Earning a Master's in Educational Leadership Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Educational Leadership Online?

In educational leadership roles, individuals oversee teaching operations and foster a healthy learning environment. Professionals can work in roles such as college affairs director, superintendent, and learning design coach. Through the formal education that comes from an online master's in educational leadership degree, students can pursue these positions in a shorter time frame. An online educational leadership master's format provides flexibility while allowing students to learn about a specialized education area. Students who prosper possess the specific skills that make them ideal for this program and career path. As Concordia University explains, professionals who maintain a strong sense of self awareness as well as concrete communication skills show promise in maximizing the experiences of an online master's in educational leadership program and in joining the workforce as educational leaders.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Educational Leadership Graduates

Master's in Educational Leadership Salary

Unlike many other career paths, educational leadership professionals tend to fall into the same salary range, since most fields accept common educational standards and practices. While educational wants and needs vary depending on an area's socioeconomic and geographical status, these professionals have a similar wage and work in similar work environments.

Top-Paying States for Postsecondary Educational Administrators

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
New Jersey 2,070 $154,300
Delaware 290 $146,430
Maryland 2,530 $125,350
California 12,840 $123,630
Hawaii 450 $121,560
United States 142,160 $107,670

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Postsecondary Educational Administrators

  • Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
  • Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
  • Experienced (10-20 Years):
  • Late-Career (20+ Years):

Source: PayScale

Master's in Educational Leadership Careers

Graduates of an online master's in educational leadership program discover management positions in a variety of fields. Individuals can work in hospitals, boarding academies, or specialize in areas such as the arts or STEM. Professionals with an online educational leadership degree obtain the most success when they demonstrate dependable time management, an understanding of human dynamics, and the ability to work with a range of age and education levels.

Postsecondary Education Administrator

Annual Median Salary: $92,360

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

An administrator for higher education includes any person who oversees student affairs or departments. Individuals can pursue careers as academic deans, registrars, recreational directors, and student life administrators. Many positions require a master's in an educational specialization. A master's in educational leadership often allows individuals to pursue executive positions in postsecondary institutions.

Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal

Annual Median Salary: $94,390

Projected Growth Rate: 8%

Principals in primary and secondary levels focus on duties relating to student discipline and staff. They oversee school management and events, determine budgets, and create a secure and healthy atmosphere. A master's degree in this field gives individuals the knowledge to set constructive goals and work with the school's staff, students, and parents.

School Superintendent

Annual Median Salary: $116,252

Projected Growth Rate: N/A

A superintendent works closely with a school board to meet goals for policies, standards, budget, and property. A master's degree is often a requirement for this position as professionals must direct multiple departments and subsections of the educational community. Experience in an educational leadership program teaches graduates how to properly balance the position's requirements.

Curriculum Director

Annual Median Salary: $73,742

Projected Growth Rate: N/A

Professionals who plan, develop, and assess curriculum work with educators or schools to create resources and academic plans. Curriculum directors benefit from robust teaching and leadership experience. An online degree in educational leadership allows professionals to gain teaching and leadership practice.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statstics / PayScale

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Educational Leadership Program?

Many individuals feel nervous about an online classroom environment and worry they may not receive the program's full benefits. Online educational leadership programs, however, allow students to experience the same courses. While programs vary in course selection and requirements due to state standards and specializations, all programs have common course types, licences, and resources.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Educational Leadership

When pursuing an online master's degree in education leadership, students should note that courses vary by school; however, there are often some common classes in the course of study. Read below for a sample of some curriculum you can expect to see in an online master's degree in educational leadership.

Contemporary Issues

Leaders must keep up with the latest issues to know how to best handle them. This skill helps professionals solve frequent and complex issues.

Laws and Policies

Regardless of the desired career path, all educational leaders benefit from a clear understanding of the field's education standards. This course is particularly helpful for those who intend to work with minors or individuals with special needs as they can reference legal standards to accommodate lessons.

Resource Management

Individuals can make lessons more successful by creatively managing resources. Careers that work with nonprofits or federal money must often find creative means to find resources.


Those who pursue positions in business or medical training must establish and manage tight budgets. These courses teach finance management, planning, and development to balance morale with effective teaching.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Educational Leadership Prepares For

  • Administration Certification: This certification proves professionals are ready for all types of principal positions. While requirements vary by state, students typically must pass an exam on leadership situations, earn a master's degree in the field, and show either proof of leadership experience in education or an educator's certification.

  • Specialization Licenses: Professionals often specialize in a particular field such as medical, speech, or second-language learners. These licenses display quality skills and experience. To obtain licensure, individuals must show proof of working in the field and a field-related degree. They also must take a test or course to show sufficient knowledge.

Professional Organizations and Resources

To achieve success, educational leaders must consistently communicate with other leaders to improve the learning community. Professional organizations offer networking opportunities, job guidance, and important training. Members of professional organizations can also access valuable online resources.

  • Learning Forward: This organization focuses on all aspects of learning and training development. The group offers toolkits, pre-recorded lessons, and discounts for special events. Members gain access to live Q&As, webinars, and education events.

  • American Council on Education: By joining this council, members gain a clearer understanding of the standards and policies that shape the learning atmosphere. Members gain access to many types of specialized fellowships. The group advocates for fair state and federal policies.

  • National Education Association: The NEA strives for equal education policies and resources that accommodate various types of learners. The group provides many programs for all different education professionals.

  • Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: This organization helps educators to rise as leaders in their fields. The ASCD provides guidance and discounts for traveling, stores, and supplies. The group also helps with careers and networking and creates confidence-boosting events and programs to aid new educators.

  • International Society for Technology in Education: With education and technology rising in importance, educators need to stay current. This organization compacts useful information into easily digestible articles, webinars, discussions, and resources.

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