Master’s in Early Childhood Education Programs
By obtaining your master’s level degree in early childhood education, or a related area, can help you stand out as a leader and specialist in many areas of the field. Not only can you work in higher level positions, but you can position yourself to maximize your salary potential.
Whether you work at the pre-K, elementary, or administrative level, working in early childhood education offers personal and professional rewards that make for a fulfilling field of work.
What online master’s degrees are available?
These are a few of the main types of online programs you can find in the area of early childhood education, along with some common specializations you can use to hone your skills and apply for specific roles in your school district.
Master of Science in Early Childhood Studies
This type of program is typically designed for current professionals who want to achieve administrative or leadership roles in their school system. During these programs, students can prepare for their state certifications or other requirements for the positions they want to seek.
Master of Arts Early Childhood Education, with an Early Childhood Studies focus
This kind of program can help you understand positive interventions to achieve behavioral goals. You can also learn how to work within family systems and collaborate with parents, teachers, and students’ peers to accomplish learning goals.
Master of Education, Early Childhood Education
If you want to work in the field of education and have the proficiency to apply for a variety of positions, consider a Master of Education, Early Childhood Studies program. You can learn all about the issues in education, as well as fundamentals in educational research that can help you become a strong advocate for the children at your school.
Specializations of Master’s Degrees in Education
At the master’s level your options for degree paths really broaden. By completing the right program, you can become a specialist in several areas. Additionally, the field is ripe with certifications that you can earn while pursuing graduate studies. Here are some areas in which many students choose to focus their master’s education:
Public Policy and Advocacy
Some master’s of science programs in Early Childhood Public Policy and Advocacy. In a nutshell, this will help you understand how programs are funded, the relationships at the local and federal level that impact public policy. You will mostly likely balance those aspects of the program with classes that enhance your knowledge of early childhood psychological development.
Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education
This degree track should help students understand how to work with children who have mental and physical challenges. And just as importantly, they may become skilled in working with parents and other teachers to make their educational experience positive and successful.
Curriculum and Instruction
This type of program will typically focus on children from birth until they are around 8 years of age. You may study topics, such as curriculum development, methods of research, and multicultural education so you can be effective designing curriculum for a wide variety of students.
What courses should I expect in master’s programs?
With the rise in technology, many programs have a course that is solely dedicated to helping you understand how to help your young children learn technology for the first time. With the increasing use of technology in our daily lives, expect to see a growing number of courses in this area grow.
Literacy for Students K-8 in many forms will be a focus in standard early childhood education curriculum at the master’s level. Options may include a course that helps you hone K-4 skills, while another may focus on 5-8 grade literacy development.
Subject matter courses are also available, such as art, music, science, math, and writing. Since each area is unique, a whole course or more devoted on each topic may be part of some curriculum.
As with most education programs, you should anticipate studying for courses like Learning Theories, which helps you understand the philosophies that are behind your techniques.
Having an understanding of how effective learning strategies are formed will help you understand how to work with a wide variety of learners. The more you know, the more you will be able to apply to students who have special needs, exceptional minds, or physical disabilities. With the many types of programs available, especially online, you can pretty much find any major that is geared towards a specific career track.
Courses will also cover assessment of student learning and behavior, as well as ethical and legal based courses. If you decide to move up the administrative ladder and start writing curriculum and making recommendations for improved performance, having a well-rounded education will serve you well in your role.
What is the career outlook for master’s degree holders?
With your master’s degree, you can have the expertise to work in such roles as Instructional Coordinator at an elementary school, public or private, as well as pre-K schools.
Your assessment and curriculum building skills combined with your knowledge of early childhood psychology and development can help you become successful overseeing school standards and helping improve performance.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Instructional Coordinators can earn a median pay of $62,270 per year, with growth at 7%, as fast as the national average (Source).
Pre-K and Elementary school teachers earn an average pay of $54,550 per year, according to the BLS. Jobs in this area are expected to grow as fast as the national average (Source).
What careers are available for master’s graduates?
With your master’s degree you can go beyond the classroom and work in administrative and specialist roles. Elementary and pre-K school teachers are the most common jobs for those with their master’s degree. Although you can obtain some positions with your bachelor’s degree, it can increase your chances and pay because of your advanced education and ability to help shape the curriculum and help all types of students learn more effectively.
If you are ready to learn more about earning your master’s degree in early childhood education, it’s time to contact schools in your area, and those that offer completely online programs. Be sure to inquire about your state’s requirements for licensure before enrolling in any program.