Does a Principal Need a Master’s Degree?

Albert Howard

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Post TitleDoes a Principal Need a Master's Degree?

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If you are planning to apply for a job as a principal, one of your concerns might be where you have the necessary qualifications. Maybe you’ve heard from your colleagues that you can become a principal without a master’s degree. Or perhaps you have a friend who became a principal by using their years of experience. Trying to get advice from others can enlighten you, but it can also create confusion. Since there are sources that say you need a master’s degree to become a principal, you might end up being a bit confused about the whole thing. So, do you need a master’s degree? Read on to find out more.

Most States Require a Master’s Degree to Become a Principal

While this is not a universal requirement, there are several states that require principals to have obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree. One of the most common master’s degree programs pursued by those who want to become principals is the Master’s in education. Aspiring principals pursue this degree so they can enjoy its benefits and gain entry into the world of administrative roles. However, this is only one degree in a handful that can help you get a job as a principal. 

Did you know that you can also study for your principal preparation degree online? You can search for an online Master’s degree in Urban Education. This is one of the principal preparation programs that can make it possible for you to get a school principal role. Some principals also tend to seek content-specific graduate degrees. For instance, there are some that pursue a Master of Science in Mathematics. All of these are perfectly valid degrees for aspiring principals. So, if you are in a state that requires a master’s degree for you to become a school principal, you can choose from any of the available programs to satisfy the requirement.

The Difference Between Applying for a Principal Position With a Master’s Degree and Applying Based on Experience

When you are applying for a school principal position using your five-plus years of experience and using a master’s degree is that with experience, you will need to get an administration certificate. The administration certificate is a way to prove that you can manage the position of principal. Working as a school principal is considered an upper-level management role, so you need to prove that you are competent. However, you must keep in mind that, as mentioned before, some states will still require that you have a master’s degree to become a principal. This means you should check with your state before you enroll in an administration program.

On the other hand, when you have a post-graduate degree, especially a master’s degree in education, you do not need any other certificate. Also, if you have a master’s, with or without experience, you will have already demonstrated that you possess the expertise and training required for upper-level management positions in the education sector. This is one of the advantages of having a master’s degree in education. 

How a Master’s Degree Can Give You An Edge When Applying for Principal Jobs?

As mentioned before, having a Master’s degree is a message to potential employers that you possess the training and expertise needed to take up an upper-level educational sector position. Therefore, if a school is looking for a principal, they will likely not have any reservations when it comes to employing you. The degree itself acts as a principal certification program. This is especially true if your master’s degree focuses on principal preparation. Therefore, if you want your master’s degree to enhance your candidacy for principal positions, you must consider selecting one in education or a related field. It would be even better if your pick one that concentrates on principal preparation.

There are several Master’s degrees that have been successful in helping candidates get accepted for management positions in education. You can look into degrees that focus on principal preparation, education administration, educational leadership, organizational leadership, and curriculum instruction. For more information on the master’s degree programs that can enhance your chances of success, you can check out the best master’s degrees for principals online. You can also ask your colleagues in your state what degree they used to get their positions. That way, you can focus on something that has a proven track record of success in your area.