A person who is interested in the administrative or leadership side of education may want to know, “Do I need an advanced degree to become a school superintendent?” This is important knowledge to have because some people may prefer to enter into the workforce upon finishing their bachelor’s or master’s degree, and they may not have a desire to continue on for a doctorate. Knowing what level of education is necessary in order to become a school superintendent makes it easier for a person to plan their career path.
Educational Requirements for a School Superintendent
A minimum of a master’s degree in education, school administration or education administration is required in order to become a school superintendent. Some universities offer a degree in education leadership, which is also typically accepted for a person who wants to become a school superintendent. Many school districts require or at least prefer a candidate who holds a doctoral degree in education, education administration, education leadership or a closely related field. Large school districts will often only consider candidates who have a doctoral degree in education. This is because large school districts are often complex and have a multitude of issues that are not as extensive as what a small school district experiences. Private schools may not have these educational requirements for their superintendents.
Licensing and Certification Requirements for a Superintendent
A school superintendent must be licensed as an educator. Some states call this license an education administrator. In order to get the license, a person has to pass a background check and an examination. The examination is usually written, although some states will include an interview as a part of the licensing process. Each state has different requirements on how often a license must be renewed.
Continuing Education or Professional Development Requirements
Public schools typically institute a continuing education or professional development requirement for all administrators and teaching staff. These requirements ensure that the administrators and educators are kept up-to-date on education research, trends and best practices. Each state’s and school district’s requirements for continuing education and professional development vary. Completing the continuing education units and professional development is often a requirement for maintaining the education administrator license.
Work Experience Needed for Becoming a School Superintendent
Becoming a school superintendent requires extensive work experience in education and education administration. They may have work experience as kindergarten, elementary or secondary school teachers. In addition to working as a teacher, a school superintendent usually has work experience in the administrative side of education. For example, they may have held a position as a school vice principal then as a school principal. A minimum of five years of administrative experience is typically required of a school superintendent. Large school districts may seek people who have been a superintendent of a smaller school district within the same state or area, explains Chron.
Related Resource: Master’s in Educational Leadership
Becoming a school superintendent does not happen immediately upon graduation with a degree in education or education administration. School districts look for a candidate who has experience teaching in many environments and who has taken a growing role in administration within educational systems. Knowing, “Do I need an advanced degree to become a school superintendent?” could help a person decide whether or not this career path is the right one for their skills and preferences.