Nelson Mandela once said that education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. Of course, those of you considering a Master’s in educational leadership have already heard this one before.
Unfortunately, however inspirational, Mandela’s thoughts on the importance of education won’t answer a series of practical questions you might be asking yourself:
- What can I do with a Master’s in educational leadership?
- Is this programme for me?
- Will a Master’s in educational leadership improve my chances of gaining a better job?
- What is the average salary of an M. Ed?
- How long does it take to get a master’s in educational leadership?
- What impact could I have upon obtaining this degree?
Ultimately, this frenzied question sequencing in your head comes down to a single doubt: is a Masters in Educational Leadership worth it?
To jump ahead of ourselves, we’ll answer – yes, it is. However, this conclusion will depend on your professional goals and where you’d like to get to with an M.Ed degree.
Read on to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
What Can I do With a Master’s in Educational Leadership?
As you probably know, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership is a specialization suitable for those pursuing higher-level positions in private, public, or charter schools. Also, from a slightly different perspective, it is a programme that prepares students to lead thriving educational environments and apply the most recent academic research to real-life situations.
And, yes – it does come with its set of lucrative opportunities.
In a nutshell, you can achieve many things and achieve with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. The most important things you can do with this degree are:
- Advance your career
- Increase your salary
- Diversify your skillset
- Make a difference in your educational ecosystem
Best of all, each of these benefits further ramifies into more possible opportunities, thus offering a whole new education field worthy of consideration.
Let’s dive in.
Jobs in Educational Leadership
According to the IES NCES (the US National Center for Education Statistics), the percentage of public school teachers who held a post-baccalaureate degree (i.e., a master’s, education specialist, or doctor’s degree) was higher in 2017–18 (58 percent) than in 1999–2000 (47 percent).
In other words, the field of education is increasingly becoming a competitive environment, where a Bachelor’s degree won’t open all the career doors it once used to.
Naturally, these odds are fewer as we advance up the position ladder. By rule, the challenging leadership positions in schools, colleges, or universities require a Master’s degree as a typical entry-level education.
Career options for Masters in Education include:
Principals are the elementary, middle, and high school leaders who govern and oversee the institution’s functioning.
They set the school’s operations’ general direction, ensure compliance with district standards, manage budgets, and create a thriving environment for both students and teaching staff.
Also, principals are responsible for handling the daily operations, such as maintaining security, disciplining students, and assessing teacher performance.
- Assistant Principal
Often promoted from the teaching position, the assistant principal is usually responsible for a particular school administration area (handling student’s safety or maintaining discipline, for example) or manages the specific educational subject matter (e.g., literacy or math).
He/she doesn’t necessarily have to hold a Master’s degree, but considering that the next step up the ladder is the principal’s position, many pursue post-baccalaureate degrees.
- District Administrator
Principals usually advance to become District Administrators or Superintendents, who oversee programs and curriculums, train staff members, ensure compliance and safety regulations on a district level.
- Instructional Coordinator
Instructional Coordinators are primarily concerned and responsible for overseeing school curriculums and teaching standards – its development, implementation, and evaluation. Most public school systems require them to have a Master’s degree and a state-issued license.
- Director or Supervisor
Education directors work on various tasks, such as supervising staff, overseeing educational programs, teaching courses, and providing their expertise when needed.
- University Dean
University Deans govern and oversee the functioning of postsecondary educational institutions. Much like Principles, they are responsible for nurturing a thriving learning atmosphere at the university institution, assessing teaching staff, and providing an appropriate framework for communicating with students.
- College Provost
Although many Provosts hold a Ph.D., the minimum requirement to obtain this position is a Master’s degree. Provosts are professionals who work under a university president’s direct supervision and ensure that the system is functioning smoothly on a financial, administrative, and communication level.
- Other Postsecondary Administrators
There are quite a few other administrative roles in the postsecondary education system, which maintain an everyday functioning of the institution: University Registrars – who maintain student and course records, administrators who work in student affairs – who are responsible for a variety of school functions outside the curricula, or admissions administrators – who develop and implement the admission strategy of the institution.
Increase Your Salary
Naturally, the higher the responsibility – the higher the earnings.
But, there’s one more financial advantage of obtaining a Master’s if you’re working in the public school system.
Namely, because the public sphere’s salary is usually directly proportional to the level of educational degree you hold, your earnings may increase, whether you’ve advanced into a leadership role or not.
Below is a table highlighting the median average salaries of different educational leadership positions and the related job outlook from 2019 to 2029.
Diversify Your Skillset
The recent research analysis of educational leadership concluded that we need more studies to conceptualize this multidisciplinary field entirely.
The authors noted that there are 3 characteristics of academic programs in educational programmes:
- Funding and resources to implement a change initiative
- Building interdisciplinary communities
- Embracing identity
Fortunately, this brings some good news for those interested in the field.
Namely, educational leadership is increasingly becoming a specific intersection of divergent skill sets, such as the managerial and the educational ones. Thus, the related Master’s programmes are building a new kind of educational professional who can apply his/her knowledge across the disciplines.
Eventually, this all translates into the vast applicability of obtained knowledge and the possibility of a complete career change course. That’s why it’s not just the teachers applying for the programme, but various professionals seeking to make meaningful contributions in their areas. These include but are not limited to community-based organizers, educators, policymakers, and religious leaders.
As for teachers specifically, it can be their way of shifting careers or adding value to their current role. By obtaining a diverse skill set, they can go beyond the classroom and the educational system they’re in.
In a word, a Master’s degree in educational leadership is a versatile tool that can turn out to be indispensable in our ever-shifting world.
Lead The Change
In 2005, an analysis of the educational leadership concluded that “scholarly directions seem to be changing, as an increasing number of scholars approach educational leadership and management as a humanistic and moral endeavor rather than a scientific one.”
In other words, success in the field might be more than a simple fulfillment of the requirements. Those who aspire to lead in education are those who would want to see the field changing for the better.
In Steve Job’s words, innovation is what distinguishes between a leader and a follower.
Of course, not all of us can be Mandelas or Steve Jobs. But we can all make a difference in our microcosmos, whether it be a small classroom, a huge postsecondary system, or a handful of people who would like to learn.
That is what educational leadership is all about. And, perhaps, it’s the most urgent and primary benefit of them all.
Is Obtaining a Master’s in Educational Leadership Worth it?
Before we make this final verdict, however, we’ll have to take a look at a few more variables. After all, a good leader is supposed to estimate his/her resources laser-sharply.
Here’s our little guide to help you out.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Master’s in Educational leadership?
The answer is – two years. Most programmes are based on a curriculum that takes semesters to complete, although many universities also offer accelerated or a part-time study option.
Who is the Master’s in Educational Leadership For?
A Master’s in educational leadership is primarily suited for those who are already somehow involved in the field of education and are aspiring to make a meaningful contribution to their community.
Where to get a Master’s in Educational Leadership Online?
Nowadays, there are many online programmes you can take without sacrificing other life commitments. However, you should always check if the institution holds all the necessary accreditation and is recognized globally.
Final Verdict: Yes, Taking a Master’s in Educational Leadership is Worth it
Or to paraphrase our conclusion – yes, it’s worth it if you have the “humanistic and moral aspirations” that drive you towards making an impact.
And yes – in most cases, a higher salary will justify the costs of your studies.
And a giant, final yes to you – if you aim to be a Mandela in your educational community.
Learn more about the programme by downloading our prospectus.
Feel free to contact us in case you have any additional questions. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!