If you want to become a principal of a middle school or the dean at a college or university, a degree in higher education and administration is the perfect choice for you. Higher education administrators are leaders who build relationships with the faculty, staff, and students to ensure the school as a whole meets the necessary goals set forth, such as decreasing drop-out rates and increasing test scores. Higher education administrators are problem solvers, key decision makers, and critical thinkers. Individuals interested in this career area will need to earn a graduate degree before becoming a higher education administrator. Those with master's degrees pursue mid- or entry-level positions in administrative roles, while individuals who have doctorates become provosts, presidents, and deans. Post-secondary education administrators can also work in the registrar's office, student affairs, and the admissions office.
Academic leadership, counseling, curriculum, law and higher education, cultural diversity in education, faculty and labor relations, and student assessment and admissions are just a few course topics students will cover. The median annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school principals was $86,970 in May 2010, and the median annual wage for post-secondary education administrators was $83,710. These individuals generally work full time; most work year-round to prepare for the upcoming school year, but some schools may reduce their hours during the summer.Click Here to See the Best Colleges in the US
Texas Christian University offers 1 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 3 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 3 Doctoral degrees.
University of Florida offers 2 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 7 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 7 Doctoral degrees.
Boston College is a highly reputable private college located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. They offer three different master’s in higher education programs. Tuition fees are very high at Boston College, and the acceptance rate is very low, with an average accepted GPA of 3.96. Online courses are available.
University of Georgia offers 2 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 23 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 20 Doctoral degrees, and 3 Master's degrees.
University of Washington-Seattle Campus offers 1 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city.
New York University offers 1 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 9 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 9 Doctoral degrees.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers 2 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 51 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 45 Master's degrees, and 6 Doctoral degrees.
Florida State University offers 3 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 44 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 35 Master's degrees, 8 Doctoral degrees, and 1 Certificate.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers 2 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 20 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 18 Master's degrees, and 2 Doctoral degrees.
University of Louisville offers 4 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 110 Higher Education/Higher Education Administration students graduated with students earning 110 Master's degrees.
For many teachers looking to take the next step in their careers, the quickest path to growth is an advanced degree. A master’s in higher education is an advanced degree focused on education for students past the high school level. Participants in a master’s program for higher education are given the opportunity to specialize in a particular interest within the field.
Earning your master’s in higher education can sharpen your skills, strengthen your resume, and earn you an immediate pay raise. A graduate degree can command thousands of dollars more per year for an educator.1 Of course, earning an advanced degree takes time and money, but the pros often outweigh the cons. Full-time students can generally finish the program within one to two years, while part-time students could take as long as four years to earn their degree. Many people earn their master’s online while working and/or parenting.
The following are just a few of the different master’s degrees that you can earn in the field of higher education:
Again, these are only a few of the programs you might consider while seeking a master’s in higher education. Speaking with an academic advisor at a school that interests you can help you get a better idea of the particular programs that a given school offers.
The courses required for a master’s in higher education will vary widely depending on the institution and their particular programs, but students can generally anticipate taking courses with a similar focus. Listed below are some common courses you can expect to encounter.
The length of time required to complete your graduate degree is going to vary depending on your previous education and experience.
Earning your master’s will strengthen your resume and open up job opportunities, but it also provides you with a wider, sharper skill set that can help you to secure future positions or prepare you for a higher degree should you choose to pursue one.
A master’s degree in higher education will help you learn to:
These skills are invaluable not only in the field of higher education, but in life, as well. With these skills, you will be better suited to any kind of leadership role.
There are a few factors to help determine which master’s program is the best for you. Let’s take a closer look.
|Leadership||Learn how to lead, organize, build relationships, and make important decisions||Academic Dean, Leadership Program Administration, Provost|
|Student Affairs||Learn how to work with students and help them to plan out their futures||Registrar, Academic Advisor|
|Teaching||Sharpen your skills as a teacher and expand your knowledge of education||Postsecondary Teacher|
Applying for a master’s degree program is much like applying for undergrad programs. The only difference is that you’ll likely have fewer schools on your target list since your program is more specified.
You’ll want to do the following to prepare your application:
Once you’ve done all of this, you will be ready to send out your applications. Using the Common App can help to streamline the process.
You’ll also need to have these prerequisites met and admission materials prepared:
Each school will have its own particular set of requirements in order to gain admission to its program.
Tuition for your master’s degree can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $120,000, depending on the school and types of courses you take. However, tuition is not the only cost to consider. You must also take into account how you’ll pay for housing and other living costs if you’re attending class on campus.
For online students, it’s important to note that there are sometimes extra tuition fees to factor in, like the costs of the educational technologies and facilities.
For those looking to earn their master’s in higher education online, there are schools that offer programs either partially or entirely over the Internet. Online schooling has developed into a viable solution for students unable to live near campus or those looking to get their education around a full-time work schedule.
While some students still choose to earn their degree on campus because of the consistent schedule and social benefits, online courses offer incredible flexibility while requiring no commute.
Online courses can be an amazing solution for anyone who doesn’t have the ability to attend school full-time. It may mean missing out on the socialization that comes with actually being on campus, but that’s the trade-off for the convenience and flexibility of online schooling.
It’s important to note that online courses are not “worse” than on-campus courses. In fact, many schools use the same exact faculty for both iterations of a course.
Online courses are typically faster than on-campus courses. While a regular on-campus semester runs about 15 weeks, an online course can be completed in about 8 or 9 weeks. This means you can potentially earn your degree faster online.
Hybrid classes, on the other hand, will typically take the usual 15 weeks to complete, as they are composed partially of on-site classes. This is important to keep in mind when you’re determining which courses you want to take.
Another important factor to consider is whether your courses are synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous classes meet virtually at a scheduled time each week, while asynchronous classes utilize pre-recorded lectures and participation through discussion boards.
With a master’s degree in higher education, a teacher can command a higher base salary and more easily advance into higher-paying administrative positions.
Postsecondary teacher salaries vary widely by location, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national median pay is $80,560 per year. Median pay for postsecondary education administrators is $97,500 per year.
In their first year of teaching, holding a master’s degree can help an educator to earn nearly $3,000 more than a comparable candidate with a bachelor’s degree. As they move up the pay scale, that disparity can expand to nearly $7,500 more per year.
According to BLS, postsecondary education administrator positions are expected to grow by 8% by 2030. This is on par with the projection for total occupations, but higher than the projected growth of other management occupations (3%).2
Here are some of the common career paths that someone who has earned their master’s in higher education could potentially pursue, along with median salaries, job projections, and a short description of the position.
|Career||Salary||Projected Job Growth (2020-2030)||About the Position|
|Postsecondary Teacher||$80,560||12%||Instructs postsecondary students in a variety of subjects|
|Academic Dean||$100,060||8%||Oversees budget, approves hiring, sets rules and policies, develops programs, and more|
|Academic Advisor||$64,960||11%||Helps students plan their path toward earning their degree, offering resources for further support|
|Registrar||$90,470||8%||Helps students schedule and register for classes, ensuring that they meet graduation requirements. Prepares transcripts and maintains academic records|
Here are some additional resources to take advantage of on your journey to earning your master’s in higher education:
What Jobs Can I Get with a Master’s in Higher Education?
Job opportunities opened to you as you earn your master’s in higher education will revolve primarily around higher education administration. This includes positions like registrar, academic advisor, academic dean, student services dean, provost, and more.
How Difficult Is It to Get a Master’s Degree in Higher Education?
Graduate degrees are more focused, and they build off of previous knowledge. So, the curriculum is almost always more difficult than an undergraduate degree. However, if you’ve already earned a bachelor’s in education, you probably have a general idea of whether you’ll be able to cut it in a graduate program.
Is It Worth It to Get a Master’s in Higher Education?
This question may be a matter of opinion, but a master’s degree in higher education can help to strengthen your resume, develop your leadership abilities, and increase your base salary, all of which can go a long way toward making your efforts worthwhile.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX||16 : 1||11,379|
|University of Florida Gainesville, FL||21 : 1||53,372|
|Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA||17 : 1||14,934|
|University of Georgia Athens, GA||18 : 1||39,147|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus Seattle, WA||23 : 1||48,149|