Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Leadership for Higher Education

Career exploration guide

This guide provides tools to help you explore careers related to this specialization. Use this information to start researching this field and the opportunities in it. This research can help you make a transition into positions related to this field. Start by gaining an overview of this program and learning about the field, jobs, and employment settings that are related.

About this Specialization

The doctoral Leadership for Higher Education specialization integrates current, recognized theory and best practices with practical application. Learners engage in a curriculum that emphasizes leadership theories and models; higher education history, politics, law, assessment, funding and financing, human resource management and administration; and the future of teaching and learning. Throughout the specialization, learners focus on developing the research and problem-solving skills needed to meet leadership challenges in higher education and guide traditional and distance education programs. Successful graduates of this specialization are prepared to pursue academic or executive leadership positions at community colleges; universities; or other public, private, or for-profit postsecondary educational institutions.

Skills gained through this specialization:

This specialization was designed to help you gain the following skills related to this field:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Integrate technology effectively
  • Lead and manage change in higher education organizations
  • Develop and manage resources of higher education organizations
  • Develop and demonstrate personal leadership skills
  • Conduct relevant research
  • Value and promote diversity, equity and globalization for academic excellence

Explore this Field

Professional associations, social networks, and other industry-specific resources can provide a wealth of information about a specific field or industry, including best practices, career overviews, trends, and access to industry professionals. By reviewing website information, attending events, and connecting with people in the field, you can deepen your knowledge about the field. 

Professional Associations

Industry Information

Explore Jobs and Employers

In addition to exploring the field, take some time to research specific jobs and employment settings related to this program. Consider how these jobs and settings fit with your experience, skills, interests, and values. This is a sample list of job titles and employment settings related to this field. To learn more, review job postings and talk with people who have these roles or work in these settings. You can find these professionals through LinkedIn, family, friends, schools, employers, and community groups. Spend time researching your industry and prospective employers to decide whether this type of degree will help advance your career.

Related job titles to explore*

  • President
  • Provost
  • Vice president for academic affairs
  • Full-time faculty of education courses
  • Vice president for student affairs
  • Director of alumni relations
  • Director of academic advising
  • Director of student retention
  • Dean of diversity affairs
  • Dean of student affairs
  • Dean of external relations
  • Director of institutional research

Employment settings to explore

  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Community college
  • Adult education organization
  • Military education
  • Higher education research and policy organization
  • For-profit institution
  • Continuing education program
  • Technical college

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Job Boards

This is a sample of jobs boards with positions related to this field. Use them in your research to identify additional job titles, common hiring requirements, and local employers. 

Further Exploration

There are a lot of factors that influence whether a career is a fit or not. These can include monetary compensation, benefits, work environment, organization culture, work/life balance, etc. As you consider your career, think about what is important to you in your employer, role, and setting. These resources can help you perform this additional exploration.

For a more detailed guide on career exploration, review Capella’s Career Exploration YouTube series that helps you identify what is important to you in your career and how that aligns with the world of work. 


Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.