Contrary to popular belief, there is more to working in education than being a teacher or a professor. Education administration degrees are geared towards educators who would like to become principals, superintendents or other education administration professionals. Education administrators are responsible for organizing and managing the activities and systems that are required to effectively run K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. Start researching dducation administration programs now to find out how you can start building a career as a school administrator.
Prerequisites for Education Administration Programs
For some entry-level education administration positions, a bachelor’s degree in any field is sufficient, but higher-level positions usually require applicants to have a master’s degree in education administration or higher. The majority of aspiring education administrators major in education at college, obtain a state-issued teaching certificate, and work as teachers prior to pursuing an advanced degree in the education administration field.
The prerequisites for education administration programs differ from school to school, but in order to enter a graduate program students are generally required to have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA, a teaching certificate, and teaching experience. Some skills that are valuable to have in this field include people skills, organizational skills, computer skills, and problem-solving skills.
Education Administration Degree Overview
Education administration schools typically offer degrees at the master’s, education specialist, and doctoral levels. It generally takes two years to earn a master’s degree in education administration, while education specialist programs typically require 30-45 credits beyond the master’s degree. The education specialist degree (EdS) is a degree level unique to the education field, which is designed for individuals who wish to seek an advanced degree beyond the master’s degree, but do not wish to pursue a degree at the doctoral level.
Doctoral programs in education administration take around two to two and a half years to finish, followed by another one to two years to complete a dissertation. Doctoral programs in education administration culminate in either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Education (EdD). PhD programs are more theory and research-oriented, while EdD programs focus on developing specialized practitioner skills. Courses that students might be required to take in an education administration program include the following:
- Educational philosophy
- Curriculum development
- School law
- School finance
- School administration and leadership
- Personnel administration
- School community relations
- Supervision of instruction
Often candidates will be able to choose an additional concentration, such as elementary education or higher education if they have a particular career path in mind. Students are typically required to complete an internship in order to obtain field-based experience under the supervision of a licensed school administrator. In some states, students may even have to work full-time in education administration for at least one year in order to earn their graduate degree.
Job Opportunities for Education Administration Grads
Education administrators play a variety of roles in K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. Assistant principals and principals at elementary, middle, and high schools lead instructional staff, prepare budgets, set goals, and work with parents and the community. They typically hold a master’s degree in education administration or leadership, as well as a state education administration license. Licensure requirements vary, but most states require candidates to have at least a master’s degree in education and additional training. Principals may advance to positions as superintendents or instructional coordinators.
Graduates may also qualify for a wide range of positions in higher education administration or essentially any non-faculty positions at colleges and universities. Career opportunities in the education administration field include human resources, quality assurance, data management, admissions, public relations, and marketing. These positions may involve jobs in student affairs, alumni relations, program coordination, and institutional research or higher-level positions, such as college president, provost or dean. For some higher education administration positions, candidates may obtain their doctoral degree in the field in which they teach rather than education administration specifically.
Education Administration Career Outlook
Although employment growth for elementary, middle, and high school principals is expected to be slow due to budgetary restrictions, public school administrator jobs have excellent earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for elementary, middle, and high school principals are projected to grow by 10% from 2010 to 2020, while employment for postsecondary education administrators should increase by 19%. The BLS also reports that school principals earned a median annual wage of $87,760 in 2012, and postsecondary education administrators earned $86,490. To start building your career as an educational leader today, explore education administration degree programs on our site below.
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