Educational Management Degrees: Masters, PhD & Online Course Info

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What kind of job can you get with a master's or doctorate degree in educational management? Find out about master's degree and Ph.D program requirements, online options and information on courses and careers in educational management.
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Study Educational Management: Degrees at a Glance

Educational management, also commonly referred to as education administration and education leadership, prepares you to manage a school and other educational institutions. Master's and doctorate degree graduates are generally qualified to become public or private school principals or superintendents, or they may pursue junior college and university administrator positions.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elementary, middle and high school administration jobs are expected to increase by 10% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). Job growth for postsecondary school administrators is projected to increase 19%, while jobs for postsecondary professors is expected to increase by 17%, during this same period, which is about as fast as average, noted the BLS.

Master's Doctorate
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in managing K-12 schools or community colleges Individuals who want to work in academia as administrators, professors and researchers
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Elementary, middle and secondary school administrators ($90,200)*
- Technical or trade school administrators ($69,940)*
-Religious learning organization administrators ($60,300)*
- Residential care facility administrators ($71,800)*
- Community college administrators ($84,500)*
- University administrators ($101,800)*
- Technical or trade school administrators ($79,400)*
- University professors ($65,000)*
Time to Completion 1-2 years, full-time 3-5 years
Common Graduation Requirements - About 6-8 graduate courses
- Master's thesis or research paper
- Master's exams
- A master's degree
- 4-6 graduate courses
- Ph.D qualifier tests
- Dissertation proposal and completion
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree in education administration or a related field Bachelor's or master's degree in education administration or a related field
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures).

Master's in Educational Management

A master's degree in educational management or administration may provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to lead K-12 educational institutions. These programs will teach you educational theory, financial management and organizational communication skills. You'll learn about the challenges facing educational leaders. With a master's degree in educational management, you may seek employment as a school administrator or further your education with an advanced post-graduate degree. While some master's programs are terminal, others are designed with a doctorate degree being the final goal.

You can expect small class sizes and a heavy course load in these programs. You'll spend a lot of time working with your professors to determine your course of study and the research associated with it.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A master's degree will generally earn you a higher salary than an undergraduate degree
  • You'll gain the knowledge and skills to effectively lead a school
  • School administrator jobs are available in all parts of the country

Cons

  • You may need a Ph.D. to teach or manage at the postsecondary level
  • Adequate experience may also be needed to secure a good job
  • Some master's degree programs are terminal and may not lead into a doctorate program

Courses and Requirements

Many master's degree programs offer a range of related courses that teach you how to be a school manager. The following are a few courses offered in these programs:

  • Evaluation of educational programs
  • University and K-12 leadership techniques
  • Educational politics and economics
  • School management methods
  • Financial management
  • Mediating and negotiating
  • Organizational theory and administration
  • International education
  • Urban education

Along with coursework, your master's degree program will likely require you to complete research and a master's thesis in your area of specialization.

Online Degree Options

If you're employed and are seeking a non-traditional program to earn your master's degree, then an online master's degree program may help you. There are some programs available in this field, and the requirements for them are generally the same as traditional programs.

Getting Ahead With This Degree

There are steps you can take to get ahead in the job market while you're working on your master's degree. For example, if you have an interest in traveling, you may want to explore becoming an administrator at an international or American school abroad. Some universities have international job placement programs. You can attend international job fairs to learn more.

Another way to stand out is to keep abreast of the latest educational, classroom and management technologies. From interactive virtual lessons and webinars to electronic textbooks, educational technology is constantly changing. Staying current with these advances may make you a more attractive candidate to employers.

Ph.D in Educational Management

In a doctorate program in educational management, you'll first decide whether you want to focus your training on K-12 or postsecondary school management. You'll work with your professors to determine your research and course of study. Admission into a Ph.D program in educational management is generally very competitive, according to the BLS.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Your doctorate research may influence and effect educational theory and policy
  • You'll be qualified to lead at the K-12, community college and postsecondary levels
  • Tenure may be available at the postsecondary level in your school

Cons

  • Earning your Ph.D may be time consuming
  • You may need to relocate to work
  • There may not be a guarantee of tenure

Courses and Requirements

Although your specialty may affect your course load, the following are a few classes offered in these programs:

  • Faculty training and development
  • K-12 school curriculum
  • Secondary and postsecondary school curriculum
  • Dissertation research techniques
  • Statistics
  • Management ethics
  • Educational business and finance
  • Cultural diversity in schools

Along with your doctorate courses, you'll present a dissertation proposal before a faculty board. Once your proposal is accepted, you'll research and write your dissertation before defending it. You may also be required to spend time working in schools.

Online Degree Options

Although there are online doctorate courses available from a number of accredited universities, finding an entire Ph.D. program offered online is difficult. This is because you'll need to complete your research in person at schools, as well as work closely with your professors and advisers.

Stand Out With This Degree

Whether you want to be an administrator, a researcher or a university professor, job competition for these school leadership jobs may be strong. Here are a few ways you can make yourself stand out while your pusue your master's or doctorate degree in educational management:

  • Stay on top of technological developments in education and administration
  • Get an education administration license from your state to increase your chances of getting a job
  • Publish your dissertation or any other research in a peer-reviewed academic journal, if possible

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.Ed. - Educational Leadership
      • M.Ed. - Organizational Leadership
      • M.Ed. - Higher Education Leadership
      • M.Ed. - International Education
      • MEd - Corporate Wellness
      • M.Ed. - Adult Learning and Workforce Education
  • Online Programs Available
    2. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Concordia University Nebraska

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
      • M.Ed. in Educational Administration, Dual Certification
      • M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with Curriculum Supervisor Certification
      • M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with ESL/ELL Emphasis
  • Online Programs Available
    4. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Lewis University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MA in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education - Student Services
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Queens University of Charlotte

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    7. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Education - Leadership in Educational Organizations
      • Master: Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • Master of Education - Elementary Education
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Saint Joseph's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Special Education with Wilson Reading Certificate
      • MS - Organization Development & Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Educational Leadership
      • MS in Higher Education Administration
      • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction
      • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Dyslexia Studies & LBLD
  • Online Programs Available
    10. University of Delaware

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership

Featured Schools

Northcentral University

  • M.Ed. - Educational Leadership
  • M.Ed. - Organizational Leadership
  • M.Ed. - Higher Education Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

The George Washington University

  • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
  • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning

What is your highest level of education?

Concordia University Nebraska

  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
  • M.Ed. in Educational Administration, Dual Certification
  • M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis

What is your highest level of education completed?

American University

  • Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

Lewis University

  • MA in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education - Student Services

What is your highest level of education?

Queens University of Charlotte

  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership

What is your highest level of education completed?

American InterContinental University

  • Master: Education - Leadership in Educational Organizations
  • Master: Education - Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education - Elementary Education

Are you a US citizen?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS - Special Education with Wilson Reading Certificate
  • MS - Organization Development & Leadership

What is your highest level of education completed?