To succeed, businesses need planning and oversight … and schools need educational management. The people in leadership positions set their institutions’ academic standards by choosing and evaluating their faculty and developing faculty skills. They’re responsible for determining whether an institution fulfills its educational mandate, creating solutions if it doesn’t, and, if it does, maintaining and improving upon the current standards. They provide guidance and support for teachers and ensure that their schools run efficiently. Their concerns include, but certainly are not limited to:1
- Coordinating activities within a school or school system
- Selecting and evaluating standardized tests
- Designing the curriculum
- Overseeing athletic programs
- Creating and enforce disciplinary measures
- Connecting with parents, faculty, and students
It’s a tall order, with particular skills necessary to do the work well. The right graduate program will prepare you for a variety of careers in educational administration. Keep reading to explore the aptitudes you’ll need and the opportunities you can pursue with your master’s degree in this dynamic, rewarding area.
Who you are is as important as what you know.
Whether you’re already on the faculty and looking to advance professionally or completing your bachelor’s degree with an eye toward a career in administration, your personality and temperament will play a large role in your success. In addition to the multifaceted expertise you'll develop in graduate school, accomplishment in educational leadership requires:2
- A passion for education
- Judicious organization and time-management skills
- Objectivity as a problem-solver
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Business acumen
- Flexibility to adapt under changing conditions
- A keen interest in the success of your school
- A desire to equip your students with the best your school or district has to offer
A quality education empowers you to succeed.
It’s not hard to find graduate education courses in ethics, financial management, and curriculum planning and development, but don’t stop there.
To prepare for a leadership career at the best academic institutions, insist on a master's curriculum that's worthy of them. Seek out courses in education law, special education leadership, research in education, and instructional strategies. Fine-tune your acumen by studying transition education, the collaboration between families and special education professionals, student engagement in the community, career development, and school improvement.
Consider the school leaders who have touched your life since your childhood. How did they help you? What do you wish they could have done differently? Make your wish-list—as a student and as an educator—and resolve to become the educational frontrunner who can make each item on it a reality.
Careers in Educational Administration
Your career as a school or university leader—effective in curriculum planning, services implementation, and community service—can take you in a number of different directions, including these:3
Primary and secondary school principals are almost always required to hold a master's degree in education administration or leadership. Experienced teachers within a school system are often promoted into principalships, so plan to spend some years teaching before you move up. Principals are usually licensed by the state, so when the time is right, make sure that you can meet the school administrator licensure requirements in your area. As principal, you’ll be responsible for budgeting, managing staff and teachers, and interacting with the local community.
These top-level administrators manage all the public schools within their districts. They’re typically required to have previous teaching experience, and most have worked as principals, as well. They are generally expected to hold at least a master's degree, and some districts prefer a doctorate in education. Most states require licensure, and superintendents often use the same administration license that principals do. From the superintendent’s office, you’ll handle budgeting, communicating with government agencies (such as a state's department of education), and ensuring that educational goals for students are set and reached.
Post-Secondary Academic Dean
Academic deans manage the affairs of universities, community colleges, or individual schools (such as the School of Education and Human Sciences) within a larger institution. Like principals, deans are often promoted from within the relevant department. Applicants must have some experience, either on the faculty or in administration, in a post-secondary institution. A master's degree is often the minimum level of education accepted, with doctorates preferred. As dean, you’ll oversee the affairs and budgets of your academic area, and you’ll likely meet with professors and students to address concerns.
Registrars are the administrators who handle records and registration of a college or university’s students. They’re not directly responsible for educating students, so they’re not usually required to have teaching experience, but a resume that includes mid-level or entry-level positions within a registrar's office will help an applicant’s candidacy. As registrar, you’ll schedule courses, verify that students meet graduation requirements, and produce transcripts.
Get the finest preparation for the career that inspires you.
The best online graduate programs in education are at the University of Kansas.
We offer online master's degrees, graduate certificates and licensure endorsement programs—all designed for working professionals, with the flexibility of online study and the outstanding quality you expect from KU.
- Learn to inspire and strengthen motivation in instructional teams in our Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
- Expand your expertise in engaging students of all ages in our Department of Curriculum and Teaching
- Share your gifts with students with disabilities in our Department of Special Education
1. Retrieved on June 23, 2021 from worldwidelearn.com/online-education-guide/education/educational-administration-major.htm
2. Retrieved on June 23, 2021 from alleducationschools.com/teaching-careers/educational-administration/
3. Retrieved on June 23, 2021 from learn.org/articles/What_Can_I_Do_with_a_Masters_in_Education_Administration_Degree.html