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What’s The Difference: Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership and Educational Leadership

Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degrees are rising across the board. According to Fortune, the best online Ed.D. programs have seen a steady upward trend of enrollment and completion rates due to the promising value the degree holds in the field of education. Unlike a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, an Ed.D. tells the world that you have obtained the necessary education to transform, refine, and create change in education for K-12 and postsecondary students. Therefore, an Ed.D. gives educators the boost to achieve the next level in their careers. Whether you’re interested in becoming a master high school teacher, assistant principal, headmaster, superintendent, or college instructor, an Ed.D. can give you the skills and strategies to become qualified to apply and be considered for such positions despite your previous background or degree. Dedicated to unlocking the potential of each aspiring educational leader, ACU Online offers two distinct Ed.D. programs in Organizational Leadership and Educational Leadership

However, like every student, each Ed.D. degree is different – with different courses, focuses, and even concentrations depending on your long-term goals. With the overflow of jargon and complex pathways to getting to where you want to be, it can be challenging to navigate the differences between the programs. 

We’ve broken down the top 3 differences between our two Ed.D. programs to help you better understand which program might be best for you. 

Job Opportunities

Under the Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership, you can expect to take classes dedicated to helping you become an effective organizational leader within your school, district, or organization. With job opportunities spanning from a dual-credit high school teacher, assistant principal, conflict manager, or educational manager, our Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership grants you the chance to take courses dedicated to personal development, positive leadership development, and organizational culture – all of which help you gain the skills necessary to reach that next level of compensation and career advancement. 

As businesses grow and expand, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the trend for qualified managers will grow upwards of 9% between 2020 and 2030, reaching nearly $85K annually. Aiming to build the next generation of organizational leaders, ACU Online allows you to positively influence organizations by expressing your vocation while applying assessment strategies to each context. 

Similarly, with the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, you can also expect to take classes dedicated to helping you become a proficient leader for more executive positions for schools or districts in big and small communities. With job opportunities spanning from becoming a principal, central office administrator, deputy superintendent, or superintendent, our Ed.D. in Educational Leadership allows you to take courses focused on business and communication practices to make you an exemplary applicant for roles requiring leadership skills and training. With the employment rate of school leaders predicted to increase by 4% within the next few years, you can rest assured your training within our program can open thousands of positions for you across a multitude of settings, including public and private K-12 institutions, colleges, and universities, while still being financially compensated at around $100K annually. 

Varying Specializations and Skills

Depending on your future career outlook, you also need to consider the type of specialization you are interested in pursuing. In conjunction, perhaps your goals align less with the front-facing challenges of education, and more with the internal challenges facing educators every day. As a student in our Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program, you’ll take courses geared toward creating transformational and solution-based change by exploring the principles of K-12 education and the learning curves that come with building (or rebuilding) school systems and classrooms. Through courses like Learning Instruction and Innovation, Schools as Organizations, and Effective Communication as an Educational Leader, you will explore the vastness of current research-based practices and theories to promote meaningful professional learning for all members of the school community while simultaneously becoming more aware of the challenges and responsibilities educational leaders have when it comes to fiscal and political policies. These hard skills are necessary for those looking to challenge the status quo and fight for their schools in order to promote radical change and diversity. 

As a student of the Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership program, you will become well-versed in managing the intricacies of various learning environments from a staff, supervisor and student perspective. Taking courses related to Leadership in Diverse Contexts, Human Resource Development, and Organizational Assessment & Evaluation, you will examine key concepts, methods, and approaches in the field to better understand the social and cultural attitudes of organizations. From the practical applications of leading diverse groups of faculty and staff members to delivering excellent employee training and career development, you will obtain the technical skills to change your school from the inside out. 

Dissertation Requirements

If time is what you’re looking to save, then joining the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program might be the right move for you. Designed to give you a jump start on your proposal and dissertation defense, this program works as a collaboration between you and your chair beginning in the second semester of your first year. Instead of waiting until your third or fourth year, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program is geared toward creating dissertation milestones with key dates and deadlines for you to make progress toward your proposal and defense from your very first course. While this pathway is a great selling point for those looking to get into the market fast, the journey may not be the easiest if you’re interested in exploring your research topic further during your first few semesters. Your research topic is incredibly important. Thus, if you find yourself looking to dive into the various topics on your time and schedule, then the Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership might be the right choice. Allowing you to take a more traditional route, the program is known for its flexibility and rigor without holding you to a specific topic during the first six months of your doctoral studies. In many ways, it’s all up to you and what works best for your end goals. 

The demand for Ed.D. programs is surging. And if you have the desire to become someone in the field who seeks to make a difference in K-12 institutions, isn’t it time you start working toward your goal? Don’t let another moment pass you by. Visit our website and learn how you can enroll today.  

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