Master of Education (M.Ed): Degree Overview
Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs provide an avenue for licensed education professionals to enhance their career. Most M.Ed. programs prepare current teachers for specialized positions, such as educational administration or guidance counseling, or expand on current knowledge by providing academic enrichment in a subject area. Some programs also prepare individuals for doctoral work.
Master of Education
Master of Education programs are designed to allow current educators a chance to improve skills and increase knowledge in fundamental educational fields. Most M.Ed. program offer concentrated studies in a subfield of education, such as administration, curriculum and instruction, literacy, leadership, educational technology or English as a second language.
Master of Education programs frequently provide individuals with personal and professional development, focusing coursework around educational policies, scholarship, classroom disposition and current research. Individuals in M.Ed. programs can develop new competencies and apply new knowledge to their classrooms while collaborating with fellow teachers. While students might have the opportunity to participate in internships and apply the skills they gain in their classrooms, coursework in M.Ed. programs is usually designed to fit around a teacher's schedule.
Individuals applying to Master of Education programs are usually required to have a bachelor's degree, and they could be asked to submit transcripts of previous coursework. Most programs also require applicants to hold state teaching certification or licensure or at least have taken national certification exams. Some concentrations in an M.Ed. program require previous experience in the discipline, such as elementary school teaching.
M.Ed. programs train students to think critically about education and teaching. Individuals engage in courses that address classroom techniques, instructional technologies, cross-cultural awareness, sociological issues in education and standardized testing. Course topics could also include:
- Educational issues
- Curriculum development
- Special needs learners
- Human development
- Exceptional students
Career Outlook and Salary Info
Individuals who complete a Master of Education degree program can pursue positions as teachers or seek jobs as administrators, staff developers or curriculum specialists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) stated that the demand for educators, coordinators and leaders would experience varying growth between 2008-2018, with teaching jobs expected to increase 13%, employment for curriculum specialists could grow 23%, and educational administrators might see an eight percent increase in jobs (www.bls.gov). The BLS further indicated that the 2010 average annual income of instructional coordinators (curriculum specialists) was $61,270. Educational administrators of elementary and secondary schools earned an average annual income of nearly $90,000, and elementary through high school teachers made about $55,000 annually.
Students can continue their education by pursuing a doctoral degree. Doctoral programs are available in a variety of educational areas, such as urban education, special education, school psychology or educational leadership. Some doctoral programs also include internship opportunities as well as concentrated research projects. Graduates of a doctoral program could also qualify to teach at the postsecondary level.
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