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Masters in Educational Leadership (should I pursue)

Masters in Educational Leadership (should I pursue)

Postby NoWhy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:43 am

Hello, want to say thanks again as always for the advice I've gotten in the past. This is my fourth question. I find the feedback and answers invaluable.

There is currently a very convenient Masters in Educational Leadership program available for me to attend. It will probably never be this convenient, and the entire duration of the program is about 1.5 years, from an accredited university in the U.S. Previously I was given the advice that besides getting a masters degree in general, this is the specific kind program I should be looking at ideally if I'm interested in getting into leadership.

I've asked a few senior people in my school as well, and have gotten one piece of advice that really struck me, that I should pursue this kind of program when I'm already in some level of leadership so that there is something to apply what I'm learning to. I took this thought a bit further and noted that the coworkers in the next level up from me do not have masters degrees, so it's also clear that having a degree like that is not a requirement. Additionally, at the moment I am just an ordinary IT, and from talking to some of the leadership I think it is likely that I won't be offered any more responsibility than I currently have for next year.

So, is it a good idea to pursue a degree that I 1.) likely won't need for a position anytime soon, and 2.) won't be able to put into practice for probably at least a year and a half from now.


Thanks again for the advice on my most recent post, I've talked to some others and have gotten similar feedback, as well as just over time getting a better understanding of how international schools work. I'm much more interested in moving up the pastoral side of things and not over-qualifying myself to teach math or be the HOD in math, as that seems to be a more clear path into eventual leadership.
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Response

Postby PsyGuy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:14 am

You should absolutely do the Ed.Ld Masters if you have the opportunity to do so.

There are 3 general avenues into leadership:
1) Grow In: You start at an IS as an IT, you work well with leadership, parents and ownership, and then when there is an opening you get the job because ownership trusts you and leadership and parents like you. This pathway is faster at lower tier ISs, where there is a lot of turnover and longevity often means your only one of the few staff to renew.
2) Work In: You get a M.Ed in Ed.Ld, you add a credential, you build some leadership or management experience and you work your way up into leadership. This may and often requires some work in DE. This is the pathway that accounts for the majority of leadership. Candidates were leadership in DE, and they were hired as leadership in IE.
3) Edge In: You make friends and build a network, maybe you marry into, but someone in ownership likes you and gives you the job, or someone in leadership helps you get into the job. This is the least common path into leadership.

While the idea that you should get into leadership before getting an advance degree in leadership so that you can apply it, how do you get into leadership so that you can apply your academic work? Whats going to qualify you or even separate you from the others that want the same opportunity. You can just start finding problems and then take it on your own to address those tasks and hope someone notices and you do a great job and leadership sees your initiative and moves you up with more responsibility, and that works if your the best at doing it among others or no on else is doing it (growing in or edge in), but if you dont see that happening and you stated your not going to see any opportunity for a year, than it sounds your best option is going to be working in and an advance degree in Ed.Ld and a credential is going to keep your leadership resume from looking like an ITs resume.
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Re: Masters in Educational Leadership (should I pursue)

Postby shadowjack » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:26 am

I did my masters a long time ago and didn't move into leadership immediately. It is not a A leads to B - you need to find the right school, hit the right situation, and then go for it. When I DID move into leadership officially, I applied for a range of leadership roles that I believed I had the ability to do well, and got interviews. Eventually, the school I felt was the best fit came calling and I haven't looked back since.

That said, I am still not in upper level admin or anything (and there are a LOT of tradeoffs to making that jump that I think people don't necessarily think through - relationships with friends and colleagues if making the jump at the same institution, not having the same connections with students, having a different role vis a vis students, parents, and colleagues, LOTS more meetings and scheduling, different responsibilities, pressure and deadlines that are not as obvious as you might think, and more.

But for now, do your masters. Then continue to read journals, etc, and be active in leadership type associations etc.
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