Many Masters in Education (M.Ed.) Programs are designed for experienced educators and may improve your ability to assist students in your current classroom as well as potentially open doors to new career opportunities.
Earning a Masters in Education is an academic choice that has the potential to improve your teaching methods, fine-tune specialized teaching skills, and help you become a qualified and exemplary leader in the classroom.
Many students choose to pursue an MA in a specialized degree area. Specialties would include curriculum and instruction, administration and leadership, special education or higher education. Other students use the M.Ed as a preparatory degree for a doctoral degree such as the Ed.D. or the Ph.D. in education.
Education programs commonly require students to complete a research thesis under the guidance of a faculty member; on-site or fieldwork requirements are also common. Applicants to a Masters in Education must also have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for admission. This may need to be a Bachelors in Education or a related field.
Some states require teachers to have a master's degree in education. In other states, teachers enroll in Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs for professional development. In either case, the program generally consists of approximately 30-45 credit hours and might result in salary increases and/or licensure renewal. The typical Master’s degree in education takes 2 to 3 years to complete, though some universities offer online Master’s degrees that can be earned in as few as 12 to 18 months, or even just 1 year M.Ed. programs.
FUN FACT: Often, high school teachers are required to complete annual professional development classes to maintain their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree in education after receiving their certification[i].
Students have the option of attending on-site graduate school or earning an online masters degree in education. If you learn more from being in class than reading textbooks and spending your time on a computer, you may want to consider a traditional campus-based program. If you are a self-motivated learner, however, an online Masters in education program could be a perfect fit for your busy lifestyle. Distance-learning is often popular among working teachers who don't want to leave the tenure track while they advance their own education. Some graduate schools also offer hybrid programs. These combine the convenience of online learning with on-campus coursework.
Whatever your personal preference, GradSchools.com has easy-to-use search tools. Locate M.Ed. Programs by city, state, or country if you are looking into traditional campus programs, or search the directory for online masters in education programs. Some of the listings that you might find may include: Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology, Master of Science in School Counseling, Master of Education in Special Education, Research Methodology M.A., MEd., or Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration.
As you review different M.Ed. program offerings, it’s important to understand the difference in degrees.
|Professional and School Counseling
|St. Louis University
|Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
|Master of Education - English Language Learning
|Master of Arts in Teaching, Elementary Education
|Western Governors University
|MA in Early Childhood Education Leadership
|The University of Arizona Global Campus
Masters in education programs come in a wide variety of degree concentrations. Some of the most common concentrations include:
Curriculums differ from program to program, but most Masters degree in education programs will include instruction on educational policy, school and community partnerships, classroom management, theories of teaching and learning, and educational leadership.
Deepening your knowledge in a particular area should definitely align with your interests.
Do you dream of working abroad? According to the BLS, “opportunities abound for qualified teachers to work abroad.”[ii] Look into ESL/TESOL masters programs.
Are you hoping to become Dean of Students, a High School Principal, or move away from teaching to designing educational programs? If so, you might choose Educational Technology, Education Leadership & Administration, or Masters in Curriculum & Instruction programs.
If you enjoy psychology and counseling, Masters programs in Educational and School Psychology programs will prepare you for roles such as guidance counselor or school psychologist.
Bear in mind that some fields require more than a Masters degree in Education. Furthermore, because licensing requirements and career outlook varies so much between states, we recommend verifying the individual prerequisites for your state for more information on job outlook, average salary and licensing requirements. You can check a site such as the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE).
Popular fields for graduates with a Masters degree in education include:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $70,790 in May 2014, and the job outlook is favorable; employment growth is projected at 13% from 2014 to 2024[iii]
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/careeroutlook/2006/fall/art01.pdf | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm | other sources: bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm
GCU offers a variety of M.A. and M.Ed. education programs designed for current educators looking to take the next step in their career. Earn your degree from an accredited non-profit university. No Application Fee!