What Can You Do With a Masters in Educational Leadership?

Jul 21, 2018

Graduates with a master's degree in educational leadership qualify for teaching and administrative positions at the elementary, middle, secondary and postsecondary school levels. Popular job titles include principal, high school teacher, headmaster and assistant principal.

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Career Options

Graduates with a master's degree in educational leadership can choose from a wide variety of administrative positions in schools. Here we explore some of these career options, as well as the master's program and common coursework.

A master's degree in educational leadership can prepare graduates for teaching and executive positions at public and private schools. These include elementary, middle and high schools, as well as postsecondary schools, like colleges and universities. Public school teachers and most public school administrators must be licensed by the state, which may require continuing education to keep licensure current. These administrators help to manage school operations, support and train teachers and work to create a safe, positive learning environment for all students. Administrative positions that might be available to those with a master's degree in educational leadership include the following:

  • Principal
  • Assistant principal
  • District administrator
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Director or supervisor
  • Dean of students or faculty
  • College provost
  • University registrar

Degrees and Coursework

Master's degrees in educational leadership are most often available as Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees with a concentration in educational leadership. Master of Science and Master of Arts programs may also offer other concentrations, such as religious school education, K-12 administration or school principal.

Educational leadership studies at the graduate level vary by concentration. Internships and research activities may also be part of the program's curriculum. These exercises are designed to sharpen a student's management, communication, organizational and problem-solving skills in a real-world environment. Courses may include topics in professional development and leadership, school finance and law, strategic and organizational planning, adult learning, community relations and student affairs.

A master's degree in educational leadership prepares students for careers as principals, directors, instructional coordinators and other administrative positions in all kinds of schools. Graduates of a master's program have likely completed internships and coursework in student affairs, professional development and more.

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