If you’re a teacher or are passionate about education and want to advance your career in a school system, then you’ll need a master’s degree in education.
Not only does earning a master’s degree in education prove your dedication to improving the quality of education in schools, but it also shows that you’re willing to take on more responsibilities. Plus, the degree will help you gain an expertise in a specialized area.
This degree is typically for teachers who wish to get promoted to a higher level position and want to learn more about a particular subject area. Read on to learn how a master’s degree in education can benefit your career and how you can apply.
What are the benefits?
Your master’s in education can open the door to many benefits, such as:
- A higher salary: You’ll earn between $3,000 to $10,000 more per year than teachers with only a bachelor’s degree. With a master’s degree, public school teachers can earn between $49,621and $53,078, while post-secondary education administrators can earn a median salary of $88,580 annually. The median salary for school principals is about $92,510 per year.
- Career advancement: You can apply for administrative positions, such as a school district superintendent, principal, curriculum director, special education director, and many other leadership positions.
- Prepares you for a doctorate degree: The knowledge and skills you develop in your master’s program will make you an expert in a particular subject area, such as early childhood education or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). With a doctorate, you’ll qualify for an even higher salary ranging between $69,000 and $90,000, or possibly more.
What can you specialize in?
There are many different options in what you can specialize in based on your interests, including:
- Leadership: You’ll learn strategies to help you prepare for an administrative leadership position at a school, school district, or university setting.
- Elementary education: This concentration will provide you with advanced skills to improve child learning from kindergarten through sixth grade.
- Human development and psychology: This program trains students to analyze the behavior and personalities in children.
- Early childhood education: This program helps teachers enhance classroom instruction and curriculum in grades Pre-K through fifth grade.
- Special education: This program prepares teachers to better understand the needs of developmentally challenged children and best guide them in the learning process.
- Education policy and management: This program helps educators gain a deeper understanding of public policy issues and challenges in schools.
- Coaching education: In this specialization, you’ll learn methods to better teach, coach, and establish athletic programs for students.
- Curriculum and instruction: This subject of study will teach you how to create more effective curriculum and classroom instruction to improve teaching effectiveness and student learning.
- Classroom technology: This program shows teachers how to better incorporate technology into the classroom to enhance students’ learning experience.
- Museum education: You’ll gain knowledge on how to teach visual art, design curricula for educational programs, and incorporate training with this program.
- School counseling: This program teaches aspiring school counselors how to guide students in achieving their educational goals and provides intervention for students experiencing emotional issues, such as trauma or crises.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): You’ll learn how to strategically incorporate STEM curriculum in the classroom in a STEM specialization.
- Gifted and Talented: This program equips educators with innovative ways to teach students who have exceptional academic abilities.
There are many other master’s in education program concentrations, so be sure to check with the school you’re interested in to see what is offered. The curriculum will be a combination of theory and practice in the area of concentration/specialty you choose to study.
What can you do with a master’s in education?
Depending on what you specialize in, you can obtain a variety of jobs, such as:
- School principal
- School district superintendent
- University registrar
- Adjunct college professor
- Curriculum developer
- Corporate trainer
- Child care director
- Educational policy developer
- Media and technology specialist
- Educational consultant
What types of options are available to obtain a master’s in education?
Many universities offer different methods in which you can get your degree, including:
- In-person: This is a traditional-style program where you attend classes on-campus. Examples of programs include Bowling Green State University, Ohio University, and University of Southern California.
- Online: An online program is a more flexible option where you take all your classes and turn in your assignments entirely online. An online program lets you complete classes at your own pace, and work from anywhere as long as you have Internet connection.
- Examples of programs include Liberty University, University of Cincinnati, and Oregon State University.
- Hybrid: This option is a combination of both in-person and online classes. Examples of programs include University of Kentucky, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Miami University.
Most master’s in education programs take about two years to complete, although some programs, such as those at Stanford University and Walden University can be earned in one year.
Typically, admissions requirements for a master’s degree in education include:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
- Official transcripts
- A minimum GPA of at least a 3.0
- Letters of recommendation
Some universities require a copy of your teaching license, an application essay, and an interview with an admissions committee. Other requirements may vary depending on the school.
Why You Should Get a Master’s in Education
If you’re passionate about education and want to have a stronger impact in academics, consider getting a master’s in education. Not only will you get a pay raise, but you’ll also get more job opportunities in a particular area you’re passionate about. And, you can choose between enrolling in an on-campus program, or if you prefer to keep your current job, you can choose an online program.
In addition, you’ll be able to use the expertise you gain from the program to help improve outcomes in student learning, curriculum, and instruction and implement better teaching methods to help students succeed.