At the master’s level, education administration majors will learn the industry knowledge and skills they need to pursue careers as principals and other leaders at elementary, middle, and high schools. They may also work for non-profit organizations, educational development companies, or government agencies. Most online masters degree programs in educational administration include courses in learning psychology, child development, curriculum and assessment methods, accounting, human resources management, and organizational leadership, among others. As part of a graduate program, students will also be expected to complete their own research.
Why a Master’s Degree?
While those with a bachelor’s degree in this field may find some job opportunities, the best prospects are for those with a master’s degree. This level of education provides graduates with the credentials and research expertise to fill positions as principals and other leading administrators in a variety of schools. In addition, they may work in curriculum development, education policy, or for non-profit organizations. For those interested in working in advanced research or upper level policy, a master’s degree may serve as a good stepping stone towards a doctorate degree in the field.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Typically, given the research work and demanding curriculum, students can expect more selective admissions for a master’s program. While each program will have its own requirements, below are a few common ones:
- Completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree program
- Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
- GRE or GMAT test scores (if required)
- Professional experience (if required)
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Application form and fee
- Personal statement(if required)
- Letters of recommendation (if required)
Inside an Educational Administration Master’s Degree Program
For prospective students thinking about earning their masters degree in educational administration online, there are a growing number of schools offering distance learning programs in education. This type of curriculum usually takes about two to three years of study. Of course, this can vary based on level of enrollment, transfer credits, the specific number of courses required, and whether or not any breaks are taken. Programs may include a combination of survey, seminar, and research courses. Common topics of discussion include learning psychology, child development, curriculum methods, assessment, human resources management, finance and accounting, organizational leadership, and others. In most cases, a master’s thesis or capstone research project will also be required. Any field research for this can be completed remotely.
Online students have the flexibility to continue working while enrolled. The asynchronous format also makes it more convenient for parents and students with travel restrictions to incorporate higher education into their busy schedules. Despite limits on face-to-face interaction, online students can still expect an interactive learning environment supplemented with chat, video, and virtual meeting technologies.
What’s Next for Educational Administration Master’s Degree Holders?
Graduates with an online masters degree in educational administration will have the leadership skills and industry knowledge to work as school principals, education policy makers, or other related positions. These jobs may be found through public or private schools, non-profit organizations, educational development companies, or government agencies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), does predict fairly strong competition for jobs. For example, demand for elementary, middle, and high school principals is only expected to increase by 10% from 2010 to 2020. This is slower than the 14% predicted for all occupations over the same time frame.
In terms of earning potential for education administrators, in 2012, the mean annual wage reported was $90,800 for those working at the elementary and secondary school levels. Those with the highest salaries worked in local government, with a mean wage of $91,310 per year. Please note, actual salaries vary based on location, level of professional experience, educational background, the economic climate, and the specific employer.