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What Is Educational Management?

Education management is both a field of academic study and a collective group of professionals that includes principals, teachers, and other education professionals. Learn what responsibilities these professionals have including their impact on education policy.

What Is Educational Management?

Educational management, also sometimes known as educational administration, is commonly associated with elementary and secondary schools as well as institutes of higher learning like colleges and universities. Education management professionals can also be found working in governmental agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Those working in educational management might develop education policy, conduct research, or consult to help evaluate and develop ways to enrich and enhance the educational system at all levels. Most educational management professionals have earned at least a master's degree and many are licensed teachers or principals.

Important Facts About Education Management Occupations

Elementary and Secondary School Principals Postsecondary Education Administrators
Median Salary (2018) $95,310 $94,340
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 8% growth 10% growth
Key Skills Leadership, problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills Interpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills
Similar Occupations Career/Technical Education Teacher, School/Career Counselor, Special Education Teacher Administrative Service Manager, Public Relations Specialist, Training/Development Manager

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Those interested in an educational management career will likely need to complete a master's or doctoral degree program. Some of these programs are intended specifically for public education teachers and administrators; however, completing a teacher education program is not a requirement for enrollment in some educational management programs. You can also find educational management programs that focus on preparation for careers in higher education. Master's degree programs might require completion of a thesis project and internship. Doctoral programs generally require a dissertation based on original research.

Common Coursework

The core coursework in educational management degree programs varies slightly from program to program. Listed below are some common courses that you can expect to encounter in a graduate-level educational management program:

  • Education economics
  • Education legislation
  • Public policy and education
  • Management of educational organizations
  • Evaluation of educational systems

Licensure

Education managers who work in school administration, usually as principals, are required to be licensed in most states, if they work at public schools. Requirements vary, but they often include a master's degree and additional training. Sometimes continuing education is needed to maintain licensure. Private schools do not require licensure.

Job Skills

Leadership skills are a must in this field. Professionals working in education management must also have good decision-making and problem-solving skills. They should also be good communicators and be comfortable working with teachers, parents, and children, as well as other community members.

Occupational Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for elementary and secondary school principals was $95,310, while academic administrators at the postsecondary level earned $94,340 in 2018. The BLS predicts job growth for these two careers around 8% and 10% respectively during the 2016-2026 decade. The BLS indicates this might be due to a need to replace retiring professionals. Additionally, the advanced educational requirements for many positions might deter some from pursuing openings in the field, making positions more readily available to those who do hold the necessary degrees.