Job and Career Opportunities for a Master's in Adult Education

In a complex technological society, the need for continued workforce education and training is constant. Master's degree programs in adult education provide a foundational understanding of the unique learning needs of adults as well as specialized training in a variety of areas of adult education. The M.Ed. degree can advance students' careers in such fields as adult remedial education, ESL instruction and human resources.

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Master of Education in Adult Education Job and Career Opportunities

A master's degree in adult education may be necessary for many positions in adult literacy and education, and employers typically prefer applicants to have graduate credentials. Adult literacy and remedial education teacher, community college professor and human resource manager are just some of the job options M.Ed. degree holders can pursue. Earning a master's degree can also enhance an adult educator's eligibility for leadership positions.

Adult Literacy and Remedial Education Teacher

These teachers provide instruction to diverse populations in basic academic and language skills required for employment and for further education. They teach GED preparation and high school completion classes to all ages of adults, English as a Second Language (ESL) to immigrants and adult basic education (ABE) to adults who need to develop numeracy and literacy.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projected job growth for this field between 2010 and 2020 is expected to be 15%, which is about average (www.bls.gov). Job opportunities in adult remedial education and ESL depend on budgetary issues as well as immigration policy and patterns.

Community College Professor

In addition to young adults beginning their college and vocational careers, older adults seeking to change or advance in their fields are attracted to community colleges. Community college instructors must establish expertise in their field and/or have a minimum of a master's degree in the area they teach. Because competition for post-secondary education positions is intense, the additional credentials of a graduate degree in adult education can enhance the applicant's chances of success. Knowledge of adult learning styles and needs in particular is an asset that helps community college instructors compete for positions.

Increased college enrollment is creating job growth for postsecondary instructors, projected by the BLS to be 17% from 2010-2020. Because of high competition, however, most of the opportunities are to be found in part-time positions without the possibility of tenure.

Job and Career Opportunities for a Master of Education in Adult Education and Human Resource Development

Although a bachelor's degree is the minimum entry-level requirement for many human resources positions, a master's is often necessary for career advancement. Many adult education graduate programs offer specific programs for those interested in a career in human resources training. Sample core courses for this specialization include adult learning and instruction, the roles of gender and race in the workplace, human resources development and organizational development.

Human Resources Training Specialist and Manager

Human resources specialists and managers are often responsible for organizing, implementing and evaluating jobsite training. Training specialists assess training needs and develop programs that are designed to teach new skills within a job category as well as to provide workers a means of advancing to higher levels of responsibility. Though learning may take place in traditional classrooms, training is increasingly provided through a variety of digital media. Job growth for human resources specialists is expected to be a little faster than average, according to the BLS, with projected growth of 21% between 2010 and 2020. Human resources managers are expected to see a 13% job increase during that time.

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