What Careers Are Available in Education Management?

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An education manager works in his office

Educational bodies, from higher education institutions to global organizations with large training departments and companies that exist solely to engage in professional education, need leaders to guide their instructors and other personnel in handling matters of finance, training and general oversight. These are the education managers who fulfill an essential back-office role.

If you’re searching for a rewarding, long-term career in education but don’t envision yourself as a professor or instructor, an education management role could be an ideal fit for your goals and ambitions. Hiring managers seeking talented candidates will look for a job history and educational background that demonstrate a commitment to academia, as well as an ability to lead people.

In addition to building your professional experience working in entry-level education administration roles, you can build your education management résumé by studying for a master’s degree or doctorate. Today’s online degree programs enable you to pursue your degree while still working full time.

What Is Education Management?

Education management, closely related to education administration, is a group of roles combining educational leadership and oversight of important aspects of the learning experience. Decision-making roles in departments such as student services, academic affairs and research all fall under this umbrella. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics explained the highest-ranking personnel responsible for education management at colleges and universities rise to roles as chief academic officers or provosts, overseeing the faculty. Education management can expand this concept to the realms of learning organizations and the training departments of large companies.

PayScale added education managers are often responsible for introducing new ideas to the rest of the organization. This may mean updating training methods or standards for faculty, performing research or developing new curriculum concepts. Education management is a career path for people who have a deep investment in the present and future of academics.

What Are Education Management Duties and Responsibilities?

The day-to-day tasks expected of education management personnel will differ by department. Higher-level academic leadership positions are responsible for teacher oversight or corporate instructors and their curricula. These personnel might be tasked with appointing candidates, making retention and promotion decisions and crafting professional development policies.

Some essential day-to-day education management tasks, as described by PayScale, include assessing whether current policies adequately meet the organization’s educational goals, implementing new measures when standards aren’t upheld. Data analysis is also an important task for education managers, as their reforms and oversights must be based in fact. Training programs fall under the education management umbrella as well, equipping instructors with the latest skills they’ll need to provide optimal learning experiences. Funding and budgetary matters fall under an educational management purview.

Higher education institutions and large corporations today are complex businesses, and they need skilled personnel to manage educational budgets, personnel matters and the overall directions of their programs. These are matters for education management personnel, which demonstrates the deep influences these employees can have on colleges and universities.

What Skills Should Education Management Employees Possess?

Stepping into a management role, whether in the business realm or higher education, requires a unique blend of skills. Not only will ideal candidates for these positions understand the present state and direction of best practices in academia, they should also have top-quality soft skills enabling them to work well with others.

The BLS explained candidates seeking office roles in education should be skilled problem-solvers, able to strategically think through difficult situations and come up with novel ideas and initiatives. They should also be well-organized to help them juggle the many important leadership and management tasks they face. Computer science skills are another must for any administrative position today, and the same is true of communication abilities to help managers connect with faculty members, departmental colleagues and students.

PayScale added project management and time management are both essential abilities for education managers. This means understanding how to guide complex undertakings from the idea stage to completion, as well as devoting the right amount of the workday to any given task. Depending on the size of the employer and department in question, managers may also lead large teams — PayScale recommended building leadership expertise.

How Much Do Education Management Employees Earn?

Education management salaries vary heavily based on factors such as location. Demand will differ for these professionals’ abilities and skills based on the number and level of corporate employers and higher education institutions in a given region. While companies will be driven by market forces, colleges and universities may also make budgetary decisions based on the nature of their own funding, with public schools reliant on state funds and private institutions drawing their payroll from their donors and tuition/fee revenues.

As of late June 2020, PayScale states the average education manager’s salary is $59,040. The highest-paid 10% of education managers earn over $90,000, reflecting the positive effects of factors such as length of tenure and ideal location.

What Type of Experience Can Lead to an Education Management Career?

To be hired in education management jobs at colleges, universities or private companies with a deep investment in education, you can combine experience built at related roles with a graduate degree such as an online doctorate in education. The BLS notes candidates for administrative roles at colleges and universities typically need at least a master’s degree in a related field to secure their positions.

Due to the fact education managers need to be adept in both the leadership of people and research into new trends in academia, hiring managers will likely look for both of these competencies. Through both your advanced studies and your professional experience, you can build a résumé that shows you know how to manage people, oversee projects and adopt new educational concepts for practical use in academic or corporate settings.

The online Ed.D. program at Bradley University can help you earn experience around the education sector. Expert faculty members with deep engagement in learning and academia share their expertise in classes that are available on your schedule, so you can continue your present full-time job while studying.

Visit the program page to discover how this degree program can fit into your career path.

Recommended Readings:

How to become a director of career services

Education Degree Jobs to Watch


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Postsecondary Education Administrators

PayScale – Average Education Manager Salary