With the explosion of charter schools, private schools and other innovative K-12 learning options, many educators wonder if an educational leadership degree is worthwhile to have when working in a private school setting. Education administrators are in high demand across the United States. With the recent passage of Common Core standards, many private schools are looking to find highly qualified education leaders who can improve outcomes for their students. Here is a comprehensive overview of how educators and other education professionals can select the right leadership degrees if they are looking to obtain positions within private school settings.

How Do I Get Into Education Administration and Leadership in a Private School?
Usually, the career path into private school education administration and leadership is crystal clear; it is typically expected that future school administrators at private institutions start off as classroom educators. Most private school deans, principals and education administrators gain at least five to ten years of experience in the classroom before moving into assistant and vice principal roles at a school. Gaining classroom experience gives principals, deans and administrators insight and understanding in effective teaching methodologies and how to manage day-to-day activities of a school. To become a teacher or an educator, individuals need to obtain at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

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What Are Some of the Different Types of Education Administration Degrees Available?
Prospective education administrators can obtain a variety of leadership degrees. There are many colleges and universities that offer Master’s Degrees in Education Administration and Supervision. These are usually two to three year programs where students take courses in school management, budgeting and finance, human resources, education philosophy, curriculum design and research methodologies. After successful completion of relevant coursework, students are expected to take an internship and complete a capstone or thesis.

After the master’s level, interested students can obtain a Doctoral Degree in Education Management and Leadership. At this level, students will be expected to not only take higher level education theory and management courses, but will also contribute to a growing body of educational research. Students will spend a significant time researching various topics in the PreK-12 field and will have the opportunity to create new and pioneering education models. Students will spend at least two to three years developing a dissertation and afterwards will graduate with a doctoral degree. Education Administration roles that are more hands-on tend to be offered at the Ed.D. level which is a Doctorate in Education. A Ph.D. in Education Administration and Policy is usually designed for individuals looking to research education policies and its impact on student learning outcomes.
Please also see: What is the Difference Between a Doctor of Education Leadership and an Education Leadership Ph.D. Program?

Which is the Best Degree for Private School Settings?
Most private school administrators typically have Ph.D.s versus Ed.D.s. Ed.D.s are more designed for educators looking to get into public school leadership. Those who aspire to be superintendents, school board members and other key members of public school district leaderships will have Ed.D.s. Private schools, because they are not bound by heavy city or state regulation, are a lot more fluid and flexible in their requirements and thus a lot of times future private school leaders usually just have Ph.D.s.

What Are the Salaries for Education Administrators and Leaders in Private Settings?
According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, education administrators can make over $80,000 a year. This will obviously depend on geographic location, years of experience and education. Education administrators for well-renown private schools can make over $150,000 a year along with other performance-based bonuses. Education administrators in larger cities will command bigger salaries.

Prospective education administrators looking to break into private school education should definitely arm themselves with the right educational skills. There are a number of schools that offer high quality Doctoral Degree programs in Educational Leadership. Do your due diligence and find the right educational leadership degree for your career goals.