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What Can You Do With a Master’s in Education?

Written by: Wilson College   •  Feb 1, 2024
A teacher calls on a student in a classroom.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Education?

An advanced degree can provide growth opportunities for individuals in education who are aiming to take the next step in their careers. A Master of Education (M.Ed.) opens the door to higher positions, enriches teaching skills, broadens networking prospects, and allows for specialization. Pursuing a master’s degree, such as an M.Ed., is often crucial for those looking to become education administrators or principals at various school levels, from kindergarten to secondary education.

With a flexible format that allows individuals to complete their education at their own pace, an online M.Ed. program is a viable option for professionals who want to positively impact the education sector, offering both professional and personal fulfillment.

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Education?

Earning an M.Ed. includes learning about the latest teaching methodologies and research and can lead to professional development opportunities. In addition to enhancing professional skills, M.Ed. programs can prepare educators to make a meaningful impact on the educational landscape. For example, such educators can create modern classrooms or become leaders who significantly contribute to academic and systemic improvements.

In exploring the possibilities of what you can do with a master’s in education, carefully considering the commitment and time required is crucial, weighing these requirements against the potential benefits, such as career growth and salary. Choosing the right program is key, whether online or in person, as it should align with an individual’s career goals. It should also enable individuals to align their desired career goals with a specialization, from special education to curriculum design, or to pursue new career paths, from instructional coordinator to child care director.

What You Can Do With a Master’s in Education

An M.Ed. is a stepping stone to advancement in one’s career in the field of education. The pursuit of an online M.Ed. can provide individuals with the benefits and opportunities below.

1. Advance Teaching Skills

A greater percentage of public school teachers in 2020-21 held a master’s degree (51%) than in 2011-12 (48%), according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). A key reason that more public school teachers are earning a master’s degree is that it enhances proficiency in teaching and enables a deeper understanding of teaching methodologies and the needs of diverse students. Earning a master’s degree can also help teachers improve their knowledge of curriculum development and assessment strategies and prepare them to create more effective learning environments.

2. Earn a Higher Salary

Educators with a master’s degree earn more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. Examples of roles that typically require a master’s degree in education administration or leadership include the following:

  • School principal. The median annual wage for school principals was $101,320 as of May 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  • Education administrators. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for education administrators (kindergarten through secondary) was $106,690 as of May 2022. For postsecondary education administrators, the median annual salary was $115,180.

A key reason that a master’s degree can result in a higher salary is that it represents a higher level of expertise in a specific subject area or field of education. This advanced knowledge allows educators to bring more value to their role, potentially translating into higher pay. Additionally, pursuing a master’s degree demonstrates a commitment to professional development and continuous learning, a highly valued trait in the field of education.

3. Specialize in an Area of Expertise

An M.Ed. allows individuals to focus their studies on areas within the field of education. These areas include special education, administration, curriculum development, and educational leadership. Specializing in one of these areas can lead to more specialized and rewarding career paths and empower educators to take on leadership roles and influence education policies.

4. Pursue a New Career

With a master’s degree, individuals can pursue advanced roles, such as school administrator, educational consultant, curriculum designer, and college instructor. Examples of careers include the following:

  • Education specialists evaluate and enhance teaching methods, curricula, and classroom lessons. The role typically requires a master’s degree and appropriate licensing or certification.

  • Educational consultants guide students through educational transitions, offering advice on colleges, admissions, and entrance exams.

  • Curriculum leaders oversee curriculum development and goal attainment, select teaching materials, set standards, track performance, and integrate technology.

  • Instructional designers apply learning theories to create educational materials and systems, collaborating with experts and designing interactive media and instructional layouts.

  • Deans of students manage student programs at higher education institutions, addressing student needs, overseeing admissions, providing leadership, preparing reports, and conducting evaluations.

5. Enhance Professional Credibility

Holding a master’s degree in education increases professional credibility. It also provides opportunities to build a network with other education professionals; this can be valuable for career advancement and collaboration.

Prepare for a Rewarding Career Shaping Future Generations

Through their daily interactions, high school teachers, elementary school teachers, counselors, administrators, and others contribute profoundly to the development of well-rounded individuals. This immense responsibility and opportunity places educators at the heart of shaping future generations, making their impact one of the most far reaching and enduring in any individual’s life.

The M.Ed. degree program at Wilson College Online, designed for bachelor’s degree holders certified in pre-K to 12th grade teaching, emphasizes enhancing teaching skills through a deep understanding of pedagogy, current theory, and research-based practices, including technology use. The curriculum focuses on fostering teaching excellence and leadership, with courses covering contemporary issues, educational perspectives, differentiated instruction, inclusive education, and more. The program culminates with an educational research / design course and a master’s project.

Learn what you can do with a master’s in education from Wilson College Online and how it can help advance your career and prepare you with the skills and knowledge to significantly impact students.

Recommended Readings

A Look Inside the Modern Classroom

Master of Teaching vs. Master of Education: What’s the Difference?

Pros and Cons of Educational Apps for Toddlers

Sources:

BetterUp, “Is a Master’s Degree Worth It? 12 Questions to Help You Decide”

Edutopia, “A Guide to Planning Career Paths for Teachers”

Indeed, Making More Money as a Teacher: 10 Steps You Can Take

Indeed, 10 Jobs You Can Get With a Master’s Degree in Education

National Center for Education Statistics, Characteristics of Public School Teachers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education Administrators, Kindergarten Through Secondary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education Administrators, Postsecondary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Education and Training Assignments by Detailed Occupation

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Field of Degree: Education

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