Curriculum Design Education Requirements and Career Info

Curriculum design is generally a program where professionals learn to develop educational plans that teachers use to instruct students. Continue reading for an overview of the program, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

Curriculum design careers are often an extension of teaching experiences into broader strategy. Careers in this field require thinking at an organizational level, and how that relates to society and the world at large. A graduate degree is required.

Essential Information

Degree programs in curriculum design provide instruction on how to build educational lesson plans and training programs. While bachelor's degree programs in curriculum design are offered, more specialized training is only available at the graduate degree level. Topics discussed in these programs include education policy and ethics, educational system design, evaluation methods of programs, advanced curriculum theory, research methods, educational governance, and policy studies. Most professionals in curriculum design have backgrounds in education, so many of these workers hold teaching credentials and state-administered teaching licenses. The majority of careers related to curriculum design within the education industry are at the administrative level, and some job titles include instructional coordinator, high school principal, and postsecondary administrator.

Career Titles Instructional Coordinator High School Principal Postsecondary Administrator
Education Requirements Master's degree Master's degree Master's degree or higher
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 7%* 6% (elementary and secondary school administrators)* 9%*
Average Salary (2015) $64,870* $92,940 (elementary and secondary school administrators)* $102,610*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Career Options

Instructional Coordinator

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals may also be known as assistant superintendents of instruction or curriculum specialists. Instructional coordinators determine ways to standardize teaching methods, incorporate current curricula practices, and design grade level curriculum standards. Instructional coordinators usually work with educational professionals, such as teachers, principals, and other administrators. Education requirements for this career field usually include a master's degree, and the BLS notes that many states require these professionals to hold either education administrator licenses or teaching licenses, depending on state guidelines.

High School Principal

As a management position, high school principals oversee all operations at high schools. Part of their job includes reviewing curriculum standards and verifying that teachers are adhering to those standards. Principals may also participate in curriculum standards design, but that varies by employer. The majority of high school principals have previous experience as educators. To become a principal, candidates generally require master's degrees in fields related to educational leadership. Licensure requirements for principals differ from state to state, but most states require these professionals to hold educational administrator licenses.

Postsecondary Administrator

There are many different types of postsecondary administrators, but in general these professionals manage the academic programs, student services, and faculty research that occur at colleges and universities. Some postsecondary administrators develop curriculum requirements and standards for different degree programs. Academic deans, for instance, may participate in designing the course requirement standards for each program offered in their academic departments. Educational requirements for postsecondary administrator positions vary based on the needs of each position, but the majority of positions require applicants to hold master's or doctoral degrees. Many positions also require job applicants to have previous experience in education or in administrative services.

Salary Info and Career Outlook

The average annual earnings of instructional coordinators was $64,870 as of 2015, per the BLS. Records from that same year showed that elementary and secondary education administrators earned average annual salaries of $92,940, and postsecondary education administrators earned $102,610. The BLS predicts that jobs for instructional coordinators will grow by 7% during the 2014-2024 decade. Predictions for that same year indicated that elementary, middle and secondary principal positions will grow 6%, and that postsecondary education administrator jobs will grow by 9%.

Careers involving curriculum design generally call for experience in education as well as a master's or doctoral degree. Most roles in the curriculum design field can expect about average job growth rates. Salary prospects very greatly and increase when leadership responsibilities are added to curriculum development duties.

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