Ivan A. Shibley, D.Ed.
Clinical Practicum Coordinator at The University of Scranton
George E. Jones
Assistant Director of Online Education Programs at The University of Scranton
Countless professionals who thrive in education careers aspire to the role of principal, for its many challenges as well as personal satisfaction. If your career prospects include becoming a principal, you can make it happen by earning a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration.
Principals are responsible for leading elementary, middle and high schools. They are involved in a wide variety of activities, from being the instructional leader, to developing and upholding the school’s mission statement and school board policy. They may set standards of performance and establish goals and objectives for studies, teacher, and staff. Principals also interact with stakeholders outside of school at community events and various social organizations.
Most educators seeking to become principals begin as teachers. They may transition to a career in education administration by first becoming an assistant principal or by pursing a department head or curriculum specialist position.
Public schools generally require principals to hold a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration or a Master’s in Leadership. Often, principals go on to earn doctoral degrees. Most states require principals to be licensed school administrators. Licensing requirements vary by state, but most require a master’s degree or other graduate-level training, and some require candidates to pass a test. In certain states, continuing education is required to keep an administrator’s license, to ensure that a principal’s skills stay up-to-date.
When analyzing your career prospects, consider whether or not you possess the qualifications to pursue a principal career. Successful candidates for principal positions demonstrate patience, tenacity, flexibility, confidence, innovative thinking and sound decision making. In addition, principal candidates must have strong interpersonal skills and be effective communicators. Knowledge of leadership practices, often gained through Master’s in Educational Administration degree programs, is a must.
Principals are vital to the success of a school’s students, faculty and staff. Becoming a principal is a worthy, challenging and rewarding aspiration in a career in education. Pursuing a master’s degree and following these five steps to becoming a principal can make a big difference in your career and in your life. Make a change for the better by enrolling in a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration program.