Is a Degree in Education Leadership Something That Will Give Me Skills That I Can Use Outside of Academia?       

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It’s no surprise that a graduate degree in educational leadership, one of the easiest online master’s degrees, is most commonly put to use in roles in education and academia. However, you may worry about locking yourself into a narrow career field by choosing this field of study. That’s not necessarily the case, since the leadership skills you learn through a graduate program in educational leadership are versatile enough to transfer into a wide array of other management roles. Whether you’d like to work in business, healthcare, social service, the military or research, you can position your educational leadership background to qualify you for any number of other leadership roles. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Business Management Roles

If you can manage a school – or even a whole school district – then you certainly have some skills that would prove valuable in managing a business outside of academia. If you prefer to maintain your focus in the area of education, you could work in a business role like corporate trainer, professional development specialist or training and development manager. The most senior-level education role you’re likely to find in the business world is chief learning officer (CLO), a C-suite role that exists in large companies that emphasize effective training programs for employees.

If you’d like to broaden your career opportunities a little more, you might also transfer your leadership skills to roles in human resources management or even work your way up to a role as chief executive officer, or CEO.

Jobs in Healthcare Administration

You can’t apply your knowledge of educational leadership to becoming a doctor or a nurse. You can, however, use what you know about managing a school to work on the administrative side of healthcare. In many ways, overseeing a healthcare facility is very much like being in charge of a school. While you used to have to balance the needs of students and teachers, you would now be balancing the needs of patients and healthcare providers that include doctors, nurses and aides. Although there are fundamental differences between delivering education and delivering medical treatments, there are a lot of similarities when it comes to evaluating the quality of outcomes – whether grades or patient health – and using data to develop plans for improvement.

Healthcare administrators earn a median wage of $100,980 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Management of Social and Community Services

Whether as a school administrator or in your prior experience as a teacher, you already made a difference in the lives of the children who attended your school. If you choose to transition to a role in social or community services management, you could make an even bigger difference to populations in need, including the homeless, victims of abuse and people affected by substance use or mental health conditions. Your general leadership skills will help you in this management role, which often emphasizes the assessment of data to make community and social service programs better and more effective.

Although many social and community service managers work for nonprofit organizations and government agencies, they can also work for for-profit companies, according to the BLS.

Leadership Positions in the Military

The educational leadership skills you learn in your graduate degree program can also be valuable for leadership in any branch of the military. Whether you’re joining the military with your master’s degree fully completed are working on your degree while on active duty, there are benefits of choosing this path for those who have a calling to serve their country. If you wait until after you have finished your education to enlist, you’ll likely begin your service at a higher rank. This can mean starting out with a higher base pay, according to On the other hand, if you pursue your graduate degree while enlisted and on active duty, you can save money on your education with your tuition assistance benefits.

With your skills in administration and management, you could use your educational leadership degree to advance to any number of leadership roles in the military. However, if education is your passion, you might find an opportunity working in professional military education to facilitate the development of service members as they move through the ranks. Military education is an often overlooked, but valuable, aspect of successful military operations, according to E-International Relations.

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Going to school while serving your country certainly isn’t easy, but part-time programs and online programs that work around your schedule make this option a possibility.

Working in Survey Research

A job as a survey researcher is different from the other non-academic roles you might hold with a master’s degree in educational leadership. Although survey researcher isn’t exactly a managerial role, the job of developing surveys and analyzing the data they yield still draws on the skills you developed studying educational leadership.

One of the outcomes of completing a graduate degree in educational leadership is learning to analyze data, not only statistically but also critically, to understand what different pieces of data reflect and make sense of these numbers. Data analytics is considered an important part of decision-making in today’s educational institutions. Although the job of a survey researcher may not sound like it has much in common with a role in educational leadership, those skills in analyzing and understanding data are valuable in this role, too.

If you decide you would rather work as a survey researcher than an educational administrator, you may have to take a pay cut. The BLS reported a median wage of $ $59,170 for survey researchers, while school principals earned a $96,400 median wage.

Additional Resources

What Positions Would I Usually Look for at Universities and Colleges With a Degree in Educational Leadership?

What Is the PSEL and What Will I Need to Know About Them in Order to Get My Educational Leadership Degree?

Do I need a Ph.D. to be a school Principal?