What Can You Do With An Education Policy Certificate?
Drexel University School of Education
What is Education Policy?
Education policy consists of laws, guidelines, principles, and policies that are followed by education systems. Policies in education are enacted at the federal, state, and local levels to govern schools and affects the curriculum that students learn and the methods in which the curriculum is taught. Students who obtain a graduate certificate in education policy develop the skills needed to effectively analyze and develop education policy through a variety of career paths.
Many of the most exciting career paths in education are easy to overlook, including several within the subfield of educational policy. An education policy career path enables you to work for a diverse range of public, private, and non-profit groups, in any level of education, and in locations around the globe. But what exactly can you do with an education policy certificate, and what does a career in education policy look like? Learning more about what you can do with an educational policy certificate can help bring those questions into focus.
Why is Education Policy Important?
Education policy is essential in helping schools deliver a high-quality education to their students. At the local level, policies may include rules or procedures followed by an individual school to provide a safe learning environment. At the state level, policy may focus on student achievement or how to disperse state tax revenue to school districts. At the national level, education policy may look at outcomes and how graduates compare to students in other countries.
Education Policy Jobs
There are a multitude of careers that you can pursue with a focus on educational policy. These span a wide swath of disciplines, ranging from analytical positions to working in a public, policy-making capacity. Here are just a few career paths within the field of education policy.
Education Policy Analyst
Because of the versatile nature of these positions, an education policy analyst job description can sometimes be misleading. Broadly speaking, analysts are involved in helping to determine how to more effectively educate the next generation of learners. Education policy analysts evaluate the impact of proposed or realized policies, perform cost/benefit analysis for educational planning, and exercise a variety of other skills.
According to Glassdoor, an Education Policy Analyst earns an average median salary of $74,376. Also according to Glassdoor, an Education Researcher earns an average base salary of $53,326.
Some education policy careers allow you to remain more hands-on than others. Responsible for creating an environment that’s conducive to learning for both students and faculty, creating and monitoring school budgets, and working with a diverse staff of educators, a school administrator is responsible for promoting the educational growth of students by tending to many moving pieces of a complex system. This can be at the school building or in central administration. These positions require leveraging a greater understanding of how to put educational leadership to practice; skills you can learn through programs like the MS in Educational Administration and the EdD in Educational Leadership and Management.
According to the BLS – the annual salary for a school administrator (K-12) is $102,650.
Careers in education policy also include elected positions. State representatives are elected to office and represent the interests of the constituents in their state’s house of representatives. Education is a major issue in most states and lawmakers are tasked with creating legislation that could have a major impact on schools. State representatives with a certificate in education policy have the skillset and requisite knowledge to craft effective policies for the benefit of schools.
School districts, non-profit organizations, and elected leaders may sometimes rely on consultants to help them understand and develop comprehensive education policies. Educational consultants may be assigned to a client to help them draft policy and implementation plans.
According to Indeed, education consultants earn an average salary of $64,259.
International Education Policy Jobs
While there are a number of educational policy jobs within the United States, there are also a wealth of opportunities around the globe for those with a background in international education.
Foreign Service Education Officer
An excellent example of a less traditional education policy career, foreign service education officers are government officials who are tasked with providing international assistance in relation to education and development goals. For instance, that might mean planning strategies, policies, and procedures for establishing an educational program. These positions typically require travel, but also allow you to take a proactive part in building communities, advancing democracy, and economic prosperity abroad. According to USAJobs.gov, a Foreign Service Officer earns between $56,728 to $111,493 annually.
International Education Research
Researchers and policy analysts are among the most diverse positions within the domain of international education. An International Education Policy Analyst might evaluate how to improve education given the specific circumstances of the learners and their environment or determine how to more effectively deliver medication to remote villages. In short, analysts scrutinize the efficacy of current policies and project the impact of proposed changes on stakeholders.
Research positions nearly always require a graduate degree, and an MS in Global and International Education can be particularly valuable for preparing to navigate the complex political, cultural, and social structures involved in international education policy jobs.
Many careers in education policy keep you outside of the classroom, but education policy jobs can also include quite a few teaching positions. Teaching abroad involves many of the same duties of a typical teacher, but the opportunity to work in an international context can drastically change the experience. Most people teaching abroad teach English, but those who speak the native language are often able to teach a variety of subjects.
How much can you make with a career in Education Policy?
While there are many careers in education policy, salary can be affected by many factors including education level, career experience, location, etc. The table below shows average annual salaries for a few jobs in the Education Policy field.
||Average Annual Salary
|Education Policy Analyst
|K-12 School Administrator
|Foreign Service Officer
Sources: Glassdoor, Glassdoor, BLS, USAJobs.gov
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