Exploring Career Options

Your Career in Educational Leadership – Educational Administration

About This Profession

Education administrators have a passion for education and are typically employed in a variety of formal educational settings including elementary schools, middle schools, junior high schools, preschools, and nursery centres. Education administrators may also work in ministries of education, or in higher education. If heading into formal administrative roles, in addition to their degree, prospective students are advised to consult their local provincial, state, or national regulatory agencies about specific requirements for certification as school administrators. Upon graduation from the Educational Administration specialization, graduates will be prepared for roles in formal education administrative leadership roles such as:

  • Department Head
  • Vice Principal
  • Principal
  • School Board Administrator
  • Department Chair 
  • Program Coordinator 
  • Policy Advisor  

Typically, administrative roles require internal experience within the educational system they choose. A master’s degree with a specialisation in Educational Administration can expedite this process and add value in a competitive market. With our rigorous and well supported program, this degree can also prepare you to pursue a educational doctorate degree (PhD or EdD).  

Upon graduation from the Educational Administration specialization, graduates will also be prepared for non-formal education administrative leadership roles which take place outside formal learning environments but within some kind of organizational framework such as: 

K-12 Education: 

Want to learn more about becoming a school administrator? Please find some resources below that can provide more insight into the role of the school leader and the impact administrative leadership has on student achievement. 

A Career as a School Principal

Key Duties

The work environment of educational leaders is as varied as the educational context where they work. Work is often completed in an office environment but throughout the day, activities and responsibilities will take the educational administrator (or leader) all over the campus to participate in meetings, work with school staff, students, and parents, in the community and outdoors to supervise school events, transportation, and arrival/dismissal procedures. The work week is usually fifty to sixty hours with frequent after-hour meetings and school events.  

Work Environment

The field of Adult Education is very diverse and, so too, are the work environments. The possibilities are truly endless, with the work environment depending on each person’s career path. Working conditions may vary as well and may include full-time, part-time, contract work, with a variety of schedules and combining virtual, on-site, and hybrid delivery.

Critical Skills

  • Compassionate, empathetic, and caring 
  • High emotional intelligence 
  • Awareness of and ability to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Reflexive and reflective praxis 
  • Strong listening, verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills 
  • Ability to build collaborative relationships with staff, students, and parents 
  • Ability to lead, mentor, and empower staff 
  • Knowledgeable about school policies 
  • Transparent and ethical decision making 
  • Advocacy and modeling of optimistic attitude towards learning success 
  • Organized and detail-oriented 
  • Critical thinking and problem solving 
  • Ability to adapt and innovate 
  • Risk management 
  • Crisis management 
  • Judgement, prioritization, and decision making 
  • Innovative, open to change, growth mindset 
  • Enthusiasm, initiative, driven 

Professional Certifications/Licenses

To become a principal in a publicly funded school, many jurisdictions require an undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Education degree, five years of teaching experience, certification in three divisions (primary, junior, intermediate, senior), two Specialist or Honour Specialist additional qualifications, or a master’s degree. In addition, you may be required to complete a Principal’s Qualification Program offered through a university or a provincial principals’ association. Private or non-profit schools such as charter, Montessori, international schools, preschools, or religious schools may have unique or potentially more flexible criteria. It is best to check in with each school to learn about their requirements.

Over the period 2019-2028, the number of job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) for school principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education are expected to total 11,500, while the number of job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) is expected to total 11,600.” Source: Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) 


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