How to Choose a Masters in Higher Education Degree

About Higher Education

A master’s degree in higher education will give you a deep and practical knowledge of the theory of higher education as well as its administration. People with a master’s degree in higher education typically become the leaders of higher education institutions, which can include colleges, universities, secondary schools and other education-related institutions. Other graduates may become leaders in government agencies and international corporations. This master’s degree will provide you with an excellent foundation for the advancement of your educational career and also for doctoral studies if you choose to pursue them.

Higher Education Job Description

This master’s degree will prepare you for many different types of positions at colleges and universities and other institutions. If you focus your degree in student administration, you will be focusing your work around providing the students at your institution with the tools they need to succeed. You will work a great deal with student populations at your school, policies of finance and budgeting, laws of higher education and also administering the application of new technologies into your school.

With this degree, you also could work in such areas as student loans and finance, admissions, and student services and development. Other possibilities include working in businesses related to education, education consulting or education advertising and marketing.

Higher education administration has been recognized by Yahoo! Finance as one of the best jobs in the US, in terms of compensation, professional development potential and innovation possibilities.

Higher Education Requirements

The coursework for a master’s in higher education will be focused on the administrative and educational knowledge that you will need to assume major leadership positions at educational institutions. You will take courses about the social and historical contexts of higher education. Also, you will participate in seminars surrounding various legal and political considerations with which higher education leaders typically must deal.

You also will learn about how colleges and universities are structured, and you will take classes on finance, budgeting and accounting methods, as well.

Some actual courses from real master’s programs in this field include:

  • Student development and management
  • Management of campus operations
  • Strategic planning and evaluation

Career and Salary Outlook for a Master’s in Higher Education

Professionals with a master’s in higher education had a total of approximately 446,000 jobs in 2008 at educational institutions. About 59,000 were in organizations focused on preschool or child care, and about 230,000 were in elementary or secondary school, and 124,000 were in colleges or universities.

Employment in this field should grow by about 8% between 2008-2018.

As an administrator in higher education, the middle 50% of those employed in the field earn between $58,000 and $113,000 per year. You may need to pursue a doctorate to advance to the highest jobs in the field. Review more education careers & salary options in our career section.

Online Degree Programs for Master’s in Higher Education

There are a good number of online degree programs for this master’s degree. For example, Drexel University offers an online master’s in higher education, which was ranked by US News and World Report in 2010 as one of the top online programs.

A good online program will offer a high degree of interactivity with faculty and other students. Also, schools such as Drexel offer a very interesting graduate co-op program, where you can get significant field work in higher education administration. This will greatly enhance your employment possibilities after graduation.

Higher Education Scholarships

  • Alma White – Delta Kappa Gamma Scholarship -$2,000. Applicants must be working towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education.
  • Edith M. Allen Scholarship -Amount varies. Applicants must have been active members of the United Methodist Church for at least three years. They must be majoring in education, social work, medicine or other health fields. Students may be pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees. They must have at least a B+ average.
  • Jack Kinnaman Scholarship -$2,000. Applicants must be NEA student members, major in education, bachelor’s or graduate, and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. An essay describing activities in NEA, a brief paragraph describing financial need, two letters of recommendation and a copy of the most recent transcript are required.

Higher Education Link Resources