Why Earn Your Masters in Adult Education?
With the rapid growth of technology and increasingly fast pace of the business world in all industries, the need for teachers and instructors for adults is growing at the same pace. Companies and employers of all kinds are constantly needing to train employees to learn new skills in the workplace or training centers set up by the business. If you have your degree in education and want to help adults further their careers while you do the same for yours, consider earning your Masters degree in Adult Education.
If you aren't sure whether to take an on-campus or online program in adult education, consider the fact that most credible colleges and universities offer renowned programs 100% online.
A program offered by Penn State is rich in the tradition of providing students with quality education degree programs across all departments. They currently have a “World Campus” that allows distance learners to become effective teachers in the area of adult education, among other degree types.
One of the original designers of this program was also the founder and an editor for a notable publication called The American Journal of Distance Education. But don’t think you need to go to Penn State in order to earn a credible Masters in Adult Education degree online. But be sure to compare multiple colleges in your state before choosing a program.
Because every state has their own requirements for educators, it can be best to stay as close to home as possible, even if you are taking a 100% online program. However, schools like Penn State, which offer the most innovative online experiences may be able to help you complete your master’s without having to report to campus during your program.
Online Masters in Adult Education Degrees
The courses that help you become proficient in teaching adult learners with span a scope of relevant topics. As you start your degree program you will take courses that introduce you to concepts that are important to your long-term success. In these classes you will grasp the reasons why the need for adult educators is so great.
Knowing the historical context and greatest needs and problems that companies and individuals face is key in understanding how to solve the next generation’s problems. You will also focus on learning the types of theories and procedures that are most helpful for in-classroom and distance education learner. You will learn how to motivate adults to succeed, which can be a completely different experience than working with elementary, secondary or special needs kids.
Literacy will also be a fundamental topic that will be a focus for a portion of your studies. With a culture that is becoming more diverse, the need to help those who speak foreign languages and those who have a history of literacy challenges is great.
In more advanced classes you will dive into the learning theories that dissect the best ways for adults to learn. You will also focus on ways technology can facilitate faster and more engaged learning in adults who may not be as savvy as the younger generation in this area. You will need to become proficient in ways to help adults learn by using available technology, software, modeling tools and other new ways for helping them get up to speed.
Your coursework will help you do more than become effective at directly working with students. Your courses can also help you determine the best ways to design curriculum and distance learning environments that will be effective. Since so many adult learners are in the middle of their careers, or have responsibilities that force them to juggle education, understanding distance education will be a big part of what you learn as you earn your degree.
You are probably wondering what tools you will use as an online learner. With more and more technology systems becoming available every year, students and schools have more options than ever. The model for teaching and learning online has been “Blackboard”, a dashboard and analytics system that schools and learners can use to access materials, communicate and measure success.
Blackboard has many areas that can help you manage your online learning experience. It makes keeping track of your academic performance, financial aid standing, school resources, and class materials much easier than the days when everything was done on paper and in person. It’s no wonder why online learners have proven as effective as classroom students in many respects.
Career Information for Adult Educators
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy teachers can earn up to $81,990 in the top tier of their salary range (source). Those who work in the area of Business Schools and Computer and Management Training earn an annual median wage of $55,620.
In California, the state with the highest earning potential for this role, the median wage is $63,270. Of course, there are many career paths adult educators can take, whether you want to work at an educational institution, for a public or private sector business that can offer you a variety of roles with a wide range of salaries.
The best thing to to is speak with several schools that offer Masters in Adult Education programs. They can tell you what kinds of opportunities they typically see for graduates in your area.
Now that you understand what you’re in for as an online (or on campus) student earning their Masters Degree in Adult Education, take some time to search schools near you to learn your options. Be sure to discuss your desired outcomes, potential salary, expectations for presence on campus (if any) and what state exams you will need to prepare for. Contact several schools before applying to any program to be sure you make the right decision.