Education professionals who desire a rewarding leadership career in education often earn their master’s degree in higher education. This graduate degree can be very useful in obtaining an upper level leadership position in a college or university. It also can be helpful to attain a leadership role in a nonprofit organization or nongovernmental organization, or even a government agency.
Professionals with a master’s degree in higher education often work in leadership positions in academic affairs, student affairs, fundraising, registrar’s offices, admissions and more. Earning this highly regarded degree will ready graduates to tackle some of the most complex problems that face higher education today. This is one of the most popular master’s in education degrees for professionals who desire a career in educational administration.
This degree is a vital tool for educational professionals who want to work in these careers:
- Postsecondary education administrator: These educators handle the oversight of student services, academics, admissions and possibly faculty research at a university or college. The duties of this role can vary a great deal depending upon the college, the part of the college they manage, etc. For example, the head of admissions is a critical person to determine which students should be admitted into the school.
- Postsecondary teacher: Some master’s in education holders still work as teachers, most often in a college or university. These professionals provide students with education in many different areas beyond the secondary school level. These educators normally work in a department that specializes in a certain subject such as math, science or history. You may teach several courses per semester, in addition to your research efforts.
- Principal: An elementary, middle or high school teacher is responsible for the management of all operations for an educational facility. This includes the management and maintenance of the building and services. Also, they must oversee and manage all academic goals and make sure that teachers have all of the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Higher Education?
Earning this type of master’s degree is known to provide educators with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to be an educational leader.
There is more need for educated and experienced higher education leaders; surveys indicate that there will be more students attending colleges and universities in the next decade. The National Center for Education Statistics states that enrollment in postsecondary colleges and universities soared by 21% from 1994 to 2004. From 2004 to 2014, enrollment was up by 17%.
These increasing trends of students going to colleges and universities suggests there will be more demand in coming years for educational leaders with a master’s degree in higher education.
Earning your master’s degree in higher education is a serious commitment. You will need to meet the following requirements to be considered at many universities:
- 25 GPA
- Statement of purpose and other writing samples
- Interview may be required
- Bachelor’s degree in education
- Work experience in education
- 3 recommendations
Curriculum and Courses
The Master of Education in Higher Education from the Penn State World Campus is a 30 credit hour program that will prepare you for an exciting career in postsecondary education. This program is offered through the Center for the Study of Higher Education and the Department of Education Policy Studies.
This higher education master’s may be completed in one year of full time study, or with two years of part time study. Many graduates have determined that earning this master’s degree is very useful to move into a leadership administrative position in many educational institutions.
This program has three concentrations that you can choose:
- Student Engagement
- Institutional Research
This program has heavy course work in studying higher education establishments and institutions, including curricula, student advising, professional skills, careers, enrollment and planning.
Your required classes include the following:
- Master’s Professional Seminar
- Foundations in Higher Education and Student Affairs
- Foundations of Institutional Research
- Administration in Higher Education
- Legal Issues in Higher Education
- College Teaching
- Planning and Resource Management in Higher Education
- Higher Education Students and Clientele
- Designing Institutional Research Studies
All of the full time professors in this program are major contributors to the online courses that you will take in this two year program.
This program has been recognized by US News and World Report as being one of the best online programs for graduate education in America.
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
You may have one of the following job titles with a master’s in higher education:
- Director of student affairs
- Director of admissions
- College foundation director
- Technology director
- Grant writer
- HR director
- Business affairs director
- Educational administrator
Job and Salary Outlook
- Principal — Employment in this field will increase by 6% by 2024. While this is average job growth, it is possible that some areas of the US will see faster growth. This is especially true in areas of the US with rapid population growth. As more schools are opened due to higher enrollment, some cities will see faster growth and need for experienced principals. The median salary is $90,400.
- Post Secondary Education Administrator — Employment will rise by 9% by 2024, which is faster than average for all occupations. There are more students applying for colleges and universities as the economy is adding jobs that require more education. This makes it likely that there will be more need for these types of highly educated administrators. More administrators will be needed in financial aid, admissions and student services. The median salary is $88,500.
- Post Secondary Teacher — This job field will see an impressive 13% rise in need by 2024, which is faster than average. More need is anticipated for college teachers and instructors as enrollment in colleges and universities rise. You should see faster growth in areas of the country with rapid population growth and strong job prospects. The median salary is $72,400.
Scholarships and Grants
Want a master’s degree in higher education? Be sure to check out these scholarship opportunities:
- Arkansas Department of Higher Education: This government agency in Arkansas provides numerous scholarships and grants for students who are studying education related master’s subjects.
- TEACH Grant: This program offers grants up to $4000 per year to students who are completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in an education related field. After you graduate, you then must work in high need field, or in a school that serves students in a low income area.
If you are interested in a higher education career, please review these other resources that may provide you with more helpful information:
- National Education Association: If you are a leader in higher education, you will want to have membership in the largest professional employee organization that represents the interests of teachers and educators across the country. This organization is strongly committed to advancing public education throughout the US.
- National Art Education Association: This organization has been in existence since 1947. Its membership includes arts educators at all levels, as well as 54,000 students who are part of the National Honor Society. The mission of this organization is to advance visual arts education to fulfill the potential of all people everywhere.