What Are the Differences Between and Education Specialist Degree and a Master's in Educational Leadership?Knowing the differences between an Education Specialist Degree and a Master’s in Educational Leadership is extremely important when you want to work in education. There are handfuls of different degrees in the discipline that you can choose from. As you pursue more specialized roles, you need to find the specialized programs geared to prepare you for new responsibilities. If you are not familiar with the differences between these higher education programs, now is the time to learn. Read on, and find out whether an Educational Specialist degree or a graduate degree in Educational Leadership would be best for you.

What is a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership?

A Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership is a graduate credential that covers advanced technical material to prepare you for a role in a university or a research setting or for leadership in a K-12 setting. If you want to use the degree to work in a higher learning setting, you will primarily study humanities subjects like English, history and philosophy. If you are currently working in a K-12 setting, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership will prepare you to take on greater responsibility in your school. The typical program has a 36-credit requirement that can be completed in 18 to 24 months if you attend school full-time. In addition to completing coursework, you will be expected to write a thesis, pass examinations, complete a capstone project, conduct research and more.

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Where Can a Master’s In Educational Leadership Take You?

There are a variety of paths that will open up for you if you have your Master’s degree. If you would like to work at a junior college, most will consider your application with a Master’s. You may be able to work in a community college and use this degree to earn a doctoral degree where you will then be qualified to become a university professor. You can also use the degree to pursue leadership in a K-12 setting. Principals, counselors, administrators and even some classroom teacher’s have a Master’s in Educational Leadership (please see: Who Are Educational Leadership Degrees For?).

What is a Education Specialist Degree?

An Education Specialist degree is also very specialized. This program is designed for students who want to lead in a K-12 setting. An Education Specialist program, which may be written Ed.S., requires applicants to have a Master’s and some education experience before entry. When you are accepted into the program, you will take 30 credit hours of coursework that focuses on education theory, leadership and research methods. Before you can graduate, you will be asked to complete a research thesis that is equivalent to the dissertation required for a doctoral degree.

What Can You Do With an Education Specialist Degree?

Once you earn your Ed.S., you can pursue administration positions. The degree will qualify you to test to become a licensed principal or superintendent in most states. You may also use the degree to work in school psychology, curriculum development and education consulting.

There is a lot of opportunity in the field of education if you are willing to make an effort to advance in the field. You must be prepared to go to school and earn at least your Bachelor’s if you want to advance to new levels. The first step is to decide what setting you want to work in and at what capacity. Next, you will need to find an accredited degree program that will prepare you for that role. Now that you know some of the differences between an education specialist degree and a master’s in educational leadership, you can start to search for the right formal degree program.

For further information, please see: 15 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Educatonal Leadership Degree Programs.