Managerial position in the education sector


The education sector also includes managerial positions, and we at OAJ want to support good leadership. Read on to see what kind of managerial positions are available in the sector.

Leadership is goal-oriented and interactive and steers people’s work and other activities towards a shared goal. Leadership supports and strengthens the work of individuals and groups.

A good manager or supervisor can lead their unit to achieve optimal work results by managing work and personnel in accordance with legislation and agreements. Good leadership starts with creating a safe, pleasant and supportive work environment. In addition, a good manager or supervisor treats his or her employees fairly and as individuals.

High-quality leadership guarantees high-quality work

Being a manager or supervisor in a specialist field is one of the most challenging management tasks. The education sector’s key output is created in the interaction between the teacher and students. Leadership should, above all, serve to achieve the best possible interaction.

The better the management of work and teaching personnel, the better chance teachers have carrying out their work well. This also offers students the best conditions for learning.

What kind of managerial positions are available in the sector?

Usually, the head of an education institution, school or day-care centre unit, for instance the principal, is responsible for managing its operations. Other possible positions include vice-principals, deputy directors and the heads of local education and culture departments. The sector offers many opportunities to lead!

There is no such thing as the right type of teacher; diverse communities need different types of people, and leadership positions need people of all ages and genders.

What skills are needed in managerial positions?

All management work is the same at its core: achieving results and objectives with the help of and in collaboration with people. Only people can be managed, so management always takes place through the interaction between people.

Leadership requires time and presence. Managerial positions in the education sector differ, for example, from other municipal managerial positions in that there can be more than a hundred employees to manage in the education sector.

Good interactive skills are vital in managerial positions: managing a work community requires the ability to co-operate and insight into human nature. The public nature of work in the education sector requires teachers and supervisors to be skilled and competent in working with students and their families. Persons working in managerial positions must have an understanding of teaching, but also of the school’s societal function.

What do people in managerial positions need to know?

Managerial positions include many aspects that are common to different education levels but, for instance, collective agreements and student issues differ quite a bit at the different levels. Directors and principals must be familiar with legislation that steers the work and with collective agreements – these are, after all, the main tools of management work.

Achieving good management outcomes requires expertise in the education, training and research sector. Management systems include leadership skills, structures, models and tools that are used jointly by the organisation’s members.

Persons working in managerial positions need to have the opportunity to continuously develop their management expertise.

What training is needed for managerial positions in the education sector?

The qualifications of principals at all education levels are prescribed by a decree. Principals are generally required to have a master’s degree.

A principal must have the same qualifications as those required for teachers at his or her school, as well as sufficient teaching experience. In addition, he or she must have a certificate in education administration or sufficient competence in education administration acquired in some other way.

Excellent written and spoken skills in the teaching language of the school in question are also required.


Got questions about leadership? Contact us!

We at OAJ want to support good leadership. If you have any questions about leadership and managerial positions in the education sector don’t hesitate to ask.

Contact us

Please send us an email at or call us:

Erkki Mustonen, legal advice, tel. 020 748 9642
Nina Lahtinen, education policy, tel. 020 748 9639
Riina Länsikallio, working life, tel. 020 748 9671
Timo Mäki, early childhood education, tel. 020 748 9616
Niku Tuomisto, general education, tel. 020 748 9612
Minna Vakkuri, vocational education, tel. 020 748 9663
Jens Mattfolk, FSL (organisation of Swedish-speaking Teachers in Finland), tel. 020 749 5470.