Whether you are searching for an online or traditional campus based Masters Program in Education, you should definitely look at online options in your state. This is especially true for current teaching professionals who do not want to hit the brakes on their current career to move forward in their qualifications. The information below will help you understand more about the benefits of earning your Masters Degree in Education, with an emphasis on the points you should consider about going the online route.
The Online Learning Experience for Teachers
You are probably wondering how an educator can get as good of an education without stepping foot in the classroom. Well, in case you haven't noticed, there are online courses and degree programs in every type of field, including education. In fact, if you have your sights set on a teaching career one day, chances are you'll spend a lot of your time mentoring students who are learning in a virtual setting.
With the advent of new technology, learners can access course materials online and communicate just as quickly and effectively as their classroom counterparts. Instructors can videotape lectures for students to stream, live discussions can be a way to hold students accountable for participating in their courses. While most classes will not require a set check-in time, there may be times when a presence at a testing center or campus event is required. Be sure to discuss this with schools when applying so you fully understand the scope of their online experience.
Four Main Types of Masters in Education Degrees
There are typically four main types of master’s degree programs in education. With the growth and credibility of online learning across all departments of education, you should be able to find programs that match your interests within your state. Here are the four main areas:
- Master of Education (MEd)
- Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)
- Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
- Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
Within each type of degree program, you can choose areas of concentration that further align with your career path in education. Such areas can include: Technology, Curriculum Leadership, Elementary Leadership, English as a Second Language, Special Education, and many more.
Masters in Education Curriculum
While each type of degree program will have its on unique areas of focus, earning your masters in education have have benefits that crossover between each degree type. No matter which masters program you choose, you can most likely qualify for leadership positions in your school. Or you can pursue administration positions at the district level, or seek to shape education policy through working for government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other companies that focus on education improvement in several areas.
The University of Florida has consistently top-ranked online graduate degree programs in education. One of these programs, the Educational Leadership Online Masters Degree program is geared towards students who have their bachelor’s, current teaching experience, and who want to reach that level where they can make a greater impact in their field. What’s more, this program prepares students to take examinations required in the state of Florida that qualifies educational leaders. Students may learn from home, but they are expected to apply their studies to their current careers for accurate measurement of curriculum outcomes. For teachers who want to become principals in Florida, this can be a great program to explore. If you do not live in Florida, you can use this program as the model for what you should look for in your ideal online masters in education. Because each state has their own requirements, you should still look for quality online programs in your state.
Masters degrees in education can help you reach the next level through courses such as: Public School Law, Communication in Educational Leadership, Principalship, Educational Organization, and technology leadership.
Other programs, such as Master of Science in K-12 Studies will gear your focus towards making a greater impact in elementary and secondary institutions. Your courses may be more classroom focused, and give you skills to help students and teachers be more effective in their roles. If you enjoy working with kids who have extra challenges, you may consider earning your masters in an area such as special education. Rest assured, no matter what your interest in education, there is most likely a masters degree program online that can help you increase your career trajectory in education.
Masters in Education Degrees by State
Salary and Career Info for Masters in Education Graduates
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is plenty of reason to consider earning your master’s degree in education if you want to earn a higher salary. For instance, let’s compare average bachelor’s vs. master’s salaries for some of the main roles in education. Education Administrators with their Bachelor’s earned a median annual wage of $52,000, while those with their master’s earned $75,000.
Secondary school teachers with a bachelor’s earned an average $45,000 annually, while those with their master’s earned $56,000 annually. Preschool and kindergarten teachers with a bachelor’s earned $30,000 annually, while those with their master’s earned $43,000 annually. Source.
It’s easy to see why a masters program is a good idea for several reasons if you want to reach the upper levels of education.
Associations and Organizations You Should Know
There will be plenty of networking opportunities as you continue to work in education. Most of these will come from events at your school and around your district. However, it can be really beneficial to join education focused organizations that offer information, career leads, and special events that can be great for networking or improvement of skills.
For starters, make sure you join the National Education Association. If you aren’t already a member, this can be your first venue for spreading your professional wings. Of course, there are more specific organizations that help principals, teachers in all subjects, administrators, and leaders of all kinds understand the current landscape in education as it pertains to their career.
Take some time to learn more about online master’s degree programs in education by comparing schools in your state.