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Arkansas State University

Higher Education Roles You Can Get With an Ed.D. Degree

When it comes to advancing in higher education, additional schooling is typically one of the best ways to create more professional opportunities for yourself, particularly if you have aspirations to work in administration.

An advanced degree such as the online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration program from Arkansas State University (A-State) arms graduates with the education and skills that higher education institutions seek in prospective administrators for a variety of roles.

From organizational theory and assessment to finance management and beyond, Arkansas State’s specialized program gives educators the foundational knowledge required for successful leadership. Graduates will be ready to take theory- and research-based educational practices and apply them in order to address contemporary issues in higher education.

The following are a few of the roles and respective salaries that graduates of an Ed.D. in educational leadership degree can pursue:

Academic Dean

Academic deans are usually in charge of a specific department or college within a larger university, tasked with coordinating and managing a wide variety of functions and responsibilities. Establishing and maintaining academic policies and curricula, managing budgets and strategic plans and overseeing personnel matters at different levels are just a few of the high-level responsibilities of an academic dean in most settings. Successful professionals in this role possess strong leadership, organizational and communication skills in order to ensure the smooth operation of their departments, as well as extensive knowledge of academic planning best practices. They should also be able to adapt to the demands and changes of modern technology and help guide their departments.

Median salary as of 2022: $92,970 per year (via


As a provost, educators must maintain a keen awareness of goings-on throughout an entire university. Provosts have a hand in many different areas. They work with academic deans and other college heads to facilitate curricula development and hire faculty, advise the university president on academic policy and administrative issues and support the writing activities of all faculty members, including research, grant writing and publishing. Provosts are also crucial to planning a university’s long-term direction and growth, and they often oversee budget planning for academic and research areas. A strong provost possesses top-notch planning and organizational skills for both the short- and long-term, as well as the ability to remain impartial in the face of higher education political pressures to make appropriate, evidence-based decisions. Given their involvement in so many different facets of an institution, provosts should also excel at receiving feedback from other faculty members.

Median salary as of 2022: $169,942 per year (via

University/College President

A university or college president does it all, overseeing operations throughout campus on the academic and administrative sides. They serve a critical function as the institution’s leader and cultivate and maintain school policies, address faculty and student needs, handle annual budgets and more. The responsibilities of a university president require solid time-management, organization, communication and leadership skills. These high-level educators also need to regularly adapt to or take on new responsibilities as the job demands.

Median salary as of 2022: $155,616 per year (via

Chief Learning/Academic Officer

At a university or college, the chief learning/academic officer spearheads the academic planning and development. In tandem with other department administrators, they are responsible for creating, implementing and overseeing curricula. These officers craft the foundation of the university’s learning strategy and choose the appropriate technology and other tools to best support that approach. While these educators need to understand learning styles and modern academic best practices, they should have a strong cultural awareness and emotional intelligence. Many contemporary approaches to education require a holistic perspective that should be familiar to the best chief learning officers.

Median salary as of 2022: $140,000 per year (via

An Ed.D. in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration equips professionals with the leadership and educational knowledge to service higher education communities in any number of positions. With skills in organizational theory, assessment and accreditation, finance, policy and law, graduates can follow any number of career trajectories.

Learn more about Arkansas State University’s Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Higher Education Administration online program.

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