Education professionals looking to take their career to the next level might be interested in earning an online master’s in educational leadership. This program prepares graduates to lead and manage an educational institution. It helps educators become more effective leaders, professors, and even policymakers.
Teachers have a unique, boots-on-the-ground perspective of the education system and everyday workings of a school or educational organization. Earning a master’s in educational leadership online prepares those teachers to use these hands-on skills to make effective decisions and provide leadership to future generations of educators. Educators who wish to make a greater impact on their school and community can enroll in an online educational leadership master’s program to learn the latest in management, curriculum development, and educational policy.
Online educational leadership programs provide students the chance to learn how to advance their own career and help cultivate the careers of those they lead. A master’s in educational leadership online program focuses on increasing student achievement and the success of the school, while also placing importance on effective teaching methods and ensuring job satisfaction for the educational team of the school or institution.
Coursework varies based on the concentration desired by the student, but online educational leadership master’s programs can include classes in educational law, school finance, data-driven decision making, and personnel administration.
Job Outlook and Salaries for Educational Leadership
As with any profession, advanced degrees and training in educational leadership lead to increased earning potential and job opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that elementary, middle school, and high school principals (jobs for which an online master’s in educational leadership is common) will experience a 6% growth in jobs through 2024 . The average salary for these jobs is $92,510. The job outlook should remain positive, as a substantial percentage of current school administrators are set to retire in the next ten years .
In comparison, those who have only completed a bachelor’s degree in education (the typical precursor to an online master’s in educational leadership), can expect a median salary of $58,030.
For those in educational leadership, salaries will vary based on school location, the type of community in which the school is situated, and how many years experience the applicant has.
Job Options for Educational Leadership
Because the world of education is so broad, those in educational leadership can expect a broad range of duties and specialties. For instance, while some graduates of online educational leadership programs could go on to be school principals, others might work in student affairs, in college administration, or even for an educational nonprofit or government agency.
In any of these concentrations and for workers in educational leadership, especially in fields directly involving students and teachers, the leader is usually there before the team starts in the morning and after they have left in the afternoon. It is the leader’s job to be a visible head of the school or institution , and depending on how involved they are, they can often be seen greeting teachers and students at the start of the day. Throughout the day, they continue to act as the main point of contact and chief spokesperson for the school, representing teachers, parents, and members of the community.
They conduct evaluation and coaching for their teachers and staff to ensure that each is upholding the standards and tenants of the schools. Through this process, they can analyze areas that need to be improved or enhanced. For those leaders in schools, they are also constantly working to achieve academic growth and gains for the school as a whole, and are aware of all the curriculum and metrics necessary to meet the needs of state and federal educational requirements. Educational leaders are also in charge of the overall structure and discipline of the school, and are often involved in working with students who are having behavioral issues.
Skills Educational Leadership Professionals Need
The field of education is always changing and evolving as new policies are put in place and new research emerges on best practices and most effective models of instruction.
Those who have achieved an online educational leadership master’s, though, can benefit from having specific skills that will help them be successful in their professional trajectory. The following are just some of these invaluable skills:
- Leadership: Of course leadership is a necessary skill, as those in this line of work must be able to manage large teams, as well as implement and communicate a vision of success for the school or institution.
- Communication: Educational leaders are spokespeople for their school. They must be able to articulately speak with members of the press, community, staff, parents, and students.
- Collaboration: Those in this profession should be able to accept input from their team and be willing to listen to the community, based on its collective needs and interests. They should also be open to creating partnerships with parents and local organizations to boost community support and backing of the school.
- Ethics: Educational leaders are the stewards of important and private information, including student data and reports, and should be able to maintain this information and use it only as intended and without manipulation.
- Organization: Leaders are in charge of a lot of moving parts and schedules, including their own. It is important for them to be able to juggle many diverse responsibilities, as educational leaders wear many hats.
- Motivation: Especially for those working directly in a school, educational leaders should be able to excite and inspire their team and students. They need to convey the importance of success and get everyone on-board to achieve the same goals.