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What Is Educational Planning?

Find out how a school district develops curriculum. Get information about how policies are implemented within an educational system. Often, these processes start through research by educational planning professionals.

Educational Planning Defined

Educational planning strives to research, develop, implement and advance policies, programs and reforms within educational institutions. Educational planners might work at the local, national or international level to advance or improve education. While educational planning might center on pre-school and K-12 education, you could also work in postsecondary education as well. As an educational planner, you could work within educational institutions, government agencies, and private or not-for-profit organizations.

Educational planners typically hold graduate degrees. You might also consider becoming a licensed teacher or earning additional degrees in education. Administrators within schools or districts are commonly involved in educational planning.

Important Facts About Educational Planning

Professional Certification Certified Education Planner
Required Education Bachelor's degree
Median Salary (2018) $64,450 (for instructional coordinators)
Key Skills Interpersonal communication; analytical; decision-making

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Overview

As an educational planner, you might look at a number of issues, trends or policies that are affecting education. These factors may include cost, equality of access, new technologies, curriculum or learning and teaching methods. Some educational planners might work to help develop schools in a third-world country. You might also find yourself working with state or national agencies to shape educational standards. In addition to conducting research on educational policies, you might train and help implement a program.

Career Outlook

Career statistics aren't available specifically for educational planners; however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported projected growth for related professions. The BLS indicated a growth rate of 11% for instructional coordinators during 2016-2026, while elementary, middle and high school principals could see 8% growth (www.bls.gov). The BLS indicated that this average employment growth is due in part to a need to fill positions due to retirement.

Graduate Degree Programs

Educational policy and planning, educational administration and policy, or similar programs are the more common graduate degree programs available to prepare you for a career as an educational planner. Often, programs are multi-disciplinary in nature, blending coursework in education, sociology, political science and economics. Typically, curricula are based heavily in designing and conducting research. In addition to local, state and national education policy and planning, graduate programs might also include topics in international education.