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What is an MBA in Education

The MBA in Education is targeted to those individuals currently working or aspiring to work in education management and/or leadership. Programs can be focused for the public or private sector in primary, secondary or tertiary education. Focus can be as specific as an individual school or as broad as a school district. Possible organizations benefitting from a graduate of an MBA in Education would be K-12 schools, school districts, colleges, universities, technical schools, preparatory schools, alumni organizations, nonprofits, government and fundraising groups. Management skills for leadership involved in managing people and educational processes are developed and practiced as the student progresses through the curriculum as a cohort.

The MBA in Education program prepares students to become principals, high-level educational administrators and educational leaders. Programs unite skills necessary for education leadership with financial, strategic and entrepreneurial proficiencies to students seeking to affect substantial change at the individual, school and district tiers. Students develop best business-related practices incorporating short and long-term project management, financial management including fundraising and investment, short and long-term goal setting, marketing, human resources and strategic planning. Research skills are refined and can be applied to academic or industry-related projects. Practical applications of these skills are developed inside and outside of the classroom with group projects, case studies, guest lectures by relevant leaders and presentation preparation.

Upon program completion, students will be able to:

  • Identify and resolve barriers to student achievement.
  • Sustain an ethical school and community culture that is conducive to learning and promoting strong character building.
  • Communicate effectively with faculty, student families and members of the community.
  • Provide strong organizational and fiscal management of school resources.
  • Understand and participate in political and legal contexts that impact their schools and the learning environment of their students.
  • Become leaders and advocates of their schools, communities and for the educational sector as a whole.

What’s the Career Outlook for MBAs in Education

Hiring of manager level positions in the training and development areas is forecasted increase about 10% between 2016 and 2026. 10% rise in 10 years is an above average rate of employment increase for any occupation. The majority of managerial level professions require their employees to earn CPE (Continuing Professional Education) credits and take internally and externally offered skill development courses throughout their careers. The cost of this additional training can become costly to the employer. Therefore, there is a greater demand for employment candidates who have already received some skill development training prior to employment. There is a continued expectation that you will pursue this additional development on a regular basis.

The variety of training techniques will constantly be subject to innovation as technology becomes more and more advanced. These innovations will be particularly evident to larger organizations and remote workers. As organizations increasingly utilize social networking, simulations and mobile learning, these tools will be incorporated into training programs. You can expect to experience these technologically focused methods in addition to more collaborative learning. In turn, it will be expected that you can facilitate the use of these methods to properly prepare your own employees for the constantly changing methods of communication within your organization and externally to students and their families.

Employment growth for those with an MBA in Education in post-secondary roles are forecasted due to the increasing student enrollment in colleges and universities. Post-secondary degrees are the new minimum education requirement in contrast to 20 years ago when a high school diploma was the minimum and 10 years ago when a bachelor’s degree was the minimum. As student enrollment for colleges and universities continues to steadily increase, there is a greater need for postsecondary education administrators who stand out with up-to-date learning and development.

What Are Average Salaries Among Educational Leaders

Median wage is determined by calculating the wage at which half of the employees within an occupation earned higher than that amount and the other half earned less.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in May 2016, the median annual wage for training and development managers was $105,830. Within this category of workers, the bottom 10 percent earned less than $57,760, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $184,990.

Where Do Educators with MBAs Work

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Approximately 34,500 jobs are held by training and development managers. The categories of organizations employing the largest number of training and development managers are:

Sector Avg. Salary
Professional, scientific, technical services 15%
Management of companies and enterprises 15%
Educational services; state, local, private 11%
Finance and insurance 11%<
Healthcare and social assistance 9%

Post-secondary education administrators hold about 180,100 jobs. The categories of organizations employing the largest number of postsecondary education administrators were:

Sector Avg. Salary
       Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private 79%
Junior colleges; state, local, and private 14

What Can I Do With an MBA in Education

An MBA in Education enables graduates to further advance their careers within the fields of training and development management and pre and post-secondary education administration. Graduates with an MBA in Education have the ability to enter into areas of organization administration that require a broader understanding of business processes in addition to academic processes within the education sector.

Possible employment positions appropriate for an MBA in Education candidate include: leaders of schools (primary, secondary, districts), departmental leaders within an academic institution, curriculum designers, school and university registrars, academic facilities managers, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) managers in the academic sector, policy makers within government and within organizations that have a focus on education, and entrepreneurs in education who provide consultation and program development within the private sector.

  • Career and Technical Education Teachers provide direct, practical instruction to students in various technical and occupational focuses. These vocational skills include fields such as auto repair, healthcare, and culinary arts. These instructors provide both academic and technical content in order to prepare students with the hands-on experience and subject knowledge necessary to enter a given occupation.
  • Compensation and Benefits Managers research various benefit options, keep up to date on comparable compensation within their organization’s industry, develop programs to disseminate information related to an employee’s compensation and benefits, and oversee the execution of these programs while following labor laws.
  • Instructional Coordinators manage implementation of school curriculums and monitor that teaching standards are being met. They also can be a part of the development of instructional materials, collaborate with teachers and principals to implement the curriculum, and measure the curriculum for overall effectiveness.
  • Postsecondary Education Administrators can have responsibilities including directing student services, overseeing academics, and facilitating faculty research being done within colleges and universities. Job duties within post-secondary education can vary greatly. The office of the college or university they manage could be related to admissions, registrar, student affairs, faculty affairs, facilities, information technology, or human resources.
  • School Counselors assist students to acquire and cultivate the necessary social skills and academic tools needed to flourish in school and after they graduate. Career counselors can be present in schools or organizations. They help students or workers identify careers that fit their skills and interests and provide a path to follow to seek employment in that field.
  • Training and Development Managers can also be present in schools or organizations, however, in schools they would work with the faculty and staff instead of the students. These managers create and execute programs to improve and expand upon the knowledge and skills of an organization’s employees.

Difference Between an MBA and a Master in Education

The MBA in Education is a degree that is targeted towards current and aspiring leaders in education management, in both the private and public sectors. Generally, MBA in Education programs are designed for those who desire to become education administrators and who have a minimum of two years of managerial experience, or a minimum of two years of exposure to processes and procedures within the education sector. This experience could be gained in the primary, secondary or tertiary levels of education. The areas of study focus on managing matters that an educational administrator could be faced with in their leadership role. As an educational administrator, you will need to be able to address key areas such as: curriculum development, cultivating a positive school culture, strategic planning, organizational development, marketing, change management, operations, financial planning, fundraising, governmental educational policies, information technology and human resources. Look for programs that incorporate hands-on experience in addition to classroom learning, group work and research projects.

How the MBA in Education differs from the standard MBA is the targeted trajectory of the program. The MBA is a broader degree and generally addresses the for-profit, corporate or entrepreneurial arena.  The MBA in Education focuses on the same overarching topics, however more towards how these topics will show up academia. While concepts are similar, the goals and how those goals are achieved are very different.

Skills required for MBA EducationWhat Skills are Best Suited for an MBA in Education

Sector Description
Business Skills  Knowing how your organization operates is a must for any educational leader. While it is not necessary to understand how every transaction occurs or how every procedure I executed, it is necessary to have an executive level of understanding as to how your organization achieves its goals. There is also a need to understand the organization’s finances and how achieving your goals are affected by budget and funding.
Communication Skills  Educational leaders must know how to calmly and clearly communicate with a very diverse audience consisting of students, parents, government officials, faculty, academic staff and the community.
Critical-thinking Skills  Critical-thinking is a hallmark trait of an educational leader. You must access your critical thinking ability when addressing issues like making adjustments to curriculum, making budget cuts, making changes to improve efficiency and effectiveness around your organization.
Decision-Making Skills  Decision-making skills are engaged when educational leaders are faced with various options and limited resources. The ability to utilize the tools for cost/benefit analysis are required when justifying to various constituencies the decisions that you have made and how they are best for your programs.
Collaboration Skills  Teamwork is an unavoidable part of any organization’s landscape. As an educational leader, you will need to engage strong interpersonal skills as you work with varying personalities. Keep in mind that differences of opinion usually result in the best product being produced. Groupthink will cause your goals and how to achieve them to have a very narrow purview. You will need to be able to work people on all levels to accomplish your tasks.
Instructional Skills  Education leaders need to understand two variations of instructional skills. The first is the teaching in the classroom. You will need to understand how lessons are developed and lectured and other considerations faculty deal with on a regular basis. As an educational leader, you will also need to provide training and development to your own staff.
Leadership Skills  Educational leaders must provide leadership not only to those that report to you, but also to any group or committee you may participate in. Leading involves, motivating, organizing, and keeping on target to meet your goals.
Computer skills  Information technology is an important of learning and also administration. It is important you are up to date on the possible technologies to be used in the classroom by researching implementation, cost and benefits to students. You also need to be able to computer savvy enough to navigate required computer programs required for managing student records and organizational finances.
Interpersonal skills  In collaboration with communication skills, interpersonal skills are also a trait that continuously needs to be developed. You need to be outgoing and empathic as you deal with students and parents.
Organizational skills  Any type of leader needs to have excellent organizational skills. You are constantly faced with competing priorities and impending deadlines. Being able to juggle all of your tasks while being able to address emergencies is a required trait of a good leader.
Problem-solving skills  Leaders are often given the tasks of dealing with the most difficult situations and emergencies. You will need to be able to react calmly and apply your critical-thinking skills.

What Typical Classes Will I Take in My MBA in Education Program

  • Study of Teaching and Learning Methods Applying theory and research to teaching methods, learning environments, classroom interactions, and how students process information.
  • Critical Issues in Education Familiarization of current educational issues and where those issues are in our legislative system. Learning how these educational issues are affected by various stakeholders such as policymakers, educational advocates, the community and your organization in particular. Generally, you will participate in research projects and group work to learn how to approach these issues.
  • Evaluation for Practitioners You will learn how to measure and communicate outcomes of your instructors. You will know how to review inputs and outputs to decide if your goals are being met.
  • Creating Financial Intelligence Learning how to exhibit financial intelligence within your organization is a key concept you will learn. You will learn various tools and dashboards to determine the health of your organization and assist with decision making. Coursework should touch on fundraising, proposal writing, budgeting, investing and reporting.
  • Developing and Leveraging Human Capital Attracting and retaining the right people for your organization is foundation to the success of your organization. Without the people within your organization, you could never meet your goals by yourself. Keeping abreast of trends with compensation and benefits and motivating your talent is key to understanding how various decisions impact employee performance.
  • Education Leadership Learn to create new programming for K-12 education or at the college or university level. International opportunities are an other way to engage students in diversity and build character.
  • Leadership and Global Achievement Gap Research and case studies are used to address the K-12 global achievement gap. You will learn the extent of the gap, what factors contribute to the gap and how the US educational system could improve education for students to eliminate this gap.

MBA E-commerce Tuition feesHow Much is Tuition for MBA Education Programs

Tuition for an MBA in Education can vary greatly. This can be due to the length of the program which can go from one year up to four years. Usually the higher the number of credits, the greater the length of the program, the higher the cost of the program. It is also dependent upon if the program requires GMAT or not. The programs that require GMATs to be taken tend to have a higher tuition rate. As you might guess, the institutions with the higher costs also tend to be the institutions where their degrees carry a higher prestige. The difference between in state and out of state/country tuition tends to be about $10K higher for out of state or out of country. Depending on the area you want to work in, the geographical location that has the jobs available, and the notoriety of where you received your degree from, it may be worth the added cost to go out of state or out of country. However, if you want to work in a local university or school district, it would probably be best to stay in state and save the money on the tuition. Added costs to be considered not covered by your tuition are: books, project materials, parking, transportation, required student fees, or room and board.

Many degree programs now give you the option to take the program online, in person or a combination. All of these situations have their pros and cons. If you are going to take online cases, you need to be diligent to stay on track and not procrastinate. Also, you will still have group work and may be more difficult to complete virtually without meeting in person. Some people can be very different online than in-person which can be good or bad. If you take classes in person, it is important not to miss or be late. You will have to add your length of commute and time to find parking for your overall time commitment. There is also significant out of classroom work. When deciding if you want take online versus in person programs, another important consideration is the technology used for the online programs. There are generally discussion boards, quizzes, and assignment submission. You will want to evaluate that it is a robust and stable system with little downtime.

Campus Tuition

Online Tuition

GMAT Scores for MBA Education ProgramsGMAT Scores for MBA Education Programs

GMAT scores can be an important indicator of the likelihood a student will be successful in the program. Online score requirements tend to be a bit higher than in person programs. Not all schools require a GMAT score. The longer, full-time programs tend to require GMATs while shorter, accelerated programs may not. It can save you time to seek out what programs you are interested in and research what is required to attend that school. If you are unsure where you would like to take your program, then you should take the GMAT.

Campus GMAT Scores

Online GMAT Scores

Student / Faculty Ratio for MBA Education ProgramsStudent / Faculty Ratio for MBA Education Programs

Faculty to student ratio is an important factor in the quality of education you will receive. The lower the ratio, the more individualized attention you will receive. The more individualized attention you receive, the greater the odds you will understand the material better. The ratios provided are based off of all MBA programs regardless of concentration. To discover what the ratio is for the program you are interested in, go to the school pages where you will find undergraduate, MBA and PhD student faculty ratios.

Campus Student/Faculty Ratio

Online Student/Faculty Ratio

Student Population for MBA Education ProgramsStudent Population for MBA Education Programs

When looking at how the student population is spread across program formats, you will find the highest concentration of students are online, then part time, then full time. The concentration is spread based on flexibility. The higher the flexibility (aka the least amount of scheduled class time), the higher the number of students. There are pros and cons to small cohorts versus large cohorts. Small cohorts can become very cohesive and encourage each other to make it through the program. The large cohorts cultivate a variety of approaches to solve the same problem, help others to think outside of the box and foster creativity. When researching schools, try to reach out to current students and ask about the culture to help you decide which type of culture best suits you.

Campus Enrollment

Online Enrollment

Student Population from the United StatesStudent Population from the United States

There is a huge benefit to studying alongside international students in your program. They bring other ways of thinking to group work, exposure to how business is conducted in other countries that could be used in your organization, along with networking opportunities.

Campus Global Enrollment

Online Global Enrollment

Faculty Information for MBA Education ProgramsFaculty Information for MBA Education Programs

Take note of the number of faculty in the program your program of interest. The larger the faculty, the more likely you will be exposed to fundamentals as well as important trends. Both full-time and part-time faculty can bring different viewpoints to the curriculum they teach. Having diversely experienced faculty provides you with opportunities to experience a variety real world perspectives. The larger the number of the faculty that have doctorate the degrees, generally the better quality the program. And the more faculty available, the more individualized attention you will receive.

Campus Faculty Numbers

Online Faculty Numbers

Find Campus | Online MBA ProgramsList of Campus and Online MBA Education Programs

  • The number of on-campus MBA Education programs offered: 5
  • The number of online MBA Education programs offered: 1

While there are many MBA programs to choose from, a specialty in education is rather limited. If you are interested in online, you currently have only one option. If you are willing to attend class in person, you will have 5 AACSB schools to choose from.

If you notice any errors in the MBA program database, please contact us.

About Keri Baker

Keri Baker is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based freelance copywriter and MBA-graduate who loves writing about productivity. When she’s not listening to productivity podcasts or researching Apple products, you can find her chasing her pups around or volunteering at the local homeless mission. Feel free to find Keri on Twitter or Instagram @techgirlpgh.