What Can You Do With a PhD in Leadership?

Jan 25, 2022

PhD programs in leadership typically include coursework on leadership theory, learning theory, and organizational change along with research requirements and electives that allow students to focus on leadership as it relates to educational institutions, businesses and non-profit or public organizations. This article will look at some career options you can consider after completing one of these degree programs.

Job Options for a PhD in Leadership

Job Title Average Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2020-2030)*
Business Professor $107,270 6%
Training and Development Manager $125,920 11%
Operations Research Analyst $92,280 25%
Postsecondary Education Administrator $115,200 8%
Management Analysts $97,580 15%
CEO $197,840 -6% (Chief Executives)

Source *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Descriptions for a PhD in Leadership

Business Professor

The standard degree for postsecondary professors teaching at 4-year colleges and universities is a PhD. A leadership PhD with a concentration in business or organizational management could set you up with the knowledge needed to teach college courses in these fields. As a professor, you'll create curricula for your classes, grade essays and exams, deliver lectures, and assign homework. Most colleges pay for semester-long sabbaticals so you can continue your research and writing in your specific field.

Training and Development Manager

As a training and development manager, you'll look for ways to improve the skills and knowledge of your organization's employees. Through a PhD program in leadership, you'll gain the understanding of educational theory needed to plan training programs. This knowledge will also come in handy when reviewing training materials that are currently used and working with other leaders in the company to make sure that hiring practices, new training, and continuing education programs are aligned with a company's goals.

Operations Research Analyst

As an operations research analyst, you'll collect data used to help improve an organization's decision making. The research methods and statistical analysis skills you'll learn in a leadership PhD program can prepare you for several of the job duties in this field, such as creating surveys and predictive models. You'll also use computer software to help analyze issues with your department and to better organize a company's production schedules and pricing.

Education Administrator

Leadership roles can be found in nearly every industry. In education, administrators are known as deans or provosts. As a dean, you'll be in charge of the faculty for your department. As a provost, you'll work with the president to manage all staff, including deans. In general, a PhD in Leadership with a concentration in education administration can train you for these position by familiarizing you with educational research methods, educational finance, and teacher evaluation methods.

Management Analyst

As a management analyst you'll study a business or organization and find any issues negatively affecting its efficiency. You'll likely look at the way an organization or business is structured and the procedures or systems it has in place. You'll study employment and financial data, and make recommendations for changes to management through the use of reports and presentations. Organizational design coursework in a leadership PhD program can give you a thorough understanding of what it takes to assess an organization. This position is also known as a management consultant.

Chief Executive Officer

A Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, is typically the top position of a company. You'll find that a PhD in Leadership could be very helpful in building the decision-making and problem-solving skills needed by CEOs to manage and provide direction for employees and make company decisions. Depending on the business, you could provide strategic planning for an entire company or focus on the financial or operations aspects of an organization. As a CEO, you'll answer to a board of directors.

A PhD in Leadership can lead to managerial careers in business, education, and public administration. Moreover, you can choose a degree program that will allow you to tailor your studies to the field you're interested in.

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