Career Information for a Degree in Educational Leadership
Master’s and doctoral degree programs in educational leadership train students to take on management and leadership roles in elementary, secondary and post-secondary school settings. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for educational leadership graduates.
There are multiple levels of educational leadership positions, all of which require at least a master’s degree. As an admission requirement, some programs may mandate that you hold state licensure as a teacher or administrator. Responsibilities can range from curriculum development and hiring and firing to overall supervision of and responsibility for an entire school system.
Graduate programs in educational leadership are intended for professionals who are interested in enhancing leadership and management skills to provide a better educational environment for students, teachers and staff. Such programs combine research methods, theory and important topics in education to instruct academic leaders in communication and problem-solving skills, which will allow graduates to implement best practices in schools or school systems. Some degree programs include state teacher or administrator licensing as an admission requirement, while others offer licensing and certification as part of the degree. Programs often provide flexibility for working school professionals pursuing a degree mid-career.
Programs often provide flexibility for working school professionals pursuing a degree mid-career. Upon graduation, students may consider a number of careers in educational leadership positions. A brief review of three popular professions is included below.
Instructional coordinators, also known as curriculum specialists or directors, use their expertise in curriculum development and instruction to design and implement changes to educational programs, school technology, teaching methods and academic policies. An instructional coordinator observes and evaluates teaching and administrative staff to improve the quality of education a school offers. Some may focus on teaching programs and materials, including textbooks, computers and software. They also ensure compliance with academic standards and regulations at the local, state and national levels.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected excellent employment opportunities for instructional coordinators, with job growth of 7% for the 2014-2024 decade. Growth can be attributed to an increased emphasis on raising academic standards, improving education and greater accountability, the BLS said. As of May 2015, the BLS reported mean annual salaries of $64,870 for instructional coordinators.
Principals supervise the daily operations of an individual school, serving as a manager for school staff, visible authority figure for students and a point of contact for parents and community members. In addition to overseeing the hiring and evaluation of teachers and support staff, principals work with educators and administrators to assess the needs of the school and establish policies, programs and standards. Principals monitor disciplinary or attendance problems, addressing students and their parents to resolve issues. They may also perform administrative duties related to long-term planning and setting budgets for the school.
The BLS predicted nearly-average job growth between 2014 and 2024 for elementary, middle and high school principals, due to advances in student enrollment numbers which create a need for more schools and principals. According to the BLS, fluctuations in state and local government funding can limit growth in this field, however. Principals and other elementary and secondary educational administrators earned a mean annual salary of $92,940 per year in 2015, the BLS reported.
School superintendents are top administrators for school districts and are responsible for the administration of one or more schools in that system. Working with school boards or educational committees, superintendents guide the budget, policies and goals of the schools they oversee. They are immediate supervisors to assistant superintendents and school principals, and they exercise ultimate authority over the hiring and firing of school personnel. As administrators, school superintendents are highly visible and interact with parents, community organizations and the media to inform the public about the school district’s activities. The BLS reported chief executives employed in elementary and secondary schools earned a mean annual salary of $144,200 in 2015.
If you’re interested in becoming an educational administrator in the public school system, you’d be well advised to set your sights on a master’s degree. You should also become licensed or certified by your state as a teacher or school administrator. Employment prospects for educational administrators are expected to increase about as fast as the national average for all occupations in the 2014-2024 decade.
- Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership – Behavioral Health
- Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership – Higher Education Leadership
- Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership in – K-12 Leadership
- EdS in K-12 Leadership
- M.Ed. in Educational Leadership
- M.Ed. in Educational Administration
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education
- MA in Curriculum and Instruction
- BS in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
- Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
- B.S. in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education
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- Master of Arts in Education: School Leadership in the 21st Century
- BA/Early Childhood Education Administration
- EdD in Transformational Leadership
- Ed.D. Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation
- EdD in Teacher Leadership
- EdD in Educational Administration
- MEd in Educational Leadership
- M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction – Educational Technology Leadership
- MEd in Curriculum & Instruction – Teacher Leadership
- M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction – Common Core State Standards
- MEd in Curriculum & Instruction – Leadership
- MEd in Curriculum & Instruction – Methods & Curriculum
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- Doctor of Psychology – Educational Leadership
- Doctor of Philosophy in Education
- PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership – Corporate Training and E-Learning Specialization
- Doctor of Philosophy in Education – Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
- Master of Arts in Psychology – Educational Leadership
- Master of Arts in Education
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- MS – Instructional Design and Technology
- Cert – Instructional Design and Technology