funding and budgeting, teacher supervision and evaluation, curriculum development and assessment, and research methods, to name a few. Ph.D. students will also need to complete a dissertation. This is a lengthy academic research paper worthy of publication in a scholarly journal.
Since most online classes run in an asynchronous format, students are not limited by specific course times. Rather, they can work on their studies while still maintaining their regular work and family schedules. Video chat, interactive discussion boards, and virtual meeting technology all help to keep the learning process engaging. Any internship or field work requirements can be arranged in your local area as well.
What’s Next for Educational Administration Ph.D. Holders?
Once you have earned a Ph.D. in educational administration, you may be able to pursue jobs in public or private school administration, education policy, or academia. Employers might include elementary, secondary, or post-secondary schools, government agencies, educational development companies, and non-profit organizations. In terms of job prospects, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted stronger opportunities for postsecondary education administrators, with 19% growth anticipated from 2010 to 2020. This estimate was only 10% for elementary, middle, and high school principals for the same projection period.
In 2012, the reported mean annual wage for postsecondary education administrators was $99,370. Those who worked in medical and surgical hospitals earned the highest salaries at a mean wage of $115,740 per year. However, the most jobs were found with colleges, universities, professional schools, and junior colleges. Please also keep in mind, starting pay will vary based on level of experience, education, location, and the specific employer.