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What Kind of Work Can I Do With a Professional Doctoral Degree?

The right doctoral degree can help you start or advance a great career.

When you earn your professional doctoral degree from an on-campus or online university, you will gain unique qualifications that can open doors to the highest levels of your profession, giving you the power to translate your industry experience into a respected position of credibility, change-making leadership, and wide-reaching influence.

Unique Job Opportunities for Professional Doctoral Degrees

Walden University, an accredited institution, offers several online doctoral programs for experienced working professionals who choose to take their educations to the next level, enhance their skills, and advance their careers with a global focus and critical real-world knowledge.

What Kind of Work Can I Do With a Professional Doctoral Degree?

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) is an accredited doctorate program that features a choice of 11 specializations, from Accounting to Healthcare Management. Walden’s accredited Doctor of Business Administration program prepares you to work in a broad range of positions and business sectors, such as:

  • Private and nonprofit – consultant, top executive, contributor, manager, entrepreneur, business owner
  • Education – administrator, faculty
  • Government – contributor, manager

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that top executives earn a median annual salary of $107,680,1 while chief executives average annual salaries of $197,840.2

Doctor of Education (EdD) is an accredited EdD degree program for educators, which features thirteen specialization options. Walden’s EdD degree program prepares you for leadership positions in schools, colleges, school districts, and government organizations in the areas of administration, research, and education policymaking in the classroom and in a variety of other venues:

  • The K–12 setting
  • Higher education
  • Private organizations
  • Public institutions
  • Civil service

Elementary, middle, and high school principals—many of whom hole an EdD—earn a median annual salary of $98,490, according to BLS.3

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a CCNE-accredited online doctorate in nursing program. With a DNP from Walden, you will be ready and qualified to make significant contributions toward improving the quality of patient care and enhancing the training of nursing professionals. A sampling of higher-level positions includes:

  • Chief nursing officer (CNO)
  • Nurse administrator
  • Manager of informatics 
  • Nursing policymaker
  • RN director or manager
  • Clinical instructor  

According to Nursing.org, nurses with a DNP earn an average of $104,353 annually.4

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) is an accredited doctorate program that will prepare you to create budgets, hire staff, write grant proposals, oversee community awareness programs, and run fundraising efforts. With a degree from Walden’s DrPH program, one of the top online DrPH programs available, you will be prepared to pursue public health educator positions or administrative positions such as:

  • Health department director
  • Public health information officer
  • Health policy advisor
  • Public health consultant 
  • Health officer
  • Public health program director
  • Community health manager or director 

Salaries for these positions vary. For example, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, senior policy advisors average $144,526 annually while public health advisors average $73,391 annually.5

Doctor of Healthcare Administration (DHA) is a program offered by Walden University, a leader in healthcare education and one of an elite group of universities offering a fully online DHA program. Our innovative doctoral program can position you to attain a new level of credibility and recognition in your field and improve the healthcare experience for providers and patients. You’ll be qualified for executive roles such as CEO, CFO, and COO in a wide spectrum of settings, such as:

  • Ambulatory care facilities
  • Consulting firms
  • Healthcare associations 
  • Home health agencies
  • Hospitals and hospital systems
  • Integrated delivery systems 

Salary.com reports that, as of 2021, the average annual salary of a CEO of a physician practice is $441,822.6

Doctor of Social Work (DSW) features three specializations, including Advanced Clinical Practice and Supervision, Impact Leadership in Social Work Administration, and Social Work Education. Walden’s DSW degree program prepares you to be an authoritative advocate for social justice. Coursework enhances your ability to address societal challenges and make an even greater difference in the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Career options include:

  • Leader in agencies and organizations
  • Program director
  • Evaluator of social work practice and agencies
  • Supervisor in social work organizations

While there is a lot of variation in social worker and social services salaries, the National Social Work Workforce Study reports that PhD and DSW degree holders earn $20,000–$25,000 more than those with a master of social work degree.7

Your Doctoral Journey

Earning a doctorate won’t be easy, but as the No. 1 granter of doctoral research degrees in the U.S.,8 Walden knows what it takes. We’ll guide you every step of the way with a comprehensive suite of support resources designed to help you confidently pursue the finish line. Learn more about the many benefits of beginning your doctoral journey at Walden.

Start Advancing your Career Today!
Now that you have a better idea about the kind of work you can do with a doctoral degree, you don’t have to put your future on hold. Start planning to advance your career and fulfill your dreams with an accredited online professional doctorate from Walden University.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of these degree programs.

1Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm
2Source: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes111011.htm
3Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm
4Source: https://www.nursing.org/degrees/dnp.
5Source: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Employer=US_Department_of_Health_and_Human_Services/Salary/by_Job
6Source: https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/chief-executive-officer-physician-practice-salary
7Source: https://www.socialworkers.org/careers/career-center/kickstart-your-job-hunt/social-work-salaries
8Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Database (IPEDS) database. Based on the most recent year of completions survey data available, using all classifications of instructional programs (CIP) codes. A doctoral research degree is a PhD or other doctoral degree that requires advanced work beyond the master’s level, including the preparation and defense of a dissertation based on original research or the planning and execution of an original project demonstrating substantial artistic or scholarly achievement. Available at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/use-the-data. (Retrieved January 2021; may consist of or include provisional release data.) 

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