Managing education

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From managing the day-to-day activities of school to organising different events, education management offers an interesting career option for those looking for a dynamic and service-oriented work environment.

Academic route:Being a teacher paves the way for a managerial role in education.Photo: AP
Academic route:Being a teacher paves the way for a managerial role in education.Photo: AP

Getting into a good school is becoming increasingly challenging in many Indian cities and towns. The demand for good school education has increased manifold.

The reason is that India is a young country and a growing country. More than 50 per cent of its population is under the age of 25.

Imagine the number of children who are going to be born over the next 20 years! No matter what their background is, all of them require schooling, and new schools need to be built.

Building new schools and managing them requires a specific set of skills.

The field of education management has finally emerged as a new discipline and a fantastic opportunity for a career. Traditionally people who ran schools have been teachers themselves, who gained hands-on experience in management over time.

This has now changed and many new schools have a separate executive director or CEO who is in charge of all the managerial aspects of the school.

The demand for such professionals who can manage the overall institution is increasing and will continue to increase over time in India.

The remuneration for such capable individuals can be very good too, equivalent to what people get in senior corporate roles.

Dynamic role

The working environment is typically dynamic with different activities at different times of the year — organising annual days, fetes, examinations, parent events, field trips, study tours — the variety is really wide. The CEO needs to have the ability to juggle the various aspects of managing the school and ensure delivery of results. Other skills required include excellent organisation and scheduling skills.

People management and team work are equally important. The ability to connect with children would be an added bonus.

The lifestyle in the education field is quite good too. The number of holidays is higher than in most other professions, with summer holidays offering at least a couple of weeks off.

Becoming a leader in the education field can be through two broadly different routes. The first is the academic route: You can become a teacher in a subject of your choice, learn to teach that and then move into management after completing a management degree.

The management degree can be a distance learning MBA programme or a full- time one, depending on your circumstances. After being a teacher, other senior roles include being an academic coordinator or head of a department for a particular subject.

Alternatively, you can complete a commerce degree and move into the administrative side of the organisation – in accounts or in human resources, for example. You can then move on to becoming the administrative officer, in charge of all the non-academic aspects of the school.

Education management is a great career if you are interested in working with children or young adults and are looking for a dynamic and challenging work environment.

For the entrepreneurially inclined, you can also consider setting up your own small school and managing it completely.

You can also be proud of participating in a service industry that is a fundamental building block in creating a capable workforce for our great nation.

The writer is a director at Thinking Palm.




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