Online EdD degree programs with multiple specializations provide the best options for focused doctoral training in the career path you desire.

Instructor speaks with adult students in a classroom setting.

An EdD (doctor of education) degree prepares education professionals from a variety of settings to be effective and influential leaders by providing knowledge, insights, and strategies that can be applied immediately in their jobs.

Online EdD programs, like Walden University’s accredited Doctor of Education program, provide a comprehensive approach that covers critical decision-making and leadership skills, as well as the doctoral study experience of designing, implementing, and assessing original research in a variety of subject areas. Walden’s EdD degree program, for example, emphasizes the application of research and theory to address complex, real-world issues of practice.

Career Options for EdD Graduates

With a Doctor of Education, education professionals are prepared to pursue professional, academic, administrative, research, or clinical positions in the K–12 setting, higher education, private organizations, public institutions, and civil service. A sampling of career options includes:

  • School Principal – School principals manage daily school activities, coordinate curricula, and oversee teachers and other school staff to provide a safe and productive learning environment for students. The median annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school principals was $87,760 in May 2012.*
  • Superintendent – As the top executive of a school district, a superintendent oversees educational programs, spending, and facilities as well as hiring, managing, and supervising the staff of all educational facilities within the school district. The median annual wage for school superintendents was $113,000 in 2014.
  • Education Administrator – Administrators direct and coordinate activities for teachers, other administrators, and support staff at schools, public agencies, and higher education institutions. In 2014, the median annual wage for education administrators in colleges, universities, and professional schools was $88,390, while the median annual wage for education administrators in elementary and secondary schools was $89,540.§
  • University Professor – In addition to teaching, professors conduct research and publish scholarly articles or books, design their own curriculum for the classroom, and consult and advise students individually. In 2012, university professors earned a median annual wage of $68,970.**
  • Instructional Coordinator – Through a blend of learning and organizational theory, educators can develop expertise in the latest research and best practices in curriculum design, professional development, and program assessment. Instructional coordinators help improve learning outcomes for students from the district level up to the federal level as well as for employees in corporate training programs. In 2012, instructional coordinators earned a median annual wage of $60,050. ††

Walden University’s Online EdD Program

Walden University’s Doctor of Education program offers ten specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals. Each specialization delivers a highly focused learning experience for teachers, principals, superintendents, higher education administrators, curriculum specialists, and other professionals who are required to demonstrate strong, evidence-based decision making:

  • Educational Administration and Leadership (Non-Licensure) – This specialization prepares you to be an effective and influential leader in any setting, from early childhood to higher education. A dynamic combination of foundational courses, real-world case studies, interactive tools, and doctoral intensive support courses can enable you to conduct original research about a real problem facing your students, institution, or community.
  • Higher Education and Adult Learning – This specialization prepares you with the high-level skills needed to design, develop, and lead successful adult learning programs in higher education venues, corporations, and workforce development settings. Adult learning programs can become catalysts for positive change across workplaces and institutions.
  • Community College Leadership – This EdD specialization is designed for educators who desire to become effective leaders in 21st-century community colleges. It is also an ideal EdD degree program if you strive to be a successful leader in business and policy development related to higher education. Your doctoral-level training as a scholar-practitioner prepares you to become a change agent for social justice and innovation in your field.
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment – This specialization is designed for educators who want to drive systemic innovation and change, from the district to the federal level. Students can develop expertise in the latest research and best practices in curriculum design, professional development, and program assessment.
  • Early Childhood Education – This Doctor of Education specialization will help you better understand the influences of family, culture, and society on early childhood development. You’ll be prepared with the skills and knowledge to navigate the early childhood landscape and become a results-oriented leader, effectively advocating and implementing positive change.
  • Higher Education Leadership and Management – If you work in higher education, this specialization will help prepare you for administrative, leadership, or management positions in community colleges, online and on-campus universities, state and government agencies, or research organizations.
  • Higher Education Self-Designed – Offering the flexibility to personalize your plan of study, this unique specialization option allows you to examine 21st-century higher education institutions, evaluate the relevance of current education models, and understand how to maximize efficiency, productivity, and sustainability as a leader within today’s higher education settings.
  • Reading, Literacy, and Assessment – As an educator who strives to have a positive impact on reading and literacy, this doctoral specialization will prepare you to become an influencer in your school, district, and beyond. You will gain a deeper understanding of the varied influences on literacy and the best practices in teacher professional development and reading and literacy, as well as curriculum design, instruction, evaluation, and assessment.
  • Special Education – This specialization prepares you to enhance your skills and advance in the growing field of special education. Qualified educators with graduate degrees are in demand for leadership positions in school districts, colleges and universities, and communities. Coursework focuses on leadership and policy, program development and assessment, and collaboration and ethical practice.
  • Educational Technology – The evolution of educational technology is driving changes in the ways in which we learn at school, work, and home. This EdD degree specialization is designed to update your knowledge of the latest computer technologies and instructional design principles, preparing you to develop and lead technology-supported solutions to learning challenges in the classroom and training room.

A Graduate’s Experience

“What motivated me to go with the EdD program was that it offered the courses that I needed to become a stronger leader in education and to be a scholar, which is ultimately what I wanted to do.”
—Suzette Henry
Doctor of Education (EdD) Graduate

Walden University, an accredited institution, has been serving the higher education needs of adult learners for 45 years. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 U.S. states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or certificates online at Walden.

Explore Walden University's online college degrees in education and position yourself for success inside and outside of the classroom. Earn your education degree in a convenient format that fits your busy life.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Elementary, Middle and High School Principals, on the Internet at

†American Association of School Administrators (AASA), 2014 Superintendent Salary and Benefits Study, on the Internet at

§Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Education Administrators, Postsecondary, on the Internet at

‡Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School, on the Internet at

**Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Post-Secondary Teachers, on the Internet at

††Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014–2015 Edition, Instructional Coordinators, on the Internet at

Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to

Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.

Prospective Washington state students are advised to contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction at 1-360-725-6275 or to determine whether Walden’s programs in the field of education are approved for teacher certification or endorsements in Washington state. Additionally, teachers are advised to contact their individual school district as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Online Learning For Working Professionals

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