Historically, teachers taught by grade level, and although that is still the case, more and more teachers that pursue their Master’s degree in teaching are graduating with specialty education degrees. These provide a lot more options and help our teachers to become experts in their field. Considering the unique needs for most of the specialties (leadership, math, reading, special education, childhood education), everyone – parents, teachers, and students – can feel comfortable knowing they have experts teaching the students.
Masters in Education Online
Online Masters in Education degrees are becoming increasingly popular, especially for current teachers or teaching assistants that want to continue working while taking an online degree. Many traditional universities with historically prominent Teaching Education programs are now bringing their Masters programs online. Be sure that any online teaching program, at any level, is accredited – there are some out there that are not. Rest assured that any program listed on this site is in fact an accredited program.
Top Types of Masters in Education Degrees
There are quite a few specialties of the Masters in Education degree, starting with a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. a Master of Science in Education. Below you can view summaries of some of the top Masters degrees in Teaching Education, and a link to more information about that specific degree for some specific programs.
Alternative Certification Masters Degree
The alternative teacher certification program is a Master’s level degree option for those that have a Bachelor’s degree that is NOT in teaching. It is the ideal degree for people looking to make a career change to get into teaching. It is also one of the most common Master’s degrees in teaching, again mostly due to the number of non-teachers that have decided they want to become a teacher.
Masters in Early Childhood Education Degree
Teachers seeking a specialty to work with preschool and kindergarten kids (or younger, even) should look into getting their Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Working with younger kids takes a lot of patience, but it is very rewarding as they learn and act on what you are teaching them almost immediately. As an early childhood education teacher, you also might help them learn how to be potty-trained, learn to read, learn to tie their shoes, and more. Some teachers find this to be extremely rewarding because advancements happen so quickly with the young kids.
Masters in Educational Leadership Degree
Every institution, no matter what level, needs a strong leader to lead the organization, and schools at every level are no different. Whether it is elementary school, high school, or a combination, the leadership is extremely important to shaping the kids futures and to recruiting and keeping the best teachers in your school.
Masters in School Counseling Degree
School counselors are a must at every level – especially elementary school, middle school, and high school. Counselors are there for the kids should they need someone to talk to, or if they need help. Counselors also tend to help prepare students for their future, particularly high school counselors that help with the decision post-graduation for what students want to do. They help them select colleges, and help figure out which program of study interests them most and which area they would be most successful in.
Masters in General Education Degree
This is by far the most common Master’s degree in teaching education. A Master’s in Education is the fundamental M.Ed. degree that hundreds of universities across the United States offer. Many of these programs are found online, which is an excellent choice for current teachers.
Masters in Secondary Education Degree
Earning a Master’s in Secondary Education (or High School Education) will allow you to become a high school teacher, more than likely of a single subject. Most of these degrees also have a specialty or concentration that is tied in. There are also a few options such as the University of Phoenix, that allows entry from those with a non-teaching Bachelor’s degree, similar to the Alternative Certification Master’s degree.
Masters in Special Education Degree
It takes a special kind of person to teach special education for all ages, but the special education field is extremely rewarding. Whether it is helping students with learning disabilities or special needs, special education teachers show their passion in their daily work. You can review more detail about the special education degree at the Master’s (and other) levels here.
Masters in Math Education Degree
Math teachers are in high demand, and as part of the effort of the Presidential Administration of the United States to increase STEM positions (which includes teachers), many math teaching jobs should be available as a result of impending federal government subsidies. This degree is for those looking to teach mathematics at a secondary school as a specialist, or at a community college. Many go on to get their Ph.D so they can become a professor of mathematics at a college or university.
Masters in Reading Education Degree
It is extremely important that kids are learning to read properly, especially with the advancements in technology that seem to provoke even more shorthand correspondence. Teachers that educate in reading help students learn how to read and speak properly.
Masters in School Psychology Degree
School psychologists plan an important role in an educational institution. They must achieve balance between helping students learn, and allowing teachers to teach. They use many of the psychology fundamentals, such as mental, learning, behavior and emotional health, to help foster children to succeed academically and prepare them for life. Likewise, they assist families and faculty to create a supportive and positive learning environment, and help all to work in unison.
Masters in Science Education Degree
As a part of the initiative to increase STEM workers, science teachers should have many opportunities in the future, especially those that have a M.Ed. in Science Education. Science teachers educate mostly middle and high school students on the fundamentals of science, including biology, anatomy, and physics. They will set the stage for science, technology, engineering, and math students later on.
Teaching Education Specialties
There are many specialties that are even more specialized than the most popular concentrations for education. Below is a comprehensive list of other specialties. We have plans to write more detailed summaries on each in the future, so check back soon:
FAQ’s on M.Ed & MAT Degrees On Campus and Online
Pursuing a master’s degree in education is an excellent step for any teacher. While a bachelor’s degree establishes a baseline of knowledge, experience and approaches to the art of teaching, a master’s degree will help you hone your skills, improve your techniques and expand your knowledge. Attaining a master’s degree in education will further your career and help you mold young minds for years to come.
Master of Science in Education
There are two main categories of master’s degrees in education: Master of Education degrees and master’s degrees in teaching. A Master of Education, or MEd, is a popular degree both for teachers who want to expand their experience and education in the world of teaching and those who see themselves taking further strides in their careers one day. A Master of Education will provide a more in-depth exploration into fields like psychology, instruction and teaching technique but will also cover fields like counseling and administration. Many experienced individuals who see teaching a starting point to a career in education administration find a Master of Education to be a worthwhile pursuit.
Master of Arts in Teaching
A Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT, or a Master of Science in Teaching, or MST, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on advancing your career as an educator. This degree will explore strategies, approaches and theories related to teaching, human behavior and learning. Many individuals who have an undergraduate degree in a field other than education find an MAT or MST to be a great way to develop teaching skills while applying their specialized knowledge sets. While current teachers can and do pursue master’s degrees in teaching, this degree is also very valuable for individuals wishing to break into teaching for the first time.
What Will I Learn While Earning a Masters of Education?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education is a growing field that will continue to grow well into the future. Teachers who earn this degree can expect to advance in their careers and increase their salaries.
Earning your masters of education degree will give you the skills you need for leadership in the educational setting. You will learn how to implement the strategies that you have acquired in every classroom you teach and benefit your students with your highly specialized knowledge of the best educational practices.
While you are earning your degree you will learn about developing and evaluating curriculum, administration and leadership, conducting needs assessments, teaching methods, technology, learning and development, school psychology, literacy, how to design educational programs, higher education principles, and several other highly specialized subjects.
You will also have the opportunity to apply the skills that you have learned in a classroom setting. Most universities will also require you to write a thesis, which will require you to conduct interviews and research.
What Types of Careers Will a Masters of Education Prepare Me For?
Earning your masters degree in education will give you an opportunity to maximize your career potential. For teachers, there is often not much room for advancement besides teaching. However, this degree shows that you are highly knowledgeable in the art of teaching and opens up many doors for you both in terms of job opportunities and your salary expectations (BLS).
The types of careers that you may be able to enter after earning your degree include, but are not limited to, high school teacher, corporate trainer, principal or vice principal, school administrator, research and development, adult instructor, school counselor, and various other leadership positions. Remember to check with your state to find out what their specific licensure requirements are for different positions. Depending on the requirements, you could even find yourself in a position with the Board of Education in your jurisdiction. If you’re looking for a leadership role in education, a masters degree will certainly help you get where you want to go.
For those who love teaching and wish to make themselves a valuable asset to schools, a master’s degree in education can make a huge difference. By seeking a further degree, you can expand your knowledge, hone your skills, and help yourself become the best teacher possible. If you know that teaching is your calling, a postgraduate degree could be your answer to career success.
If you intend to go into teaching, you might want to consider getting your graduate in teaching. There are a variety of benefits to choosing this specialty, including a higher pay rate and more teaching opportunities available to you (US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Education), as well as more job security. Here are some things to know about graduate teacher training.
Why Should You Consider a Graduate Degree in Teaching?
First off, it helps to know exactly why you might want to consider this type of degree. Consider for a moment that you have a bachelor’s degree and go on to be a teacher. You can definitely get a job with this degree and your teaching credentials, but you might be limited. It can also take a little longer finding a job, as other job candidates applying for the same job with graduate degrees are likely to be chosen over you.
Career Information for Masters Degree Holders
A bachelor’s degree is considered undergraduate work and completed in an average of four years, while a master’s degree is upper graduate work and done in another 1-2 years. It requires additional classes and special training to become this level of a teacher. When you enter a master’s degree course for your graduate teacher training diploma, you need to submit a research paper called a thesis. This is what you spend the majority of your education on, aside from additional classes during grad school. It should be analysis or an experiment, though for teaching, it is likely an important area of analysis.
After completing graduate teacher training and receiving your master’s degree in education, you can not only be a professor, but a principal or school administrator, testing director, curriculum director, and content area specialist (US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Education).