Comprehensive Guide to Masters in Education Degree Programs
The Best Resource for the Masters in Education, with 3,000+ M.Ed./M.A.T. Programs in our Online Database
We have researched thousands of pages on the web, including schools, and have included teacher certification requirements by state, a teaching program directory of 3,000+ degree programs, student interviews, articles written by teaching professionals, and teaching career resources.
Masters in Education Degrees
Becoming a teacher is one of the most rewarding careers. Nearly all teachers at least have their Masters in Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.). A graduate level education degree in teaching is beneficial for many reasons. You can get more teaching knowledge and experience to better teach your audience. There are teaching methodologies and theory that you can learn with your Masters degree that you simply do not specialize in with a Bachelor's in Education degree. Thus, your students should learn more from you!
With a Masters in Teaching, you should have more career opportunities. A Masters in Education may not be required for all teaching jobs, but there are many teachers searching for some of the best jobs in the school districts or private settings - you can help yourself stand out with a Masters degree. If your Masters in Education degree is specialized in one of the over 20 different areas of teaching education, you can help yourself stand out even more.
Why Consider a Masters in Education?
If you want to reach the top levels of the field of education and maximize your earning potential, earning your Masters Degree in Education (M.Ed.) can help open doors for several career opportunities. For current teaching professionals who already have an education focused bachelor's, this is a common next step in their career path.
Masters programs can vary in focus, giving you an in-depth understanding of a specific area of interest. For instance, Masters in Education programs can help you become a specialist in such areas as education policy, administrative management, psychological aspects, leadership, special education, technology, counseling, and many other areas.
Another benefit to Masters in Education programs is the inclusion of certification as you earn your degree. For instance, some programs will help you achieve certification to teach elementary, middle or secondary classes within 12 months of starting your programs. Just as programs can be designed by topical interest, you can plan your degree to focus on the various grade levels from pre-K through higher education.
The information below and throughout this website will help spell out the benefits of earning your Masters in Education and important considerations you should make when choosing the right MEd program. The best way to move forward from here is to contact schools in your area, and compare their programs with online paths that can offer credible, effective learning outcomes as well.
What is CAEP Accreditation?
CAEP is the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. NCATE and TEAC merged into CAEP, and as of 2016, CAEP is the top teaching education program accrediting board. CAEP is responsible for the oversight on accredited programs, and ensures the proper teaching standards are fully implemented for its accredited programs. CAEP accreditation is widely considered as the top teaching program-specific accreditation.
Top Masters in Education Programs
|TEACHING DEGREE||CAREER OPTIONS|
|GENERAL MASTERS IN EDUCATION DEGREES|
|Numerous teaching options, nearly all of the below. Many decide to specialize.|
|Early Childhood Teacher, Daycare Teacher, Preschool Teacher, Kindergarten Teacher|
|Elementary Teacher, grades 1-4|
|Middle School Teacher, grades 5-7 and grade 8 in some schools|
|High School Teacher, Secondary Education Teacher, grades 9-12 and grade 8 in some schools|
|Adult Education Teacher, teaching adults over the age of 18|
|Curriculum & Instruction design, write curricula for specific subjects, classes, or grades.|
|SUBJECT SPECIALTY MASTERS IN EDUCATION DEGREES|
|Math Teacher, multiple grade levels|
|English Teacher, some bilingual teachers also teach English as a Second Language|
|Social Studies Teacher, sometimes history|
Career Options for Graduates of a M.A.T. or M.Ed.
Of course the career opportunities in the field of education are expansive for those who earn their Masters in Education. Not only can you prepare to teach at all levels, and become an expert in particular areas, you can work outside of the classroom, if you want to branch out. Many school districts need outside consultants to come in and improve inefficiencies and effectiveness in many areas, including budgets, policy, classroom curriculum design, media and technology, and more.
Many M.Ed. degree holders move into such roles as principal, school administration, and roles that impact curriculum, extracurricular program design, special education instruction to students who face particular health and wellness challenges. View the top careers for Masters in Education graduates for detailed career paths.
Organizations that focus outside the area of education sometimes require educators to help with training and leading seminars that lead to better employee outcomes. This can be especially true for those who focus on psychology and counseling related areas. Companies across the US spend millions every year trying to increase employee relations, satisfaction and learn ways to inspire their workers. Professionals with counseling backgrounds can be great resources for companies wanting to improve.
Common Courses for Masters in Education Programs
Your courses will likely include a mix of elective and foundation courses, as well as a capstone course that you can read about in the next section. Elective courses are going to be more focused and higher level than what you experiences at the bachelor's level. Still, these will be critical to your program, so make sure to discuss each course decision with your assigned counselor.
Elective courses may cover such areas as current trends in technology, reading assessment, discipline strategies, and communication tools. You can expect to take about 15 hours of electives in most programs, which can sometimes be completed in as little as 12 months time. When comparing programs, you will want to consider how many classes you will have time to take. Every student has their own unique circumstances. Some programs are more flexible for students who have families and full-time work schedules.
Foundation Core Courses
Many M.ED. programs are designed for particular certificates that include foundation courses before the final capstone or equivalent type of experience. The foundation courses will be very specific to your certification and help you become more proficient in your chosen area. These can enhance understanding of curriculum design, diversity in the classroom, administrative effectiveness and other specific tracks.
The Capstone Course for your Degree
Your capstone experience is the last step in earning your Masters in education. This will prove your skills by applying what you learned in your program. Think of this as your dissertation for your degree. Schools have their own models for capstone's but you can expect to choose a topic that aligns with your desired career outcome and degree focus. This can be in-depth research about theories in all sorts of areas, including behavior, types of teaching techniques, administrative topics- virtually any area of education can be explored.
Not only will your analytical, writing and research skills be evaluated, you will most likely work with a professional mentor to help guide your successful completion of the project. Capstone projects can take 1-2 semesters for completion. When you compare programs be sure to inquire about this part of your program.
Career Outlook for Masters in Education Graduates
The career prospects for those with their Masters in Education degree are much higher than those with bachelor's degrees. The unemployment rate was 3.4% for Masters graduates.
Salary outlook for graduates can vary by state, job type, and other factors. Postsecondary Education Administrators earn a median wage of $88,390 per year, with 9% expected growth between 2014-2024 (BLS).
When you speak with schools about your desired career outcome, be sure to discuss potential earnings you can expect upon completion and hiring.
Online Masters in Education vs. On-Campus
Almost every school nowadays offers online programs for current professionals and busy students. In the past, online programs were looked at with skepticism until accredited universities jumped on board with credible programs that produced results.
Deciding whether to enroll in an Online Masters in Education vs. an on-campus brick and mortar program should really depend on your schedule, budget, and desired degree. If you are self-motivated, you can succeed in online learning. But some students prefer the real life classroom experience to remain motivated and inspired.
Teaching Associations & Organizations
Aside from speaking with schools directly, you should make note of the various organizations and associations that help Masters students navigate their career paths. Start with the Department of Education (source), which has a resource page for students earning their masters.
The American Federation of Teachers (site) is also a resource that can get you informed as you learn, no matter how far you are along in your education. Also, most states have their own teachers associations you can join.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, or CAEP, is the major program accreditation board for the top Masters in Education programs online and on campus. CAEP ensures high standards for teacher education programs, that rely on evidence-based measures of performance and continuous improvement for the universities with M.Ed. or other teaching programs that are CAEP accredited. NCATE and TEAC legacy standards are no longer used for accreditation, as CAEP has taken the place of both NCATE and TEAC.
If you are serious about becoming successful in the field of teaching, it only makes sense to look at Masters in Education programs and compare their benefits, costs, and effect on your career outcome.