Competencies of an Effective Educational Manager

by Deb Dupree Google

    Learning in or out of the classroom is a lifelong process for many. Continual learning supports personal growth and development. Those who need or want structured learning depend on the behind-the-scenes work of education managers. Effective education managers are responsible for overseeing the implementation and execution of educational programs. They create policies and evaluate ways to improve learning. These managers work in a range of jobs, from public school principals to corporate training managers. They also work in a range of environments, including government agencies, colleges, universities and private enterprises.

    Assessing student needs and planning the correct approach to meet those needs are key competencies for education managers. They provide oversight for the analyses, development and delivery of educational programs. Managers also integrate information technology into learning programs to enhance the student learning experience. They need strong project management skills to keep programs and projects on track. Educational managers also need vision and strategic planning skills to keep material fresh, innovative and in tune with current skill and knowledge demands of hiring industries. In addition, education managers should be competent in financial and budget management.

    Education managers must have leadership abilities to guide, influence, motivate and develop team members. Communication and listening skills are also vital to provide clear instructions to students, parents, corporate partners and other stakeholders. You will need the ability to juggle multiple priorities and responsibilities, which takes organizational and time management skills. When issues flare up, managers must have strong analytical and problem solving skills to address them.

    An educational manager's chief job responsibilities include overseeing curriculum development and managing education plans and programs. You will work with your team to develop and implement targeted programs designed to increase the skills and knowledge of the intended audience. An example of a targeted program is honors courses for gifted students. Education managers are also responsible for supporting staff needs, preparing status and finance reports, maintaining records, and maintaining training libraries and other resources to support their programs.

    Many experienced education managers rise through the ranks to lead organizations in the execution of educational programs and curriculum. These managers acquire needed competencies through work experience. For example, if you are a teacher you already have a solid background in the skills and knowledge needed for an education manager. Corporate trainers and human resources managers also have professional backgrounds relevant to a job as an education manager.

    The minimum education requirements for education managers include a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. Some employers require a master’s or doctorate degree for management positions. Studies in education, curriculum development, instructional design and business administration all provide a solid background for a career as an educational manager.

    About the Author

    Deb Dupree has been an active writer throughout her career in the corporate world and academia since 1982. Her specialties include career, workforce development and technical writing. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee.

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