Reasons to Earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership

  (Updated May 18, 2022)
Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
Elementary school principal; M.A. in K-12 Educational Leadership

There are many different types of positions in the education field. Once you have taught for several years, you may decide to see yourself doing something slightly different but still staying in education. A master’s degree in educational leadership may lead you to exactly the right, new career within education.

What is a Master’s in Educational Leadership?

A master’s in educational leadership is a graduate-level program. This program typically takes two years to complete. Many universities offer this type of degree in both online and face-to-face settings.

This type of master’s degree leads to certification as a school principal or other type of administrator in a school district. Generally, the courses in this program help prepare a person for success in making meaningful change as a leader in the school.

Many programs do have prerequisites such as a certain number of years teaching. These programs also require internships where a student will record several hours shadowing a principal or other school administrators.

Most teachers are in a good position because they can complete these hours during their prep periods. If you are not currently a teacher, make sure that you have found somewhere to do this internship because it most likely will be required.

How did COVID Impact Educational Leadership?

Schools suffered so much during the height of the pandemic. No one could have been prepared to leave school in March 2020 to not return for an entire year. As a result, COVID had a significant impact on educational leadership. All of a sudden, principals and administrators had to get their teachers online and teaching while ensuring that their students had computers and Wifi.

As a result, many teachers saw gaps they believed they could fill. They saw what changes needed to happen to ensure that all students had access to an equitable education. Wanting to make these changes, many teachers have decided to get their master’s in educational leadership.

They realized the need to know the essential laws and regulations for principals. They saw that curriculum and instruction were not accessible for all students. They were able to see what worked and what did not. The teachers know now that changes need to be made, and they want to be a part of that.

What You’ll Learn in an Educational Leadership Program

Schools have many facets that make them function well or fail miserably. A master of educational leadership program offers courses that range from school management techniques to evaluating educational programs.

Communication Best Practices

As teachers, we all know how important communication is between administrators and teachers, teachers and students, and their families. By learning best practices, you can be sure that you will keep the lines of communication open in your school, benefiting everyone.

Supervision Techniques

Observing teachers, offering advice, and providing critiques can be very challenging. You need to know how to approach different teaching styles and verbalize what is working and what is not working. You want to help make your teachers stronger, but you must know how to offer your thoughts productively.

Special Education Laws and Regulations

Although schools have special education managers, as a principal, you should be familiar with all of the laws to assist teachers and other staff when working with students who have IEPs.

Staff Development

You will learn ways to encourage staff to self-reflect on lessons and find areas they might want to learn more about. They may focus on creating a team and community once you become a principal or school administrator. You want to build a school where everyone has the same goal – to help students succeed.

Administrative Role Success

Great educational leaders share many of the same qualities. You want to make sure that you are aware of them and how you might bring them into your school as a leader.

Reasons to Earn a Master’s in Educational Leadership

There are many great reasons to get master’s degree in educational leadership.


A school administrator typically has a higher salary than teaching positions. Making more money is always an excellent benefit. It will help you pay off student loans, buy a house, or even start a family.

Professional Development Opportunities

You will have both the opportunity to attend more professional development and be the presenter of professional development.

Career Opportunities

Educational leadership jobs include:

  • Vice principal
  • Principal
  • Special education director
  • Head of the curriculum
  • Educational change government job

Leading Change

Those who choose an educational leadership degree can see the change that needs to happen in the schools. To make those changes, they most often have to have leadership roles. This degree will give them the educational background required to be hired into these positions and then spearhead the changes in the schools.

Things to Consider Before Pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership

Be sure to think about why you want this degree and look at it from all angles.

  • What are your career goals?
  • Are you sure that you want to stay in the education field?
  • Do you have the necessary experience?
    • Do not start pursuing this degree if you do not think you will be able to complete the required numbers of teaching first.
  • Do you have the time and energy to commit to a degree?
    • Whether online or face-to-face, you will need time to take the classes and complete the coursework. Evaluate your free time and decide if you are ready to give that up for homework and class time.
  • Are you ready to take on more educational debt?

A master’s degree in educational leadership is an excellent program. If you are ready to take on leadership roles in your schools, do your research and find the right program for you, whether an online master’s in educational leadership or in person.

Explore our master’s educational leadership programs and get started today!

*Updated May 2022
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