What You Should Know about Education Leadership Degree Programs

While working in a classroom can be very rewarding, some teachers want to make an impact in other ways and decide to pursue graduate-level programs in educational leadership.

These programs are ideal for teachers who have a bachelor degree in education and want to push their career in a new and exciting direction. Educational leadership programs provide a graduate student with an opportunity to make an impact within a specific school or an entire school district on an administration level. It’s an opportunity to create new curriculum, establish new protocols and still have an impact on the lives of students.

Education Requirements

To earn a master or doctoral degree in education leadership, a candidate must first have a bachelor-level education. The typical educational leadership program will require a student to have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, secondary education or another educational field. However, some candidates with extensive career experience within the education industry but a bachelor’s degree in another field can be accepted to a program.

These programs often require students to have work experience. Many people earn this experience by teaching in a classroom, but it can also be earned by working as a tutor, childcare worker or librarian. Students in these programs must understand how a classroom works, as it gives them a greater appreciation for what administrators must do to keep things running smoothly within a school.

Career Options: What You Can Do with Educational Leadership Programs

Many people with a master degree or higher in educational leadership work toward a principal or assistant principal position. The school principal has a say in organizing the school day, developing the curriculum and managing extracurricular activities. Principals work at every level of education, including elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.

Other career opportunities for people who have this degree include working as an administrator at a school district, such as being the superintendent or assistant superintendent. It can also allow a person to work as a guidance counselor or as a department head within a school district.

Educational leadership degrees also help classroom teachers develop stronger working relationships with students, parents and administrators.

What to Consider if you Pursue Educational Leadership Degree Programs

Graduates of this program often find that a promotion closely follows the commencement ceremony, as does an increase in salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average elementary, middle and high school principal makes about $87,000 per year. This is significantly more than the average teacher makes, and it is largely due to the fact that principals have more responsibilities and must also have a higher education.

However, the fact of the matter is, each school typically only requires one or two principals or assistants to make the building run. There are fewer jobs available, but the field is still expected to grow by about 10 percent over the next decade. The BLS says that this is an average growth rate in other career fields across the United States.

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