Every year schools are looking for ways to improve their system and provide students with the best possible education, which is where good education leadership comes into play. Surprisingly enough, many people involved in their local educational system are uncertain as to what defines educational leadership. Education leadership is a combined process that utilizes the forces, knowledge and talents of teachers, parents and teachers with the goal of improving not just the quality of education but also the education system itself.

What is Education Leadership?

The main purpose of educational leadership is to guarantee academic success through process, training and material improvements. Unfortunately, this success cannot be guaranteed or even accomplished without the help and collaboration of everyone involved, including the students, parents, teachers, policymakers and even the general public. From a business standpoint, educational leadership is a method of quality control and academic management. Here is the actual process of educational leadership:

  • Create a vision of academic success for all students regardless of socio-economical levels
  • Aspire to maintain a responsive, healthy and safe learning environment
  • Delegate responsibility to everyone involved
  • Improve curriculum content and instructional methods
  • Education systems obtain and adapt current management tools and techniques

What Jobs are in Educational Leadership?

Earning a degree in educational leadership prepares students for various jobs within an education system, including elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and universities. Most states do require teachers and school administrators working in public schools to be licensed, so aspiring professionals will need to pass state licensing exams in addition to earning the required degrees. Graduates of education leadership degree programs, particularly master’s degrees, may find the following occupations available to them.

  • Principal
  • Assistant Principal
  • Dean of Students or Faculty
  • Elementary, Middle or High School Superintendent
  • College Provost
  • District Administrator
  • Supervisor or Director
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • University Registrar

Degrees in Educational Leadership

Candidates interested in careers in educational leadership can choose from programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Although there are some undergraduate educational leadership programs, these are rare because graduate degrees are usually required for educational leadership jobs. Bachelor’s degrees are sufficient for teaching positions, however many individuals choose to later advance their education.

Those enrolling in educational leadership programs can typically choose from a Master of Arts, Master of Science or Master of Education with a concentration in educational leadership, K-12 administration, religious school education or school principal. Students in the educational leadership programs complete coursework and internships and also complete research projects. Course topics include student affairs, school finance and law, communication, community relations and student affairs, professional development and leadership, strategic and organizational planning, and adult affairs. Students who want careers in academia or research often pursue doctorate degrees.

Related Resource: 50 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Education Administration

Career & Wage Outlook in Educational Leadership

Graduates of educational leadership programs are qualified for various positions within various academic facilities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts positive job growth for all these careers as well as very good wages. Here is the career outlook for the decade of 2016-2026 for several occupations as well as the median wages earned in 2017 according to the Bureau.

  • Elementary, Middle and High School Principal – 8 percent – $94,390
  • Elementary and Secondary School Education Administrators – 9 percent – $97,440
  • Post-Secondary Education Administrator- 10 percent – $92,360
  • Instructional Coordinator – 11 percent – $63,750
  • Training and Development Manager – 10 percent – $108,250
  • Social and Community Service Manager – 18 percent – $61,100

It’s often been said that an education system is only as good as its education leaders. With so many career options available to graduates of educational leadership programs, it’s understandable why so many candidates are pursuing the education that will prepare them to play a role in improving our education.