How To Become the Head of a Department in Education (Plus Skills)

Generally, department heads need to be knowledgeable in the subject matter of the department they head up, certified to teach, have strong leadership ability and feel comfortable working with people. Most often, department chairs are faculty members who’ve worked their ways up in their departments.

Leadership roles are highly sought after in the corporate world and aspiring professionals strive to reach the peak of their careers and become the leader of a department. Being a head of a department requires a range of skills, knowledge and dedication to the role. It is not an easy task and requires an individual to be proactive in their approach.
Becoming a head of department is not something that can be achieved overnight, but with the right strategies and attitude, it can be possible. This blog post will provide you with the tips and advice on how to become head of department. It will explore the various qualities and skill sets that are required for a successful appointment. It will also discuss the various steps required to achieve this role, from researching the company culture to preparing for the interview process.
By taking the time to explore the various tips and advice provided in this post, aspiring professionals can put themselves in the best position to achieve success and become the head of their department.

Career Advice on becoming a Head of Department by Professor Munir Morad (Full Version)

What does the head of a department do?

The department head’s primary duties are as follows:

Advance the departments strategy

The senior leadership team and the department head frequently collaborate to establish the department’s strategy. The department head actively advances goals after deciding on them and making sure they line up with the institution’s larger objectives. They design the curriculum by selecting pertinent subjects and teaching resources. When creating lesson plans, they may also seek advice from other academics and follow state regulations.

Manage teachers

Teachers who instruct a particular subject are under the supervision of department heads. To hire qualified instructors, they actively participate in the recruiting and interviewing processes. They also train new employees and continue to support faculty members. Department heads may observe lessons and offer feedback to teachers to ensure they follow instructional standards.

Support students

Some department heads support students directly. A college department head, for instance, might assist a student in finding a research or internship opportunity. Department heads in high school frequently mediate disputes involving teachers, students, and parents. A department head still supports students even if they don’t interact with them much directly by participating in other activities. For instance, they oversee the department budget to guarantee that students have access to the resources they need for a top-notch education.

Promote the department

Department heads work to promote the reputation of their teachers and curriculum. They might seek out talented teachers and recruit students to boost enrollment rates. These individuals also oversee alumni initiatives and organize occasions to draw in new recruits and keep the current clientele interested.

What is the head of a department?

The head of a department in the field of education is a specialist in school administration who is in charge of a group of teachers. Typically, the department they oversee focuses on a single subject, such as math, science, or history. Having previously taught, department heads are frequently qualified to supervise teachers, develop curricula, and carry out other tasks that advance high-quality education. Schools for middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students may employ these people.

How to become the head of a department

Heres how to become the head of a department:

1. Obtain a bachelors degree

Most employers demand at least a bachelor’s degree for department heads. Think about specializing in something like math, science, or history. To hone your management abilities, you could also choose to specialize in education or school administration. Consider obtaining a master’s or even a doctoral degree if you want to stand out in this cutthroat industry. By continuing your education, you can earn more money and become eligible for higher-level jobs at colleges.

2. Gain teaching experience

Try to submit applications for teaching positions in the department you want to eventually head. For instance, you might instruct high school algebra if your goal is to head the math department at a high school. This experience aids in the development of your patience, creativity, and problem-solving abilities, all of which are necessary traits for a department head to possess. Teaching experience also fosters empathy by enabling you to comprehend the level of assistance that teachers need. Be aware that depending on your state, employment as a teacher typically necessitates passing a background check and obtaining certification.

3. Seek leadership opportunities in your teaching role

A department head position typically requires advanced management skills and several years of experience. By pursuing leadership opportunities in your teaching position, you can improve your candidacy. You could offer to lead a committee or plan an event, for instance. These endeavors demonstrate your initiative and ability to manage others.

4. Apply to department head positions

Try to highlight your management abilities in your resume and during the interview process when you are applying for a department head position. Applying at the organization where you currently work might increase your chances of getting hired because you are already familiar with its policies. By networking and expressing your desire to expand the institution’s department, you can also submit applications for positions at outside companies.

Skills for department heads

As a department head, you can succeed by having the following abilities:

Department head salary and work environment

It’s crucial to determine whether a department head’s workplace is conducive to your way of life. However, if there are deadlines or department events, department heads may work nights or weekends in addition to their usual 40-hour work weeks. Most of their time is spent in an office, where they complete paperwork and consult with teachers. In order to attend events or keep an eye on teachers in the classroom, they might leave their office.


How can I be successful in Hod?

Department heads take charge of departments. They monitor, lead, train, and manage staff. They may also conduct research and set goals. Department heads ensure that overall day-to-day operations run smoothly.

What skills do you need to head a department?

The 7 things successful heads of department do
  1. Lead by example.
  2. Praise others, not yourself.
  3. Don’t do things for Ofsted.
  4. Protect your staff.
  5. Deploy your troops wisely.
  6. Exploit what you’ve got.
  7. Set, short, achievable goals each term/year.

Do department heads make more money?

These are some important skills for departments heads:
  • Communication. Communication is the capacity to express ideas clearly and comprehend those of others when speaking with them.
  • Organisation. …
  • Leadership. …
  • Business knowledge. …
  • Computer skills. …
  • Project management. …
  • Education. …
  • Experience.

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