How to Become an Educational Consultant
by Heather Maietta
Our nation’s schools are filled with diverse students whose needs constantly evolve and change. Administrators adapt and improve their operational and instructional methods to prepare students and educators to overcome small and large challenges. Educational consultants help make these improvements possible by delivering the best educational techniques and technologies to classrooms, individual families and companies.
Education consultants are seasoned professionals ― often trained teachers or administrators who have left the classroom but still have a passion for education. They are knowledgeable about K-12 and/or post-secondary education and are eager to make a difference in how education is delivered and received. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an educational consultant, we’ll explore the position and help you craft a resume and cover letter that can put you on track for an educational consultant job. Advertisement
What is an educational consultant?
Education consultants work in a variety of settings, offering strategic and tactical support for schools and individuals to optimize methods, processes and student performance. Schools and universities also employ consultants to fix systemic issues, improve the teaching and learning environment, train faculty, and advise administrators.
Educational consultants’ specific responsibilities may include:
- Working with parents to help their children succeed in school: academically, socially and emotionally.
- Supporting students in the college search and application processes.
- Developing learning products and programs that teachers use to improve student engagement and achievement.
- Working with students (and their families) who have learning differences to find appropriate schools or programs and advocate for special services.
- Helping districts, programs and university systems to strategize short and long-term goals around educational growth and achievement numbers.
What type of credentials do I need?
Educational consultants are considered experts in their field, and most have years of practical experience in education before becoming an educational consultant. The vast majority hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and many have a master’s degree.
While it can be helpful to get your degree in a relevant field like education or psychology, education consultants come from diverse backgrounds, going on to earn educational consultant certification or other specialty credentials in their area of expertise.
What makes a great educational consultant?
A high-quality educational consultant is someone with excellent listening skills and strong attention to detail. These individuals are highly adept at written and oral communication as well as presentation; they are also skilled at identifying problems and brainstorming potential solutions. In addition, educational consultants are expected to be well-versed in:
- Planning and organization
- Documentation and note-taking
- Meeting deadlines
- Traveling and working in diverse environments
- Working both independently and collaboratively
Education is a broad field, and organizations hire consultants for their expertise, so it is important to find your niche. Do you love helping teachers integrate technology into their classroom? Are you a subject-matter expert interested in curriculum design or diverse student populations? Does the idea of teaching other people how to reach students with learning differences sound exciting? Your working environment is important as well. Do you want to consult for schools, work one-on-one with individual students, or consult for education companies?
Here are your three main options for work settings:
- Educational institutions: Schools and universities ask higher education consultants to examine student outcomes and recommend improvements to programs and policies. Districts may also employ consultants to study a specific problem or program implementation viability, and design a custom solution to fit that specific district.
- Individual families: Some education consultants work one-on-one with families. This arrangement requires the consultant to personalize solutions for individual students. These consultants often work with special populations such as students who require special accommodations, international students and non-native English speakers, and gifted and talented populations.
- Private companies: Education consultants work on projects for textbook publishers, learning companies and educational consulting firms. They focus on making great educational products for students, teachers and schools.
Applying for educational consulting jobs
To do your job well, you need to be able to express yourself clearly and effectively. There’s no better way to demonstrate your strength in this area than to deliver clear, well-written application materials.
Because education is such an expansive field, try to narrow your area of expertise to something specific. Your resume is your opportunity to briefly demonstrate how your abilities and attributes align with the industry niche you’re targeting. Check out our Educational Consultant Resume Sample for guidance on how to craft your resume (you can even work from this sample, if you’d like).
Demand for motivated, passionate education consultants keeps growing in the increasingly competitive education sector. If you want to rework an existing resume — or build a brand-new one from scratch — use our Resume Builder, and get professional assistance with all angles of your document. A stellar resume is one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal. Be sure yours stands out!