‘Climbing the ladder’ is a common metaphor used to describe their ascent through the many rungs of the corporate hierarchy. However, if you are a teacher, it may appear that your career path isn’t as straightforward as other professions. Even if you’re passionate about working with students in a classroom setting, you may occasionally find yourself yearning for opportunities to learn more and grow professionally. That could mean switching to an entirely different position or taking on more responsibility while still working directly with kids.
Either way, educators who want to advance in their careers and have a greater impact on the quality of education can do so by acquiring a master’s degree in educational policy.
What is Educational Policy?
Curriculum guidelines, administrative practices, and organizational frameworks that govern our educational systems are all components of education policy. Since they are tasked with orchestrating educational principles that result in positive student outcomes, educational policymakers play a pivotal role in defining how our schools and colleges function and how we may best fulfill the academic requirements of learners of all ages.
Career Options With a Master’s in Educational Policy
From school counselor to postsecondary education administrator to instructional coordinator, there is a multitude of educational policy careers you can choose from. Although obtaining a Ph.D. within the field of educational policy is typically necessary to become a dean or provost, a master’s degree is crucial for the following three positions in educational policy:
1. Educational Policy Analyst
During their typical workday, educational policy analysts examine educational systems and policies to ascertain whether or not they are effective in achieving their goals and whether or not any adjustments are necessary. They conduct research and surveys to collect and analyze relevant data, report their findings to decision-makers at the national, state, and local levels, and offer recommendations.
According to Payscale, the average annual income for an educational policy analyst is $62,743.
2. Educational Policy Advisor
One of the primary responsibilities of an educational policy advisor is to abet policy design and implementation by building and maintaining positive stakeholder relationships. Advisors on educational policy usually work with executive and legislative bodies to propose and execute alternative models and approaches to educational policymaking.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary range for an educational policy advisor in the United States is between $32,500 and $50,000, with the highest earners making $78,500 every year. However, salaries have been known to go as high as $94,000. This goes without saying that there may be prospects for professional growth and higher income, depending on the individual’s work experience and education level.
3. Postsecondary Education Administrator
Some roles in education policy allow you to keep a closer connection to the classroom than others. As a college or university administrator, you’ll coordinate and oversee several activities of specific disciplines based on the office or department you manage. This could include the registrar’s office, student services, faculty research, alumni relations, or admissions.
Formulation and evaluation of institutional policies is a major component of a postsecondary education administrator’s job description. You may be responsible for guiding the institute’s direction, chairing board meetings, vetting annual spending plans, and determining best practices for teaching and learning.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), administrators in higher education made a median salary of $96,910 in 2021. What’s more, from 2021-2031, jobs for postsecondary education administrators are expected to increase by 7 percent, roughly the national average for all jobs.
While educational policy graduates may contemplate their next steps after they finish school, the truth is they can have their pick of dozens of rewarding career opportunities. These jobs allow them to use their extensive knowledge of educational challenges and trends to positively impact educators, students, and policymakers.