The head media specialist is also in charge of creating the school’s annual budget for staffing, equipment and other supplies. This budget must, of course, be approved by the principal, board, superintendent or whoever is in charge of making such decisions for the school. Once the budget is approved, the head media specialist must then purchase, install, and maintain the equipment.
Sometimes, head media specialists teach classes on media in addition to all of their other chores, but usually, they spend their ''down time'' researching new technology and software that may be useful to the school’s faculty or students. The job of a head media specialist is also a bit of a fundraising job, as they are also occasionally called upon to organize fundraisers in order to raise additional funds for the media center.
So what sort of education do you need to be considered for head media specialist jobs? Well, in general a bachelor’s degree in education or science and technology will provide the education foundation you need, but degrees in information technology or something similar will also help.
You will also have to have some sort of background in technology if you have an education degree, as though you may be called upon to teach a class or two, by and large your job will be dealing with computers and audio-video equipment. Of course, a willingness to teach and/or an education degree (or an education minor with an IT degree or vice versa) in addition to your IT degree will certainly help you a lot. The usual suspects as far as a school goes are the best places to get such degrees, but these days many schools are offering legitimate degrees online. These schools include University of Phoenix, Denver University, Grand Canyon University, and Western Governors University.
So where are the best head media specialist jobs? As with most things, things are better in more well-to-do neighborhoods. In general, if you are going to be working in an inner city public school, you are not going to make as much money as you would if you worked at a school in the suburbs that has a richer base. In such a situation, you will definitely be playing up the ''fundraising job'' portion of your job. Also, private schools, being privately funded, generally can afford to pay to pay their staff significantly more than the generally underfunded public schools. The only trouble with getting into a private school is that they often have stricter requirements, depending on whether the school is religious or secular. Salary is the bottom line for most folks, however, so this is usually only a problem if you let it be.
In general, if you see yourself as a bit of a ''techie'' then you might make a good head media specialist. As long as you don’t mind working with children and teenagers, this sort of position is a good job, as it often pays pretty well, as you are given a lot of responsibility and you are essentially running an entire department. Keep in mind that you will be working with a lot of faculty members that are technologically illiterate, so you do need a fair measure of patience. Also, if you are working in a high school, you will have to deal with teenagers and their often annoying antics. Just remember what you (or others) were like in high school and you’ll get the idea.
Being a head media specialist truly is a worthwhile job. While teachers are certainly on the front lines of education, the media specialist provides the equipment by which they can better do their job. In this day and age, education and technology go hand-in-hand and they are forever inseparable. The media specialist is the one responsible for making sure that the school they work for has the best equipment they can get their hands on, makes sure that it is exactly what the school needs and helps the students and faculty in understanding and using the technology. The head media specialist is an essential position for any modern school.