The field of educational leadership is an area of growth, and earning a postsecondary degree can provide students with access to a variety of careers. Some individuals interested in this field may already possess classroom experience, while others may be looking to change careers or move directly from school into an educational leadership position. Read on to learn about available degrees, popular jobs, and career advancement opportunities.

A high school counselor speaks with a student in a locker-lined hallway.
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Why Pursue a Career in Educational Leadership?

Educational leadership careers offer professionals the chance to make a difference in how K-12 and college students interact with teaching and learning initiatives. These professionals also have the opportunity to support educators and administrators, attract top talent, and bring their educational vision to fruition.

Careers in educational leadership are suitable for determined, aspirational individuals who enjoy working with many different types of people and making high-level decisions about educational policies. Educational leaders should also enjoy problem-solving, innovative thinking, and finding solutions.

Educational Leadership Career Outlook

Careers for an educational leadership major run the gamut in terms of administrative and academic positions. Some leaders may want to continue working directly with students in schools while also taking over some administrative duties, such as principals. Others may feel drawn to solely administrative responsibilities, as is the case with university registrars.

Regardless of a student's interests, myriad positions exist to help fulfill their professional goals. Jobs in educational leadership should continue growing in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that roles for postsecondary education administrators, for instance, will grow by 7% between 2018-2028 — faster than the national average growth for all occupations.

A few professional pathways are highlighted below to provide a sense of the roles that can be found in this growing field.

Median Annual Salary for Educational Leadership Careers
Job Title Entry-Level
(0-12 months)
Early Career
(1-4 Years)
Midcareer
(5-9 Years)
Experienced
(10-19 Years)
Principal N/A $84,570 $92,120 $96,680
Dean of Students $54,210 $57,030 $62,380 $72,880
University Registrar $41,470 $48,320 $59,490 $70,650
Department Chair N/A $68,780 $72,990 $88,360

Source: PayScale

Skills Gained With a Degree in Educational Leadership

Over the course of their studies, degree-seekers gain a variety of hard and soft skills, which they can use in academic and professional settings.

Data Utilization

The best educational leaders understand that informed decision-making is founded on research and data. Rather than creating a plan or policy based on supposition, they carefully review the facts and figures available to chart the best path forward.

Inclusivity

Working in education means bringing together educators, students, administrators, and parents of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Creating a welcoming and inclusive space facilitates communication and leads to equitable progress for all.

Leadership

Some leadership skills are innate, but many others are learned. A strong leader not only takes responsibility for their organization, but they also develop a keen sense of empathy and understanding of their employees and peers, knowing when to compromise and upon whom to delegate.

Collaboration

No educational leader can accomplish all they need to on their own, which makes it important to learn how to build teams and network with others. Building enthusiasm toward a shared vision is critical for anyone working in this arena.

Communication

Whether addressing the school staff to let them know about budgetary matters, discussing disciplinary issues with a parent, or helping a student understand the processes of getting into college, school leaders must know how to communicate clearly and effectively, both in writing and in person.

Educational Leadership Career Paths

Educational leadership careers span a wide spectrum of positions. Because of this, some colleges offer specializations to help students concentrate their knowledge in a particular field, such as K-12 principalship or higher education. The five paths highlighted below are a few of the options available to students.

Administration

Individuals looking to become principals at an elementary, middle, or high school typically pursue this specialization, which sometimes leads to licensure after graduation. Degree-seekers learn how to lead these schools and what it takes to work within the framework of local and state laws and regulations.

Curriculum and Instruction

The curriculum and instruction career path best serves learners who want to work on the forefront of designing and implementing curricular standards in K-12 settings. These leaders seek to improve the efficiency of education, designing new textbooks, setting testing standards, and working with teachers on best practices.

Postsecondary

A postsecondary education concentration trains graduates to support college students as they navigate academic, personal, professional, and administrative challenges in higher education. Careers in this area include dean of students, university registrar, and director of new student programs.

Special Education

Pursuing a special education career path allows educational leaders to support diverse learners — including children and adults — in their academic journeys. Coursework emphasizes the processes used to determine individualized plans for students with special needs and ways to support teachers and administrators who work with these learners.

Policy and Advocacy

Rather than preparing graduates to work hands-on with students, this concentration focuses on scholarly inquiry and research. Participants learn to craft overarching strategies that improve individual schools, districts, and the educational system as a whole. Individuals may work in governmental, nonprofit, or academic positions.

How to Start Your Career in Educational Leadership

When looking at educational leadership careers, it is apparent that the majority of these roles require a master's degree. While some professionals may work their way up to a managerial position by gaining experience, positions such as principal, instructional coordinator, and postsecondary education administrator all require a graduate-level education.

Many positions are available to master's degree-holders, but individuals who plan to engage in research or higher education teaching typically need a doctorate. Many students decide to pursue their graduate degree on a part-time basis while continuing to work.

Bachelor's Degree in Educational Leadership

Earning a bachelor's degree in educational leadership serves as a good first step towards a career in this field, but it's important to remember that most positions in this field require a master's degree. Many hiring managers may also prefer candidates who possess some type of classroom or administrative experience, as well.

Bachelor's in educational leadership programs touch on foundational topics like child psychology and development, organizational leadership and management, and curriculum development. Most schools offer bachelor's in education programs with a specialization in educational leadership.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Educational Leadership?

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors

These professionals oversee childcare workers and preschool teachers, train and manage new staff members, and create the policies and rules that govern how a school runs. They also develop and monitor educational standards, communicate with students and parents, and create and manage budgets.

Salary: $48,210

Training and Development Managers

Working in companies, nonprofits, and governmental agencies, training and development managers oversee the educational curriculum for their organizations. They develop new training programs, oversee training providers and vendors, and evaluate programs and teachers for effectiveness. On the administrative side, they frequently oversee budgets, hire staff and contractors, and report on how the training program supports staff development.

Salary: $113,350

Training and Development Specialists

Training and development specialists work in tandem with managers to design, create, and implement training programs, including online learning modules and in-person classes. They oversee other trainers, evaluate their effectiveness, and conduct surveys.

Salary: $61,210

Source: BLS

Master's Degree in Educational Leadership

Individuals who hold a master's degree may qualify for a variety of educational leadership careers. Master's in educational leadership programs, which typically take two years to complete, cover topics such as school and community partnerships, curriculum development and data analysis, and leadership for social justice. As part of their graduation requirements, learners typically take part in a practicum and/or write a thesis.

In addition to traditional in-person pathways, students can choose from many online master's in educational leadership programs, making it easier for degree-seekers balancing personal and professional responsibilities to further their education and career.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Educational Leadership?

Principals

Elementary, middle, and high school principals sit at the head of their schools and oversee day-to-day operations. They develop and confirm class schedules, hire and manage teachers and staff members, and implement curricular standards for each grade. Principals also manage the organizational budget, set training requirements, and meet with parents and students on an as-needed basis.

Salary: $96,400

Instructional Coordinators

Instructional coordinators take responsibility for developing, implementing, and monitoring school curricula. With a firm understanding of both state teaching standards and best practices in instruction, these professionals create new materials, train educators, and provide assessments and feedback when launching new material. In some cases, coordinators may also mentor teachers.

Salary: $66,290

Postsecondary Education Administrators

These professionals fill many important roles in colleges and universities. Some may find their skills best suited for admissions, while others may be drawn to student services or student life departments. Responsibilities include scheduling course offerings, overseeing registration, and meeting with prospective/current students and their families.

Salary: $95,410

School and Career Counselors

These professionals help children and adults stake out their educational and professional paths. Often working in concert with educators, counselors identify roadblocks to student success and help learners build the skills necessary to move forward toward goals. These counselors may also work with parents and families, providing support as students transition into their next chapter.

Salary: $57,040

Education Directors

Education directors may work in public or private K-12 settings. Their jobs vary based on the individual school setting, but responsibilities typically include supervising instruction and curricular coordinators, managing staff performance and training, and ensuring all regulatory requirements related to accreditation and testing are met and/or renewed as needed.

Salary: $63,880

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership

When looking at doctorates in educational leadership, prospective students should investigate the differences between Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs. While the former option is suitable for learners who want to work in research and teaching settings, the latter supports those interested in more practical roles in the industry.

An Ed.D. usually takes 3-4 years to earn, while a Ph.D. program can take 5-7 years. Commonly explored topics include strategic planning for educational leadership, school-based inquiry and transformation, and epistemology and inquiry-based learning. Along with in-person options, several online doctorates in educational leadership are also available.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Educational Leadership?

Educational Leadership Professors

Professors who teach educational leadership classes spend their days giving lectures, creating assignments and projects, and grading exams and other materials. They also help students through advising and field placements, stay up-to-date on the industry by reading journal articles and attending conferences, and work with other faculty members and administrators to carry out departmental goals.

Salary: $79,540

School Superintendents

School superintendents oversee K-12 systems and districts. They typically report to the school board and spend their time overseeing staffing and recruitment needs, creating new policies and rules for schools and the district, and managing the annual budget. They may also manage school properties; maintenance requests; and high-level complaints from students, parents, or staff members.

Salary: $118,390

University Presidents

As with superintendents, university presidents are also hired by and report to a board of directors. They concern themselves with big-picture responsibilities, such as creating a vision for the future of the institution, ensuring that it carries out its mission, and handling large donor requests. These professionals may also meet with students about concerns or disciplinary issues and handle community relations with nearby businesses and nonprofits.

Salary: $151,290

Assessment and Education Researchers

These professionals work to move the discipline forward by providing data-driven analysis. They commonly study the educational and assessment practices of teachers and faculty, collecting materials and conducting interviews. They synthesize their findings, write academic journals, and give conference presentations to help educate others.

Salary: $67,430

Sources: BLS and PayScale

How to Advance Your Career in Educational Leadership

After earning a degree, some aspiring professionals may be required to seek licensure, as is the case for teachers and principals. Others may pursue an optional certificate to demonstrate/develop niche knowledge or skills. Many professionals participate in continuing education training — either voluntarily or as part of their licensure requirements — or take advantage of free online courses offered by professional organizations and schools. The following sections look at how to keep learning after earning your degree.

Certifications and/or Licensure

Principals and instructional coordinators working in public schools must gain and hold licensure, as must teachers. Professionals working in postsecondary settings or private schools do not typically need to earn licensure, but they may decide to seek certification from a professional organization. These shorter programs help participants develop specific skills. Some options include:

  • Certified Educational Tech Leader: This credential is suitable for technology leaders, such as chief technology officers and chief information officers. Professionals who earn this certification learn to keep up with the latest advancements in technology and apply these tools to improve educational systems.
  • Certified Instructional Designer: Designed to help trainers develop programs that meet the individual needs of students, this certification focuses on improving student performance by bringing new tools and techniques into the classroom.

Next Steps

Keeping skills sharp as an educational leader requires consistent devotion to professional growth and reflection. Professionals can learn about emerging ideologies and trends in the industry by joining a professional organization. Membership also allows for networking, helping education leaders build and maintain important relationships.

Professional organizations also allow members to participate in annual conferences, take advantage of research findings and support services, look for jobs, and get career advice. Many of these groups maintain a national presence, as well as local/regional chapters with nearby events and networking opportunities.

How to Switch Your Career to Educational Leadership

The process of switching into an educational leadership career depends on an individual's degree and previous professional experience. Professionals currently working as teachers, for instance, can often move into an educational leadership role fairly seamlessly.

Someone who spent years working as an engineer, however, may need to go through more steps. Career changers who already possess a bachelor's degree often seek a master's degree related to their new industry to build knowledge and credentials. Because so many educational leadership roles require a graduate-level education, this offers a good transition point.

Many employers look for candidates with previous experience, making programs that offer or require student teaching, internships, and/or practica particularly attractive.

Where Can You Work as an Educational Leadership Professional?

Many individuals assume that educational leaders all work in schools. While it is true that many jobs can be found at K-12 institutions, as well as colleges and universities, other job opportunities also exist.

For example, educational leaders interested in research may work for state or federal government agencies, or they may find roles at nonprofits or think tanks. Other individuals may decide to use their skills to develop adult education programs, such as corporate training. As students move through educational requirements, it's important for them to consider which setting may best serve their professional goals.


Interview With an Educational Leadership Professional

Robin Grebing

Robin Grebing


Dr. Robin Grebing is an associate professor of higher education leadership and the director of Maryville University's higher education leadership program.

Dr. Grebing has over 11 years of administrative experience in higher learning settings. As the director of an online campus, she supervised academic offerings, student support services, instructional technologies, the learning management system, accreditation, and community outreach.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in educational leadership? Is this a field you were always interested in?

A career in education is more of a calling than a job. Like many others who work in this field, I was motivated to help people improve their lives through education. I tried several times to change majors and career paths, but being an educator was my destiny and I kept returning to it.

I started my career teaching at the secondary level in 7-12 English and social studies. After earning advanced degrees, I transitioned into administrative and faculty positions at the college/university level.

For me, pursuing a career in higher education is about facilitating the greatest amount of positive change. As a teacher, I can be a positive influence for a group of students each year. As a college administrator and faculty member in the Ed.D. program, I can nurture other leaders to be change agents on their campuses. I think I have the greatest impact by helping other teachers and administrators reach their maximum leadership potential.

What was the job search like after completing your doctorate in education?

From my experience, many people who complete doctoral degrees find that opportunities they did not know existed come knocking on the door. Even while in a doctoral program, an individual is often tapped for a larger leadership role at their current institution or recruited by other institutions that recognize their leadership potential.

A doctorate broadens the scope of knowledge and skills a person brings to a position. A person with a doctorate can engage in original research, use data to make informed decisions, analyze the macro-environment for trends, foster new collaboration among departments, and energize a new strategic planning process, among many other responsibilities. Institutional boards and executive administrators recognize the value of these skills.

A recently graduated doctoral student will likely find that opportunities they never considered are now real opportunities. A person with an educational leadership doctorate can move up in their field, and also expand a job search across fields.

A student affairs professional completing a doctoral degree is also prepared for careers in enrollment management, diversity and inclusion, and institutional effectiveness. Similarly, a faculty member completing a doctorate can transition into administrative roles in student development and success, research and planning, and assessment. After earning a doctorate, new doors open and there are more doors.

What are some crucial skills that you acquired through your doctoral program?

One of the most important skills acquired through a doctoral program is the ability to plan and conduct original research. In the field of education, conducting a review of existing literature, developing a research design, collecting data, analyzing results, and making recommendations based on the results is a process unique to a doctoral degree. Higher education professionals will acquire these skills only through their doctoral work.

The ability to conduct research and draw conclusions from the data is critical to effective decision-making. Administrative decisions should not be willy-nilly; rather, education leaders should base decisions on research.

Doctoral programs provide instruction in other crucial leadership skills. It is important for leaders to identify their leadership strengths and weaknesses and develop strategies for growing their leadership abilities to fit many different types of situations. Similarly, developing reflective practice is another tool for ongoing improvement of one's leadership skills.

Doctoral programs also provide opportunities to study the skills needed to be an effective administrator, such as curriculum development, finance and resource management, law and policy, assessment and accreditation, and student development, among many other specialties. Earning a doctorate is a true preparation for being a leader in a college or university setting.

What are some of the challenges you face in your work on a day-to-day basis?

Educational leaders face a myriad of problems. Our world is changing rapidly and those changes have a huge impact on education. Colleges and universities that are preparing students for tomorrow's jobs must anticipate the skills that will be needed.

Educators are constantly striving to design programs that will lead students to be creative problem-solvers, effective collaborators, and good communicators. Perhaps more importantly, educators try to nurture a thirst for lifelong learning, so graduates continue to reinvent themselves as the world changes around them.

The other primary challenge is serving the needs of students in a way that prepares them for success. Every student is a unique individual with unique needs, but those needs are many and varied. One student may need basic study skills, while another needs intensive math tutoring. One student may need to speak to a counselor about a problem with a roommate, while another needs long-term counseling for depression and anxiety. One student may need weekly meetings with the professor to stay on track, while another benefits from reminders via text message.

Providing the combination of services that will give each student the greatest chance of success is a challenge, but it is not impossible.

How have you seen the educational leadership field change during your career? What changes do you anticipate for the field in the coming years?

There have been two great disruptions in education in the past two decades. One is technology and the other is content delivery. The classroom of today looks completely different from a classroom 20 years ago.

Every student has a tablet and perhaps even virtual reality goggles. A classroom might not even be a physical space, but an online asynchronous experience. The ability for anyone to make and share videos has been revolutionary in education. Classrooms have green screens and students can appear to be anywhere in the universe and even add in special effects. Technology has vastly changed the way we teach and learn, and it has created new challenges for educators to integrate technology in meaningful ways.

The other disruption is content delivery. Throughout most of history, the teacher stood at the front of the room and the students sat in rows of desks facing the teacher. This configuration rarely exists today.

Classrooms are pure energy where students create their own learning experiences through prototyping, design thinking, gamification, and other hands-on activities. The internet gives us the capability to deliver personalized learning experiences to students, allowing them to skip what they already know and focus on filling their gaps in knowledge. Now, more than ever, individuals are guiding their own learning experiences.

In the coming years, advances in technology, such as improvements in virtual reality, will further enhance learning experiences. Students will be able to experience the birth of a star or the explosion of a volcano from the safety of a classroom. Learning will know no bounds.

What type of background is helpful for someone pursuing a career in educational leadership?

Individuals who want to pursue a career in educational leadership would benefit from work experience in a higher education setting. Work in student affairs, as a faculty member, or in another area of college or university operations; this provides important background information. Successful students have also had backgrounds in K-12 education, nonprofit social services, government, and law enforcement.

What advice would you give to students who are considering a doctorate in educational leadership?

I typically give several pieces of advice to people considering starting a doctorate in educational leadership program.

First, ensure that you can make enough time for the program. Doctoral programs are demanding and students should plan to spend 15-20 hours per week working on classes and dissertation writing.

Second, discuss the program demands with family, friends, and supervisors at work. Your family and extended network of support needs to be aware that the program is a priority and that means you will have less time for things you used to do. The good news is that a doctorate is a short-term commitment — 32 months in Maryville's program — and life can go back to normal when the dissertation is done.

Finally, be prepared to work hard and push yourself. You will become a better thinker, a better writer, a better decision-maker, and a better leader while you are in the program, but it takes hard work. Successful students commit to doing the hard work.

Resources for Educational Leadership Majors

There is no shortage of educational leadership resources. Professional organizations offer great networking opportunities, while open courseware and publications can help students and professionals stay abreast of changes in the discipline. Check out the resources in the following sections and conduct additional research to find the tools best suited to your individual needs.

Professional Organizations

Attending conferences, networking with other professionals in the field, and keeping up with the latest industry trends are three driving factors behind career success — and membership with a professional organization enables you to do all three. The following organizations cater to principals, superintendents, deans, administrative staff, and other educational leadership professionals.

The School Superintendents Association: Founded more than 150 years ago, AASA boasts a membership of more than 13,000 superintendents, school administrators, financial officers, and other educational leaders. The organization promotes advocacy initiatives like Educating the Total Child and holds several conferences throughout the calendar year. Certain members, such as retirees and "small-school" district leaders, may qualify for discounts on membership .


National Association of Secondary School Principals: This association caters to educational leaders who oversee middle and high schools in the United States. Members may take part in school improvement research, enroll in professional development courses, and/or work with fellow members to promote advocacy initiatives. NASSP publishes several periodicals and recognizes outstanding principals, assistant principals, and other school administrators across the country in an annual awards ceremony.


National Association of Elementary School Principals: NAESP focuses on the same goals and efforts as its sister association, NASSP, albeit at the elementary level. In addition to improvements in curriculum, standardized test scores, and administration strength, this organization also targets issues that are common among learners, such as identifying students with special needs and fostering literacy among young children.


National Association of School Superintendents: Superintendents often serve as the go-between for school officials and district administrators. NASS strives to provide networking opportunities for superintendents and their support staff at public schools across the country.


Association of Deans & Directors of University Colleges & Undergraduate Studies: The goal of this organization is to "establish a community of professional colleagues responsible for academic programs and services for undergraduates." Any dean, director, assistant or associate professor may become a member. AD&D holds a national conference every spring.

Open Courseware

In addition to formal college courses taken as part of an accredited degree program, students can access open courseware. Some of these specialized online courses are taught by faculty members at top schools like Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. Additionally, these courses are typically offered free of charge.

Economics of Education - Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Whether an educational leader is charged with overseeing an elementary school or a four-year university, maintaining a balanced and sustainable budget is one of their top priorities. Using economic theory and institutional texts, Prof. Frank Levy explores the various financial challenges faced by today's school systems. Other topics include the educational labor market, strategies for boosting a school's rate-of-return for teachers, and the role new technology plays in employee skill demand.


Concept-Centered Teaching - Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Many educational leaders become well-versed with various learning theories over the course of their academic studies. Concept-centered instruction emphasizes repetition and retention of key ideas of fundamental value to a particular subject or course. Although this open course focuses on science education, the topics can apply to virtually any academic department.


Entertainment Education for Behavior Change - Johns Hopkins University: Young learners in particular can benefit from education that stimulates their creativity through games, multimedia presentations, and other entertainment-based platforms. This course is taught by Esta de Fossard, an entertainment-education specialist who discusses what she calls the "ingredients of successful entertainment" — emotions, empathy, efficacy, and empowerment — and how they may be applied in today's classrooms.


Gifted and Talented Education - University of California, Irvine: Curriculum approval is a serious consideration for public school leaders. Classroom materials must not be too difficult for the majority of students to digest. By the same token, the curriculum should also challenge young minds, particularly those who are considered advanced. This course explores strategies that help principals and administrators identify the appropriate curricular pathway for gifted and talented students.

Publications

Open-Access Journals

Most academic journals are available in a digital format, although they may only be available to paid subscribers. In contrast, open-access journals are free and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. The following list describes some of the leading open-access journals geared toward educational leaders.

AASA: Journal of Scholarship & Practice: This publication focuses on "methodologically sound research" that educational leaders can use to improve the overall performance of U.S. schools. Past entries discuss topics like core state standards, the administrator's role within their school's community, and methods of preparing students for mandated testing.


Behavioral Sciences: In public and private schools of all levels, educational leaders must often take on a disciplinarian role. This journal explores the scientific and psychological motives behind different types of behavior, as well as potential solutions for poor behavior, such as cognitive therapy and positive reinforcement.


Current Issues in Comparative Education: The field of comparative education focuses on the differences between school systems, which vary between countries, states, and even neighboring communities. This journal examines the cultural, political, and financial factors that influence not only schools, but also work-study programs, on-the-job training, NGOs, and other educational alternatives for adults and children around the world.


Current Issues in Education: Sponsored by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, this catch-all journal explores trends in curricula, institutional leadership, policy, and other major areas of educational leadership. CIE's archive dates back to 1998, and past entries have focused on topics related to pre-K, K-12, and higher education.


International Journal of Multicultural Education: Educational leaders in the U.S. must adopt strategies that address and incorporate our nation's diverse cultural dynamic. IJME publishes journal entries that identify problematic trends in American schools that impact students of varying ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. It also proposes solutions that promote inclusivity, tolerance, and mutual respect.

Books

There are fewer books targeting educational leaders than there are for teachers. However, the titles listed below are specifically geared toward principals, superintendents, deans, and administrative staff. The authors discuss topics like financial management, community presence, and other pivotal aspects for educational leadership professionals.

School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results: This 2005 title takes an academic approach to educational leadership. Authors Robert J. Marzano, Timothy Waters, and Brian A. McNulty consulted 69 different case studies — some dating back to the 1970s — and a nationwide survey of more than 600 principals to craft a list of "leadership responsibilities" that influence student involvement and performance.


The Principal as Instructional Leader: A Practical Handbook: This work, written by leadership expert Sally Zepeda, is geared toward principals and assistant principals. Zepeda discusses strategies for evaluating classroom performance (for both students and teachers), addressing problem areas, and creating a positive culture within the school for all faculty members.


The Essential Academic Dean: A Practical Guide to College Leadership: The author of this 2007 title — Jeffrey L. Buller — has held positions at four U.S. higher learning institutions, and he currently serves as the dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. This book is based on a series of workshops facilitated by Buller that address various concerns in modern college administration and management.


Funding Public Schools: Politics and Policy: Budgetary cutbacks, levy failures, and other financial woes burden just about every school administrator at some point. This 1999 work from Kenneth K. Wong explores the connection between fiscal management of public school systems and the policies enacted by federal and state lawmakers. Wong also notes the rules and regulations that dictate educational resource allocation at different levels of the U.S. government.

Online Industry Magazines

Industry magazines target a niche audience based on their profession. Periodicals aimed at educational leaders discuss strategies for improving the ways in which teachers, students, and administrative staff work together. Many also include information about professional organizations, conferences and seminars, continuing education courses, and other opportunities for career advancement.

Principal Magazine: This bimonthly publication is the official magazine of NAESP. Common topics include childhood mental and physical health, burgeoning educational technologies, disciplinary tactics, and promoting cultural understanding and tolerance to impressionable young learners. Archives of Principal Magazine date back to the 2004-05 academic year, and every issue is available online.


School Planning & Management: Aimed at teachers and educational leaders working in K-12 settings, SP&M primarily focuses on cost-effective strategies for managing a successful learning institution. Each issue includes feature articles, product blurbs, and columns that tackle more specific topics like school maintenance, safety and security, classroom technology, and finance.


University Business Magazine: In addition to news blurbs and feature articles, UB offers web seminars, industry case studies, and an extensive employment directory. Overarching topics include enrollment and retention, campus management, and financial analysis. Archived issues (dating to 2004) are available on the website in a digital flipbook format to readers who register for a free subscription.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of an educational leader?

Educational leaders fill many important roles in K-12 and higher education facilities. In both academic and administrative realms, they oversee other staff members, set organizational and/or departmental goals, and help everything run according to established rules and policies.

Is educational leadership a good career?

Educational leadership can offer an exciting and meaningful career to individuals who enjoy working with students and making important decisions. Professionals who shy away from being in charge may not thrive in these roles, but those who feel confident in their leadership abilities often find great satisfaction.

What can I do with a degree in educational leadership?

A degree in educational leadership can lead to many careers. Professionals can find jobs working predominantly with students or pursue roles where they interact primarily with staff members and teachers. Educational leaders can find employment at elementary schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, in addition to some nonschool settings.

What is the highest-paying educational leadership job?

Positions requiring the highest level of education and significant previous experience typically offer the highest pay. University presidents, for instance, earn annual average salaries of more than $151,000, according to PayScale.

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