Most teachers begin their careers with a bachelor’s degree in education or else a field related to the subject they teach. While a single undergraduate degree might provide enough knowledge and skill for a beginner in the education field, most teachers are eager to return to higher education and earn a master’s degree to improve their qualifications and raise their earning potential.
There are many master’s degrees that teachers might pursue to enhance their career options. Here are a few of the most common master’s degrees that teachers obtain within the field of education.
Master’s Degree Options for Teachers
- Special Education
- Early Childhood Education
- School Administration
- Instructional Design
- English as a Second Language
A Master of Arts in Education is the typical graduate degree program for teachers looking to remain in the classroom but boost their knowledge and skill. Different colleges organize their education master’s degree programs differently, but often, teachers will choose one or more focuses of study, such as gifted education, applied behaviour analysis or teaching pedagogy.
A master’s degree in this field equips teachers with credentials that earn them higher pay and potentially qualify them for leadership roles within their institutions. An education master’s offers broad coverage of the education field, so teachers have the option to pivot into different careers within education if they so desire.
For teachers who are completely committed to teaching, a Master of Arts in Teaching offers a direct focus on the skills necessary to lead classrooms. This degree can be useful for teachers who have degrees in fields outside of education and thus who need help improving their ability to manage classrooms of students. Due to the teacher shortage, more and more professionals with credentials outside the field of education are working as teachers, and this master’s degree could be instrumental in helping these teachers function effectively in the classroom.
#3. Special Education
Across the United States, more than 7 million students in elementary and secondary education need support from special educators — but special education is particularly impacted by the teacher shortage. Teachers might earn a Master of Special Education degree to equip themselves with the unique skills and knowledge necessary to deliver high-quality education to the students with the greatest need.
#4. Early Childhood Education
Before elementary and secondary education comes early childhood education, which includes daycare and preschool classrooms. Many early childhood development experts attest that this is the most important time in a child’s life for establishing good habits and attitudes toward learning.
Teachers passionate about creating engaged students might want to devote their career to the littlest learners by earning a Master of Early Childhood Education, which will qualify them for advantageous roles within early childhood institutions.
#5. School Administration
Some teachers have ambitions to work in school administration, where they can wield more authority to impact students in a broader way. While it is possible to acquire an administrative role without a graduate degree, a Master of School Administration can help prepare teachers for careers in administration by training them in business-related aspects of education, such as financing, human resources and instructional assessment.
#6. Instructional Design
The pandemic did not invent online education, but it radically escalated adoption rates. Today, more than 5.8 million students in higher education are enrolled in online programs full-time, and roughly half of all college students take at least one online course — which means that more educational institutions have greater demand for professionals skilled in building and navigating within an online education space. A Master’s in Instructional Design could help teachers become experts at managing online classrooms and open new career opportunities in the Digital Age.
#7. English as a Second Language
Inside and outside the United States, there is a high demand for teachers trained to teach English as a second language (ESL) to students who are not native English speakers. Teachers can utilize a master’s degree in this field to teach ESL courses at community colleges in the U.S. However, teachers might also take full advantage of this credential to teach ESL courses in other countries, which tend to have a high demand for native English teachers.
Most teachers love spending time in the classroom — which is why so many choose to return as a student to earn better credentials throughout their careers. A master’s degree is an excellent first step toward improving a teaching career, so every teacher should find a master’s degree program that interests them.
Also Read: What is Postgraduate Education? Types, Eligibility & Application Process
Why do I need a Masters’s Degree as a Teacher?
According to research, teachers who have an MA degree are rated higher than others who do not. With an MA degree as a teacher you stand a chance of earning more and your career prospect will be greatly increased. Also, students tend to perform better under a teacher with an MA degree.
Also, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), published a report stating that students who were taught by teachers with MA degrees had better results in standardized tests in math and reading assignments than students who were taught by teachers with BA only
This is also obtainable in other fields outside education, companies are now going for applicants who have master’s degrees in their field, which has made the workforce more competitive and demanding.
Therefore, it is important that you go for advanced education in your teaching career as it will increase your salary, and equip you with more experience in your field, and you will have the necessary skill to impact your students effectively.
Choose an MA degree that Suits Your Career Goals
There is nothing like the “best master’s degree for teachers”, it all depends on what your education and career goals are. For example, you need to go for an MA in Affairs Administration and Leadership if you are a classroom teacher but want to move from teaching in a classroom to working in student affairs.
That being said, you need to know what your career goals are and look for a degree that will help you achieve them.