Taking on an educational leadership position requires making a commitment to learning the techniques and tools needed for success in the complex, challenging world of education.

Some of the skills are those that are important in a leadership position in any organization. Others are very specific to education. But the combination of them all is important to excel in leading a school, a school district or as a dean at the university level.

Earning a master’s degree in education is typically a required step. That’s certainly the case in Massachusetts, where a master’s degree is needed to meet the qualifications for educational leadership positions. It also prepares you for testing in the Massachusetts Tests for Education Licensure.

Here are some of the other qualities that can lead to success in educational leadership.

Latest Education Research and Theories

This is where a quality master’s degree program in education can serve you well. The Merrimack College program focuses on the latest educational research and theory, as well as the practical application of both. Graduates leave prepared to take on the challenges of the modern education system.

Leadership By Example

Another benefit of a graduate program in education is learning how to provide leadership by example. Doing so provides students, faculty, and other school officials someone to model their behavior after. Expertise in how to make ethics-based, rational decisions is one of the keys for those who wish to succeed in educational leadership. The best leaders bring a positive energy to the job that lifts others to do the best work possible.

Communication Skills for Educational Leadership

This is one of those universal skills needed by leaders – and one that is lacking in many. The pitfalls of communication are numerous. Being unclear is one issue that leads to miscommunication. Not practicing good listening skills and carefully considering the ideas of others is another. In all cases, leaders need expertise in oral and written communication.

Belief in Education

This isn’t something people talk about enough when it comes to leadership positions, but it might be the most important issue. Getting into education leadership requires a deep-rooted passion for what education can do. To sustain a leader through tough times, they need to have a belief in what they are doing and what they can accomplish through education. While the above skills are important, they ultimately serve to support this passion, giving education leaders the tools they need to translate ideas into action.

Massachusetts is one of the best states for educational leadership, with a school system consistently ranked among the best in the country. It also is home to many quality colleges and universities. For those already working in education in Massachusetts who want to elevate their career into a leadership role, a master’s degree program is the first step in the right direction.