With quality education in demand greater than ever before, especially in the K-12 sector, it is no surprise that a sizeable number of people are looking towards education as a promising career option. Not only are teachers in higher demand than before, but so are certified school administrators such as principals, superintendents, vice principals, etc. Today’s job market favors people who have a better grasp at managing a school and its administrative functions efficiently, especially if they have a degree to support it. This is where having an MEA can come in handy.
What is Educational Administration?
Education administration typically deals with the business aspect of running a school and the person in charge of it can have a wide range of duties. While teachers are generally in charge of classes of students, the administration wing comprises school leaders and oversees the operations of these classes.
Some administrators might be in charge of only a few things if they are employed within a large school framework. Smaller schools require administrators to oversee several facets of the administration they work for. Versatility is essential to the success of an administrator in their position. Since they are highly likely to work with and supervise teachers, they are usually familiar with as well as experienced in teaching well before making the move to administration.
Some of the traits that a person looking to get into school administration should have are:
- Time management
- Leadership skills
- School law knowledge
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem-solving abilities
While working hours for teachers are during the day and typically on working days (that is, school days), administrators are often found in their respective workplaces early, and may also be found staying late, supervising the activities of the school, and working through the summer vacation. The compensation for an average school administrator is obviously therefore significantly higher, but it also means that they will need to work more days and hours. They also have to deal with more stressful situations including high-stakes decision-making.
MEA and Career Options
What is MEA? MEA full form is Masters in Education Administration. Depending on the teacher’s location, there can be several options for a professional with a master's in education administration. In smaller schools, the number of positions will be limited to just the principal or superintendent, but for larger schools that serve wider student populations, an MEA can open doors wide to enter more facets of their administrative teams.
Some of the career options you have if you have an MEA are:
- Curriculum director
- Transportation director
- Director of buildings and grounds
- Assistant superintendent
- Chief financial or business official
- Assistant principal
- Dean of students
- Special education coordinator
As mentioned earlier, because of the rapid rise in demand for administration staff, provides opportunities for those looking to get into the field. With greater compensation in most of these administrative positions, mobility is possible for several professionals. Being mobile opens even more opportunities and a greater likelihood of landing a position.
Benefits of Pursuing MEA
There are a lot of benefits to pursuing an MEA, especially today since the job market for school administrators is booming. So here are a few merits of pursuing an MEA.
This is an obvious advantage, but an important one all the same. A master’s degree in any field is considered an achievement, and it is something that is highly revered and respected. When it comes to something as in-demand as administration, the relevance and in turn, the pay is also high. The pay is higher because the responsibilities, risks, and workload on the individual are much higher than other staff members.
As a teacher, you can influence overall curriculum development by teaching students in your own unique way and encouraging them to take up progressive roles in society that can bring about change in policy. However, as an administrator, you are in a position of power to actually influence the curriculum and even the entire education system.
While professionals in several industries struggle with pay cuts and loss of benefits, educational administrators enjoy a lot of undeniably enticing perks. Even though the perks offered may vary from one employer to the next, working in a higher education industry might offer you the following benefits:
- Access to facilities on campus such as gyms, libraries, convenience stores, restaurants, sports centers, etc.
- Time off for spring and holiday break
A waiver on tuition and reciprocal scholarship programs take steps towards influencing and possibly even fundamentally changing the education system at large.
How to Become an Educational Administrator
Educational administration is a demanding job and requires a lot of skill and patience. If you are looking for a job in educational administration in the role of an administrator, you can follow this step-by-step process:
At the School Level
Students can pursue a career in education administration in their future irrespective of the stream they took up at the higher secondary level. The idea is to get a decent enough score to get to the degree level.
At the Degree Level
Students can take up any bachelor’s degree after their XII standard according to their interests and aptitude. However, a Bachelor of Education degree would prove advantageous when looking to get into the field of education. It is important to note that they will need to acquire or improve upon their soft skills with respect to language and management.
Take Up A Masters in Education Administration (MEA)
A Master’s in educational administration will give you exposure to the field of education and its management. MEA is a two-year program and admissions are conducted based on merit or entrance examinations that are conducted by universities.
It is clear as day now that having an MEA in the education sector can be a really rewarding career choice. Even though the responsibilities are a tad higher, it is always better to take a few extra steps than to jump into something blind. At the end of the day, a master’s degree is a master’s degree, and it has its own weight.