Curriculum creation may sound like a narrow branch of study, but there are many other jobs you can get by leveraging this degree properly. The options are surprisingly diverse, whether you find that you prefer working in the classroom rather than behind-the-scenes developing curriculum, you aspire to move into a management role like principal or superintendent or you want to work outside a school setting. Because there are many specialized roles within the area of curriculum creation, you also could find that the perfect position for you isn’t as far from a generic curriculum specialist job as you once believed.
Job Opportunities in the Classroom
Considerable teaching experience – usually, five or more years – is a requirement for most instructional coordinator roles, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Since you already have this teaching experience, it makes sense that some graduates of a curriculum creation master’s program choose to use their advanced education teaching in the classroom. In fact, because having a master’s degree qualifies you for senior-level educator roles such as lead teacher. You may use your studies in curriculum and design to develop and implement programs for the teachers who work under your guidance.
A master’s degree can also raise your income potential considerably. The BLS reports that the wage premium for a master’s degree is a pay raise of 28 percent for middle school teachers and 24 percent for high school teachers. With a graduate education, the median wage increases by $11,000 to $12,000 per year.
There are also teaching opportunities beyond the secondary school level. If you wish to teach instructional design in a college setting, though, there is a good chance you will need a doctorate degree.
Leading the School as Principal or Superintendent
Curriculum specialists and instructional coordinators have some leadership responsibilities. However, if you find that it’s the supervisory and managerial work that you enjoy the most, you might want to move into a position like school principal or superintendent, instead.
A master’s degree is usually required to work in this educational management role, according to the BLS. Although master’s degree programs in educational leadership or educational administration are more common choices, a master’s degree in content creation still fits the bill. To move up into a superintendent position, you may need a doctorate.
Both principal and superintendent are managerial positions. While a principal manages a school’s operations, a superintendent acts as a top executive – the education equivalent of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other C-suite roles, the BLS reported. They oversee entire districts rather than individual schools within a district. Typically, superintendents focus more on planning and strategizing to meet goals – such as those relating to budgetary matters and student performance – than on the day-to-day operations that are the primary concern of principals.
Both principal and superintendent are well-paid positions. The median salary for principals at elementary school, middle school and high school levels is $95,310, the BLS reported. Superintendents see median wages ranging from $100,000 per year in the smallest districts to $234,000 in the largest districts, according to The School Superintendents Association.
Among the most important tasks principals, superintendents and other educational administrators perform include evaluating curriculum and observing teachers. Curriculum creation programs are excellent preparation for this work.
Careers in Training and Development
The skills you learn in developing and implementing training programs and in creating instructional materials aren’t only useful in school settings but also in any learning environment. If you decide that it’s time to leave the world of academia, you can transition these skills into work in private sector roles like training and development specialist.
Training and development specialists work in any industry in which on-the-job training is a crucial need. Among the top employing industries for this occupation are the professional, scientific and technical services, healthcare and social assistance, educational services, finance and insurance and administrative and support services, the BLS reported. In this role, you would develop and carry out training programs in the workplace, much like an instructional coordinator is a school would develop curriculum materials and train teachers to use them.
Having a graduate education can actually give you a boost in this career path, since most workers in this occupation have only a bachelor’s degree. Once you gain work experience in this field, your master’s degree may help you advance to a training and development manager role.
The median wage for training and development specialists, $60,870, is somewhat below the $64,450 median salary for instructional coordinators, but training and development managers enjoy a median wage of $111,340.