How Can I Become an Education Specialist?

Explore the career requirements for education specialists. Get the facts about the education requirements, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Education - Organizational Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Education Specialist?

Education specialists are school employees who have earned a graduate-level Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. Job titles vary depending on the individual's area of specialization. For instance, school principals and other administrators are experts in managing the operations of a school. Instructional coordinators develop and implement school improvement strategies, such as redesigning the math curriculum or incorporating more technology in the classroom. School counselors help students deal with mental health issues, behavioral problems, family troubles and social challenges. At the high school level, they may also offer advice about college admissions or getting a job after graduation.

The table below lists the general requirements for a career as an education specialist.

Degree RequiredEducation Specialist (Ed.S.), offered at graduate school level
Key SkillsLeadership, communication, organization, decision-making
Job Growth (2014-2024)7% (for all instructional coordinators)*
Median Salary (2015)$62,270 (for all instructional coordinators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Statistics

What Types of Education Specialist Programs are Available?

Education specialist (Ed.S.) degree programs are offered at graduate schools across the U.S. They are intended for education professionals who have earned a master's degree and wish to enhance their credentials or expertise in a particular area but don't want to earn a doctorate. Typical subject areas or specializations covered in an Ed.S. program include curriculum and instruction, educational leadership and school counseling. Some programs require the completion of a capstone project.

An education leadership specialty focuses on the routine tasks that come with managing a school, trends in education administration and unique contemporary challenges facing administrators. Programs combine classroom study with field experience. Possible course topics include education policy, education economics, leadership psychology and managing diversity.

A curriculum and instruction specialty trains educators to craft programs of academic study that meet the needs of the enrolled student population at a school, to make the best use of available resources, and to balance proven instructional methods with new thinking on pedagogy. Curriculum theory, program evaluation, and curriculum design and development are among this specialty's likely courses.

In a school counseling specialty, educators learn to communicate with students and their parents about a student's academic obligations and personal or behavioral problems. Counseling theory and technique, child development, family consultation and teacher consultation are topics of emphasis. Most programs include an internship or practicum that provides direct experience with counseling.

What Is the Expected Employment Outlook and Salary?

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have a designation for education specialist, it does list the 2015 median salary for instructional coordinators at $62,270. The job outlook for instructional coordinators for 2014-2024 was listed as an increase of 7%.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Even if you choose not to earn an Ed.S. degree, there are a variety of advanced jobs you could pursue within the field of education. For instance, you could become a school principal and manage the staff, daily operations and activities of an elementary, middle or high school. To qualify for this position you may need a master's degree in education leadership or education administration. If you're interested in a career helping students succeed in school, you could consider becoming a school counselor. This position needs a master's degree in school counseling or a related field as well as state-issued credential or licensure.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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