Education consultants are professionals who provide advice to educators, parents, and schools on teaching styles and educational strategies that can improve student learning. They can work with schools or school districts, or directly with students and their families. Generally, they act as advisors, reviewing how teachers and districts carry out their educational processes and making suggestions for better ways to accomplish those tasks. They may also do a broader review, looking for problems across the spectrum to find issues that current administrators hadn't detected yet.
Education consultants create long-term strategic plans to modify the course of a district or modify curriculum standards, with the goal of improving student performance. To become an education consultant, you must have extensive experience working in education, whether inside or outside the classroom. You must also have a history of successful collaboration in developing educational changes or implementing educational programs. Schools, colleges and universities often hire educational consultants when they have a specific problem that they need help solving. The goal of an education consultant is to provide experience and knowledge related to early childhood, primary, secondary and higher education, whether for short-term projects or ongoing tasks. Government education consultants collect and evaluate information to advise managers.
It is important that educational consultants have good organizational skills and excellent attention to detail to better facilitate communication between different parties. They must also have excellent communication skills to understand the needs of others and communicate their concerns to parents, educators, students, and other colleagues. A bachelor's degree is usually the minimum education requirement to become an education consultant, but earning additional degrees can provide more opportunities. Education consultants working for private clients are often responsible for managing their own overheads, health insurance, retirement, and self-employment taxes. They may also work with parents of children with special needs, advising them on which schools would be the best fit and helping them apply for grants or funding.
For some educational consultants, clients are parents and students thinking about post-high school education options. Although you may be able to develop a career without a master's degree, educational consultants with a master's degree in a relevant field have a better chance of promotions and salary increases. Education consultants begin by evaluating the student by analyzing strengths and weaknesses and then identifying universities that would be a good fit for the student's interests and needs.