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What Will I Learn in an Educational Leadership Degree Program?

A Master of Education or Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program could prepare you to become a school principal, superintendent or other educational administrator in public or private school systems. A Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership teaches you to conduct research and advance knowledge in the field.

Educational Leadership Degrees

Individuals who hold leadership roles in school settings are typically required to have at least a master's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Assistant principals and principals in elementary and secondary schools can often work their way up from teaching positions, but are still required to have graduate education in many instances. A Master of Education in Education Leadership could provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to move up to an administrative role.

Superintendents, college provosts and college deans are often required to have a doctorate in a subject such as educational leadership. Those who are interested in teaching the subject at the college level might earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Program Duration Master's: Approximately 21 months - 2 years
Doctoral: Approximately 3 years
Prerequisites Relevant prior degree; some programs require teacher licensure, classroom experience, and test scores
Online Availability Programs are available fully online
Program Requirement Capstone project, field experience/practicum
Median Salary (2018) $94,340 (for all postsecondary education administrators)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% (for all postsecondary education administrators)*

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's Degree in Educational Leadership

This degree is offered both on campus and online by many universities. The Master of Education in Educational Leadership is a typical degree for someone who wants to become a school principal or a college administrator. Whether the degree program focuses on K-12 or higher education, the skills taught include:

  • Locating and reviewing professional resources for teachers and administrators
  • Understanding statistics
  • Measuring educational activities and outcomes
  • Making decisions and planning strategically
  • Using information technology to design curriculum
  • Understanding law and policy regarding education
  • Comparing educational systems
  • Supervising teachers
  • Understanding and managing school finances

Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership

This degree aims to train either advanced administrators or researchers in the field of education. Skills taught in the doctorate program include the competencies of the master's degree program. Doctoral candidates also learn these concepts:

  • Designing qualitative and quantitative research
  • Doing research ethically
  • Writing research papers