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Do I Need an Educational Leadership Degree to be a Principal?

//Do I Need an Educational Leadership Degree to be a Principal?
Do I Need an Educational Leadership Degree to be a Principal? 2014-07-17T19:46:04+00:00

It is without a doubt that an educational leadership degree and principals go hand in hand. In order to become an assistant principal or a principal over a primary or secondary school, most states require individuals to have an educational leadership degree. This type of degree will prepare individuals to become administrators who are in charge with day-to-day operations of a school which includes: staffing, budgeting, curriculum development, after-school programming, security, food, etc. Here is a comprehensive overview of what an educational leadership degree program is and why prospective school principals need one.

What type of classes will I take in an educational leadership degree program?

At this doctorate level, students who are enrolled in an educational leadership degree program will take a variety of courses that are mainly centered on school administration. Some of these courses include education theory, education psychology, classroom management, school operations and education finance. Some programs will also require students to take courses in leadership development, organizational management and accounting. Each program is different, but in essence, they will all prepare you for a career as a school principal.

How long does it take to finish this type of program

Generally speaking, it takes around two to four years for an individual to finish this intense doctorate program. This all depends on whether or not the student is enrolled in a part-time or full-time program. Most students tend to finish on average in three years. These programs can be quite lengthy because usually individuals are currently working as educators or hold another administration job.

What are some other requirements for this type of degree?

Generally speaking, in order to be admitted into an educational leadership degree program in hopes of becoming a school principal, individuals will need to have at least a master’s degree in education administration along with at least five years of classroom teaching experience. The best principals are those that have taught extensively in classrooms and know how to hire and retain the most qualified teachers for their schools. Make sure that when you are doing your research on a prospective educational leadership program that your master’s degree and previous education credentials are accredited.

What are the salaries like for principals with this type of degree

Make no mistake about it, salaries for principals with an educational leadership degree are tremendously high. In most cities and states, starting salaries are usually over $90,000 and can go up based on years of experience and the type of setting you work in. Geographic location, size of the school system along with education will play a big role in the type of salary you can command from a prospective employer. Obviously larger cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia will pay more for principals with an educational leadership degree. In some instances, principals of large renown high school can make an upwards of $200,000 a year!

A career as a principal is a great option for those pursuing a degree in educational leadership. As stated earlier, the educational leadership degree and principals go hand in hand will be necessary to further fuel your career.