Master's degree programs open the door for certification as a school principal or other education administrators. Students study leadership and learn about teacher evaluation, staffing issues and the school's relationship to the community. Many programs allow students to choose electives in a particular area of specialization. An internship in a school is typically required. Some doctoral programs focus on teaching methods and curriculum development, while others are aimed at education administration and cover topics such as finance and management. Most programs consist of seminars and fieldwork, along with research projects. Some programs offer online courses.
Students seeking to enter a master's degree program in educational management must possess a relevant bachelor's degree. Some master's degree programs require current teaching certification and previous teaching experience. Students interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in educational management must have a master's degree in a relevant area. In addition, students are required to submit letters of recommendation and official transcripts for all completed coursework. Previous teaching experience or teaching credentials is required.
Master's Degree in Educational Management
Students aspiring for leadership jobs in education can pursue a Master of Science or Master of Education in Educational Management. These master's degree programs include coursework necessary for principals or other certifications. Students acquire an understanding of theoretical concepts and practical hands-on experience in teacher development, school supervision, human resources issues and community outreach. Topics in organizational tactics, teacher evaluation and retention, fiscally responsible decision-making and institutional philanthropic development are stressed.
Students attend lectures and spend time in actual educational institutions through an internship. The master's program curriculum allows students to choose some elective credits tailored toward a specialization. Some course topics include:
- Curriculum theory
- Special programs administration
- School personnel management
- Community programs
- Teacher appraisal
Doctorate in Educational Management
Students interested in studying educational management at the doctoral level earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). A Ph.D. program focuses on pedagogic theories and curriculum trends while an Ed.D. program is slighter wider in scope and includes study of the financial and business aspects of institutions of learning. Students look at various financial, creative, managerial and organizational issues related to education. They also spend time in schools or other educational facilities and act as graduate assistants. Some programs offer limited coursework online or on an accelerated schedule.
A curriculum in educational management at the doctorate level is comprised of advanced seminar and fieldwork courses. Some course topics include:
- Student diversity in teaching
- Diagnostic teaching
- Multimedia instruction
- Teachers and learning disabilities
- The law and the educational system
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates with a master's degree in educational management may pursue assistant principal, principal and other educational administrator positions. According to a 2015 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of elementary and secondary school administrators is $90,410 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also predicts that elementary, middle and high school principals in general could expect employment growth of 6% from 2014 through 2024.
In addition to formal educational requirements, the majority of states require that principals obtain a license prior to employment. Licensing may require completion of a written examination and working under the guidance of a mentor for a specified period of time. Occasional continuing education classes are often required to retain licensure. Students may elect to study educational management at the doctorate level.
Popular Career Options
Graduates holding a doctorate often work at the highest levels of educational management and administration. Some popular career options are:
- College instructor
Pursuing advanced degrees in the educational management field will prepare students for jobs at the administrative level. Curriculum in these programs teach students skills in the areas of diagnostic teaching, educational law, and curriculum theory.