If you are looking to expand your career opportunities in education, an online Master’s in Education Administration (also known as an online master’s in educational leadership) may be just what you need. And with all the online options available today, it is a splendid degree to pursue without putting your life on hold.

So what is an Educational Leadership Online Master’s?

An online degree in educational leadership is designed to give teachers and educators the leaderships skills they need to advance their careers to the administrative level. In this program, students learn the needs of teachers and school districts today so they can help create learning communities that best support educators as well as prepare a diverse set of students for their futures. The program is designed to teach effective communication and mentoring skills. Students will learn how to properly evaluate teachers and manage personnel. The educational leadership master’s online program will fully prepare you to take the state principal certification exam and achieve a career in educational administration.

What kind of career can you get with an online master’s in education leadership?

A master’s in education leadership online program can prepare you for a variety of career options, not to mention a considerable rise in salary. Here are a few career options you’ll have after getting your online educational leadership master’s:

School Principal

An educational leadership master’s is typically necessary to become the principal at an elementary, middle, or high school, and licensure is required to hold this role at a public school. A grand way to go down this career path is to start as an assistant or vice principal and work your way up. Principals are in charge of making sure the school runs smoothly. This includes ensuring the safety of the students, upholding the values and academic standards of the school, and representing the school to the community. Additionally, depending on the school, the principal may play a lead role in disciplining students. According to Salary.com, school principals make a median salary of $102,220, but pay can vary depending on a variety of factors including state.

School District Superintendent

School district superintendents have a similar job as school principals but on a wider scale. Superintendents are in charge of multiple schools in one area. They set budgets and academic goals and behavior standards for students. School district superintendents are typically selected by the district’s school board, but this varies by state. According to Salary.com, superintendents make a median salary of $154,457.

University Registrar

University Registrars have the job of working with other administrators to create course curricula and set requirements for degree plans. They are also a part of setting the policies students must abide by when registering for classes, changing majors, petitioning to graduate, and adding or dropping classes throughout the semester. Salary.com states that the median salary for a university registrar is $80,516.

What to look for in an online program

Think pursuing an online educational leadership master’s might be for you? Luckily, most states have schools that are offering online programs in this field. However, not all degree programs are the same, and your decision should not be taken lightly. You will want to make sure that you are choosing an online program that allows you the flexible schedule you need, along with the top-notch education you require. Especially in fully online programs, knowing that you will get the individual attention you need from professors and administrators is a must. And finally, choosing a program with the best internship and networking resources for its online students can make a difference in what administrative job you are able to get down the road. Here are some things to look for when choosing the perfect online program to suit your needs.

What should you consider when evaluating/choosing an online master’s in education administration?

Where do you want to work?

All public schools and most private schools are going to require you to have the correct licensure in order to hold an administrative position. When searching for online master’s degree programs in educational leadership, be sure the degree program you choose supplies you with the proper skills and requirements you need to succeed. Additionally, if you have a particular school you would like to work for, be sure to do your research and see exactly what they require before applying to any programs.

Tuition & cost of attendance & availability of scholarships

Pursuing an online master’s in education leadership can be expensive. Make sure you do your research and choose the online master’s degree in educational leadership program that suits your needs and budget. Additionally, don’t forget to research potential scholarships and grants. Get creative with your searches and see what scholarships are out there for future education administrators. Start by searching for scholarships offered nationwide to see what’s out there. Then, check and see what scholarships are offered for teachers in your state who are looking to go back to school. You’ll be surprised that you can find.

Local, hands-on training provided by the school

If you’re a local student, check and see if the program offers any sort of hands-on training. Are there internships available that could work towards school credit? Can you visit campus to meet with professors? The more you know the better.

Accreditation and reputation of the university and program

With all of the options out there, it is important to make sure your online program is legit. Be sure to do some research and make sure the program you choose has the proper accreditation to provide an education administration degree. NASPAA accreditation is the global standard for master’s degrees in public policy and administration. Be positive the school you choose is NASPAA accredited.

The reputation of the school is another thing you should consider as you search for the perfect school. Reputation is important if you are wanting to work at more prestigious private school or are seeking to receive a doctorate. If your goal is to work in a public school, reputation is not always as important. So reputation really is about the path you want to take after you graduate and get into the workforce. Of course, a school’s reputation can also be an indicator of the quality of education you will receive, so be sure to consider all factors when making your choice.

Admissions requirements

Before you consider applying to a college, be sure you meet the requirements. Admissions is going to need to see your GRE scores, undergrad work, and GPA. They may even ask for your work history or letters of recommendation. Be sure you have everything they will need when you apply.

Class availability & scheduling

While looking through master’s in education leadership online programs, be sure to take note of whether the school provides async or sync coursework. Asynchronous, or async, classes allow you to make your own schedule. Online professors will provide lectures, assignments, tests, and quizzes that can be accessed at any time. There may be some deadlines put in place, but when you log on to do your work is up to you. On the other hand, there is synchronous, or sync, coursework that requires you and your professor to be logged on at the same time. This allows you to have more timely contact with your professors through live chats, but it would require a more disciplined schedule. If you are busy, full-time teacher, you will probably want to opt for a async program. That way, you can give all your attention to your students when they need it and work your schooling around your life, instead of the other way around.

Technology used in the online program

Before deciding to pursue a master’s in educational leadership degree online, make sure you have all the tools you need to succeed. Be sure you have reliable access to a computer and the internet, and check to see if anything else will be required for a particular school’s program. Some schools may require you to have a webcam or other computer software.

Support services provided to students

Picking a program with a great support system can be hugely beneficial to online students. When researching online master’s in educational leadership and administration programs, be sure to check out when kind of support services the online program offers its virtual students. Having someone available to email or call when you are struggling to apply for classes or understand financial aid can be a huge help.

Faculty & curriculum

When looking at any program, it’s good to get an idea of who your teachers will be and what classes are required. Be sure to look through the school handbook and see what the workload will be like. And while you’re at it, see what kind of reviews the online professors are getting. [Rate My Professor] (http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/) is a great place to screen teachers ahead of time..

Alumni network

Networking plays a huge role in any career field, and just because your degree is online doesn’t mean you should miss out on alumni connections. Look into what sort of alumni services your potential program offers to online grads. A good connection can be the key to landing your dream job.

Career services provided by School/Program

Some online masters in education administration programs have amazing career services departments that get to know students on a personal level and help them find the job that is right for them. Other programs can provide an unfiltered list of jobs rather than offering one-on-one support. Make sure the programs you choose is ready to help students finish strong and meet their career goals.

Graduation/Outcomes data

The success rate of alumni is another great thing to look into when considering a certain online master’s in education administration program. Are only 2% of alumni working in their chosen field? Maybe that isn’t the right program to pick. Be sure to look into what job titles the alumni have and what their starting salaries were. Linkedin and alumni pages are great places to start. And if you’re local, it wouldn’t hurt to contact a recent alum and ask them to meet for coffee. Speaking with a recent grad is the best way to learn what the program is really like.

There is a lot to consider when you are choosing the step next in your education and career. However, if you are looking to advance your career prospects within the educational field, a Master’s in Educational Administration could be the perfect choice for you. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

Nedda
Nedda Gilbert

Ms. Gilbert is a certified social worker and 30 year educational consultant with an interest in helping college-bound and graduate school students manage the process and stress of admissions effectively. She is one of the senior founding managers of the Princeton Review Test Preparation Company, and the author of The Princeton Review Guide to the Best Business Schools and another book, Business School Essays that Made a Difference (Random House). She is a guest contributor to Forbes Magazine on college and college life. Ms. Gilbert is also certified as a collaborative family law professional in New Jersey. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MS from Columbia University.