If this seems like your calling, or you long for a career that will provide you with a deep sense of purpose, then a Masters in Education Leadership may be right for you.

Dreaming Big: Becoming An Education Leader

More than just satisfying the desire to do good, a Master’s in Education Leadership can be a powerful degree, and can spring board any educator into a rewarding career and diverse professional opportunities. A Masters in Education Leadership degree can:

  • Broaden your leadership potential, positioning you to become an expert educator and pursue a variety of executive and administrative positions.
  • Garner greater respect from your employer and the educational community, establishing you as a thought leader within your industry.
  • Increase your earning power and lead to significant pay increases. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for postsecondary education administrators was $90,760 in May 2016 and employment of postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Learning + Leadership = A Masters in Education Leadership

A primary goal of the Master’s in Education in Leadership is to transition your educational experience from the classroom to the executive and leadership level. The program will hone your leadership skills and introduce you to advanced teaching practices.

You will gain the perspective, tools and skills to be on the cutting edge of curriculum design, engage new ways of implementing theory, and utilize advanced teaching practices. And at the same time, you will learn how to manage operations as a school administrator. This may include the professional development of teachers and staff. and the initiation of school reforms. Depending on the program and graduate school you choose, the masters may position you to become an expert in policy, law leadership and economics setting you up to have an impact as an academic leader at the local, state or national level.

Satisfying State Requirements

An added benefit of obtaining the Masters in Education Leadership is that in many states it satisfies Department of Education requirements for becoming an administrator or school principal. It may also satisfy the requirements for many other teaching and executive positions in public and private schools, and at the university level. Some states do not specify what type of masters is required for an administrative position. But a masters in education leadership offers the best of both worlds because it likely satisfies state requirements for the masters and also meets educational leadership requirements.

Master’s In Education Leadership Career Opportunities

Some of the positions this degree may qualify you for are:

  • District Superintendent
  • District Administrator
  • Principal
  • Vice Principal
  • Department Chair
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Dean of Instruction
  • Education Specialist
  • Learning specialist
  • Bilingual Specialist
  • Adult Educator
  • Policy maker
  • Director of an Academic Division
  • College Provost or Administrator
  • Dean of Students or Faculty
  • Instructional or Educational Coordinator
  • Researcher
  • Educational Game Designer

Comparing Masters In Education Leadership Programs

Like anything in life, the path you choose should set you up for success. Do the kind of legwork that ensures the graduate school you select helps you reach your career goals as an education leader. For example, research the curriculum and the specific concentrations the school offers. You want to acquire the practical and leadership skills that best qualify you for the position you seek post-graduation.

It is also critically important you choose a graduate school that is regionally accredited and highly regarded in the geographic area or educational community in which you want to work. Accreditation is the stamp of approval that tells employers this degree is legitimate and graduates are well trained and highly qualified. If the school has ties to local employees, even better. To learn more about the reputation of your potential graduate school and accreditation, visit your local Department of Education website. They often publish a list of accredited or approved schools or may help you determine how to find a quality program.

Why an Online Masters In Education Leadership May be Worthwhile, and Just as Good

With advances in technology platforms, online programs are now equally respected and just as attractive as their traditional on-campus peers. These days, online degrees offer unbeatable flexibility and convenience, without sacrificing any of the learning on-campus programs offer. In fact, they may offer distinct advantages.

That’s because by design, online programs recognize the dual demands of trying to complete a graduate program while working full-time and even managing family life. It can be a tough balancing act. Online programs typically offer more supports and resources. This may mean the difference between you completing the program on time and with relative comfort, versus completing the program with a high degree of stress. For these reasons, your current or future employer is likely to recognize the value of obtaining an online degree as well.

If you choose an online school, or some hybrid of on-campus and distance learning, reputation and accreditation still matter.

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.