How Can You Get A Job As A Curriculum Developer?

Curriculum DeveloperTeachers who are considering a more administrative role might want to do what it takes to get a job as a curriculum developer. This fast-growing position is central to today’s schools, since it determines how the school will teach each class, align the curriculum with state standards, and incorporate both new textbooks and new technologies into the classroom, according to US News and World Report. Though this is an exciting and growing field within the education industry, it’s worth noting that there are a few unique requirements that teachers must meet in order to advance into this role and begin shaping the future of their district’s curriculum and instructional practices.

First, Make Sure to Have the Appropriate Master’s Degree

Curriculum is no small matter at today’s schools, since it determines the school’s adherence to state standards, performance on standardized tests, and even the level of funding the school receives as a result of its test scores. For this reason, schools don’t take the responsibility of hiring a curriculum developer very lightly. Almost all school districts in the country require aspiring curriculum specialists to have a master’s degree in education, and they’re generally pretty specific about the requirements of that degree in the job description. The most common fields of specialty at the graduate level include:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Instructional Coaching
  • Educational Research
  • Education Policy
  • Content-Centered Programs in Math, English, Science, or History

Generally, the degree programs above are ranked in order of their preference when it comes to successfully applying for this position and landing a job in curriculum development. Most successful applicants have majored specifically in educational policy, research, or curriculum; a handful of successful applicants do hold a master’s degree in a specific content area, however.

Gain Years of Teaching Experience Before Applying for the Job

A curriculum developer needs to understand how the classroom works and how students can benefit from new approaches to state standards and grade-appropriate concepts. Simply put, there really is no substitute for teaching experience when it comes to properly and thoroughly understanding the nature of the modern classroom. Most curriculum developers have at least five years of teaching experience, though many have been teaching for ten years and even longer. This practical experience at the head of a classroom allows the professional to use their own experiences to pick textbooks, choose lessons, and opt for specific kinds of classroom technology.

Prepare for a More Administrative Role in the District

Curriculum developers who previously worked as teachers are likely accustomed to answering to parents, students, and administrators. As a curriculum developer, that will change in a significant way. Now, these educational professionals will become part of the administration and work in consultation with principals, superintendents, and other key stakeholders in the district. Likewise, they will begin answering to state standards and regulators, federal policies, and the publishing companies that determine textbook series, purchase amounts, technological requirements, and much more. This new organization is hard for many curriculum developers to adjust to initially, but many find it to be a refreshing change of pace from their role in the classroom.

Related Resource: Master of Educational Leadership

A Growing Field with Great Opportunities for Qualified Applicants

Federal and state changes to educational standards and policies have made for big shifts in curriculum in recent years. Teachers who with to have a more hands-on role in deciding what students are taught can get a job as a curriculum developer as long as they have the educational and professional qualifications required, and as long as they’re ready for a shift in their overall role in the district.