An online masters in educational leadership will help prepare graduates for a variety of positions in education. This could be as elementary, secondary, or postsecondary administrators, school district officials, policy makers, instructional coordinators, or educational consultants. Common classes in this type of program include theories in teaching and learning, education law and ethics, current issues in education, education policy, human resources management, finance, organizational leadership, and research methods, among others. Jobs for graduates may be found in both the public and private sectors.

Why a Master’s Degree?

There are administrative positions available in the field for those with only a bachelor’s degree in education. However, leadership positions will typically be reserved for those with a master’s degree or higher. These may include jobs as school principals, instructional coordinators, or educational consultants. Students will also gain a solid foundation in advanced theory and research should they decide they would like to pursue a doctoral degree in the field. This could be the logical next step for those interested in working in academia or advanced research.

Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program

Considering the amount of advanced research an online masters degree in educational leadership requires, students will typically be held to higher standards when it comes to admissions. Below are a few common eligibility requirements, but please note, each school will have their own criteria:

  • 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 Leadership Master’s Degree Program

Students researching their options for earning an online educational leadership masters will find that this is a popularly offered program. Most curriculums are designed with working adults in mind and can be completed in two to three years of full-time study. This, of course, will depend on the number of credits required for graduation, your level of enrollment, any transfer credits, and whether or not you take any breaks from your studies. Commonly covered topics are contemporary education thought, education law and ethics, teaching and learning theory, organizational leadership, human resources management, budgeting and finance, and research methods, to name a few options. Most master’s programs will require a thesis or capstone project. This is an advanced research project that may require field work. However, this field work can typically be arranged in your local area for maximum flexibility.

As a distance learner, you can continue to work and keep up with a busy family schedule while earning your degree. Chat, video, and virtual meeting technology help to keep the curriculum engaging and allow students to complete group projects and presentations remotely. Most classes do not have a specified meeting time, meaning students can log in at whatever times are most convenient for them, as long as they meet set deadlines.

What’s Next for Educational Leadership Master’s Degree Holders?

Once you have completed a master’s degree in this field you can pursue a variety of leadership positions. This might include jobs in education administration, curriculum development, education policy, non-profit work, or education consulting. Employers can include public and private schools, government agencies, school districts, or educational development companies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for instructional coordinators and education administrators at the postsecondary level is expected to be strong. In fact, the demand for postsecondary administrators is expected to increase by 19% from 2010 to 2020. This is notably higher than the 14% growth anticipated for all occupations during this projection period.

As for salary potential, the average wage reported in 2012 was $99,370 for postsecondary administrators and $62,420 for instructional coordinators. Please note, however, actual pay and job opportunities will depend on a number of factors like level of professional experience, educational background, location, and the specific employer.