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Move Into Educational Administration With an Online Master’s Degree

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Teachers make a big impact on the lives of students, which is why teaching is one of the most rewarding career paths. After many years in the classroom, though, some teachers may want a change. To take the next step for a new direction and change of pace, some of them move into administration. Changing careers allows teachers to challenge themselves and use their leadership skills while maintaining their passion for education.

Jobs in Administration

Administration roles in education usually require a master’s degree. Here are some of the careers available to those who earn a Master of Science in Education — Educational Administration:

  • School Principal.
  • Curriculum or Instructional Coordinator.
  • Director of Special Education.
  • Director of Instruction.
  • Dean of Students.

Most of these roles require a master’s degree because the job involves skills that teachers do not often learn in their undergrad studies or use in the classroom. Principals oversee school operations, and their responsibilities include coordinating curricula, managing teachers and creating a safe learning environment for students. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, principals and instructional coordinators need a master’s degree and at least five years of experience.

Each state may have its own requirements for the role. For example, prospective school administrators in Wisconsin need to have a master’s degree in administration before pursuing a certificate in administration. The number of jobs for principals is growing at a rate that matches the average for all occupations, with 14,000 new jobs expected between 2014 and 2024.

Instructional coordinators oversee curriculum and teaching standards, develop curriculum and instructional materials, help with implementation, and assess the effectiveness of the curriculum. There are 151,000 educators in this role currently, with 10,500 additional job openings expected by 2024.

Benefits of Moving Into Administration

Moving into administration typically leads to a salary increase. The BLS lists the 2016 median pay for principals as $92,510 per year and $62,460 for instructional coordinators.

Educators who earn an MSE in administration gain new skills in a number of areas including leadership, curriculum management, conflict resolution and mediation, and teacher supervision. Educators who enter administration have the opportunity to make a difference to the entire school community, not just their classroom.

Unlike teachers, who follow a set schedule and predetermined curriculum, administrators do something different every day. They solve problems, get involved in curriculum development and hire staff. Teachers mostly work with students, parents and some staff. Administrators work with all of these groups plus school district officials and community members.

How to Make the Move From Classroom to Administration

Teachers can explore careers beyond the classroom by earning an online MSE — Educational Administration degree. Master’s candidates are able to select a specific track to delve deeper into topics that interest them. For example, students have a choice of three tracks in the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s online MSE program: PK-12 Principalship, PK-12 Director of Instruction, and Director of Special Education and Pupil Services.

When selecting the degree to pursue, make sure the MSE program meets your state’s standard requirements for administration and licensure.

An online program provides educators with the flexibility to take classes on a schedule that works for them. Not only does earning the degree allow teachers to move into administration roles, it also prepares them for the job.

Learn more about UW-Superior’s online Master of Science in Education — Educational Administration program.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Instructional Coordinators

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