Master of Education: Online Degree

Learn about online master's degree programs in education. Get information on course offerings, program delivery and career information to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

Designed primarily for working teachers, online Master of Education programs are available online. These programs focus on leadership and advanced teaching methodology, and teaching licensure may be required in order to enroll. Some schools offer partially online Master of Education or Master of Teaching programs that require only a bachelor's degree for admission; however, these programs include extensive in-person student-teaching experiences that prepare graduates for initial teaching licensure.

Related Program Options

Similar programs are available online or in hybrid formats for experienced teachers looking to expand or enhance their skill sets. These include:

  • Master of Arts in Instructional Technology
  • Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching
  • Education Specialist in Education Leadership

Online Master of Education Program Overview

Master of Education programs are primarily designed for working teachers who wish to advance or enhance their education while remaining in the workforce. Prerequisites for these programs vary but can include a current teacher's license and experience, though some require only a bachelor's degree.

Online master's degree programs generally focus on learning, teaching and leadership in education. Some schools offer concentrations in areas such as sports, literacy, science and math, technology and special education.

Program Information and Requirements

Online Master of Education programs take approximately two years to complete. These programs often are fully accredited and offered in a 100% online format. Technology requirements for these programs are fairly consistent and include a recent model computer and a reliable Internet connection.

Common Course Offerings

General education courses aren't included in these graduate-level programs. Some of the more common classes cover education topics similar to the following.

Leadership in Education

This class prepares students to use research skills to explore ideals and philosophies in educational methods. The goal is to teach students to be more effective as teachers and to take well-informed positions on educational policy issues.

Teaching Diversified Students

This course prepares teachers for challenges that may arise in a class of students from different backgrounds. It also can help current and prospective teachers develop classroom strategies and assessment tools.

Curriculum Development

Students in this course learn to design curricula to meet the needs of students while conforming to a variety of educational standards and requirements. Topics covered include subject foundations, special needs and organizational skills.

Career Information for Graduates

A master's degree can qualify a teacher to work with students in K-12 institutions and, in some cases, technical and community colleges. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that, nationally, kindergarten and elementary school teachers could see 17% employment growth (about as fast as the average for all occupations) between 2010 and 2020, with many opportunities found in rural communities (www.bls.gov).

As of May 2012, the BLS reported that the average salary for kindergarten teachers was $53,030, while elementary grade teachers earned $56,130. High school teachers earned $57,770, and those who taught special education classes in high school earned $60,090.

Continuing Education and Licensing Information

Public elementary, middle and secondary school teachers need to be licensed. Education requirements vary from state to state. Most require a bachelor's degree with specialized educator training to begin teaching, and some require teachers to earn a master's degree within a specified time limit after becoming employed. Most states have continuing education requirements that can include conferences or online courses. Students also might pursue an online doctoral program, such as a Doctor of Philosophy in Education.

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