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Educators have the privilege and opportunity to shape both the future of education and the minds they educate. At once a challenging and fulfilling career, they play a key role in our society by equipping students of all ages with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. For those looking to pursue supervisory roles or specialize in their careers, discovering what you can do with a master’s in education can be the key to pursuing professional goals and an exciting vocation.

Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Education?

Many recent college graduates grapple with whether to begin teaching or to pursue an advanced degree. For those opting to pursue a specialization or teachers who have work experience and wish to transition to a specialty or supervisory role, a master’s degree may be the gateway to reach these career goals. By pursuing advanced education, future leaders gain the skills and in-depth knowledge needed to excel in their specialty and the opportunity to earn the increased salary that can accompany it.

Some of the advantages of earning a master’s degree in education include:

  • Increased confidence within and outside of the classroom
  • Professional networking opportunities
  • Increased chances of consideration for specialized roles such as instructional coach, mentor teacher, or school district specialist
  • Potential for a higher salary and increased benefits
  • Subject specialization

Pursuing a master’s degree allows instructors to take control of both the content they teach as well as the type of position they wish to pursue. With added knowledge, skills, and a network of fellow teachers, candidates increase their value as an educator and may have a better chance at reaching their professional goals, dictating how, where, and when they work.

Educator Specializations

Earning a master’s degree provides an exciting opportunity for teachers to develop their skills and knowledge in a particular area of education. Specialization allows instructors to embrace the aspects of teaching that inspire them, working in various areas, including student-focused specializations, such as exceptional student education; leadership roles; or programs, such as instructional design and technology.

Exceptional Student Education

Teachers who work in exceptional education work with pupils with disabilities. For those who already have a certification in exceptional student education, pursuing a master’s degree in exceptional student education is an opportunity to refine and build upon existing skills, gain an in-depth knowledge of alternative strategies and techniques to approach education, and improve the lives of their students.

Applied Learning

Instructors who specialize in applied learning focus on innovation in teaching, adapting both the ways in which they teach and the ways in which students learn by engaging in active and reflective learning. An advanced degree in applied learning focuses on modern psychological theories, principles of human learning and motivation to create a positive and engaging learning environment for students.

Educational Leadership

The field of education is constantly evolving, requiring leaders to drive change and innovation in the development of both new techniques for the education of students and the theories that inform education itself. Candidates interested in pursuing supervisory roles may want to seek a master’s in educational leadership to influence those changes and policies.

Elementary Education

Students learn differently and benefit from various teaching techniques throughout their educational careers. Individuals who enjoy working with children may decide to specialize in elementary education and pursue an advanced degree that focuses on the theories and practices that are most effective for young students. With a master’s in education, candidates are able to pursue roles at elementary institutions and advocate for positive change in the development of young minds.

Instructional Design and Technology

As business becomes increasingly dependent on technology, educators need to understand and embrace technology to equip their students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the modern workplace. Teachers interested in pursuing advanced education in instructional design and technology are able to focus on a rapidly evolving specialty, learning current processes and influencing the future of their field.

Career Opportunities and Salaries for Educators

With the proper education and qualifications, graduates have the freedom to pursue various types of education and employment. As teachers seek more specialized areas of focus, the value of an advanced degree increases exponentially. Some roles may require a set of core competencies that may not be taught at the bachelor level making the completion of an advanced degree a crucial step to building sought-after skills.

Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers work with students with a wide range of emotional and physical learning disabilities. With the ability to work in both private and public institutions, special education teachers can positively impact students of all ages. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), special education teachers earned a median annual salary of $61,400 as of May 2020.

Literary Coach

As students in elementary and middle school work on developing their reading skills, many organizations rely on literary coaches to aid in both teaching students how to read and creating plans to teach reading skills. Through public speaking, evaluations and the development of reading-focused programs, literary coaches establish programs to improve reading ability and comprehension. According to PayScale, reading specialists earned a median annual salary of around $53,700 as of August 2021.

Instructional Technology Specialist

With strong communication and technical skills, instructional technology specialists develop programs and teach other instructors how to implement them. Leveraging their in-depth knowledge of specific technologies, programs, procedures and theories, instructional technology specialists assist in key activities, such as creating and reviewing curricula, suggesting ideas for future innovations, and helping staff identify effective teaching and learning outcomes. According to PayScale, instructional technology specialists earned a median annual salary of about $52,100 as of July 2021.

Curriculum Specialist

Schools rely on curriculum specialists to ensure that students are exposed to the most relevant and accurate information and to help shape the theories, programs, and topics that teachers cover. By analyzing test scores, student or teacher feedback, and the functionality of different subjects or program tracks in the classroom, these specialists adjust curricula to improve educational outcomes and graduation rates. According to PayScale, curriculum specialists earned a median annual salary of around $58,700 as of August 2021.

Education Consultant

Choosing the most suitable postsecondary path can be a daunting prospect for many students and their family members. Education consultants are experts who aid in the decision-making process and advise students of their options as well as the steps required to pursue avenues such as higher education or workforce entry. According to PayScale, the median annual salary for education consultants was about $63,200 as of August 2021.

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators collaborate with other educators to develop, implement, and assess the curricula and teaching standards of schools. By evaluating the effectiveness of programs, coordinators can guide the policies of an organization to improve the learning environment. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for instructional coordinators is projected to increase by 6% between 2019 and 2029. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $66,900 as of May 2020.

Dean of Students

Tasked with overseeing faculty research, student services and the success of academic programs at colleges and universities, postsecondary education administrators attend to a broad variety of highly influential responsibilities. Typically graduates of an advanced degree program, such as a master’s in education, administrators implement the policies and procedures that guide educational institutions and earned a median annual salary of $97,500 as of May 2020, according to the BLS.

Shape the Minds of Tomorrow

Leaders in education have the opportunity and responsibility to motivate and inspire current and future generations of students. By pursuing specializations and career paths that embrace their strengths and passions, individuals with an advanced degree in education set themselves up for success and achieve their professional goals.

With a passionate team of faculty members and several comprehensive online programs to choose from, the UCF Online’s master’s degrees in education are designed to provide you with every opportunity to succeed. Discover what you can do with a master’s in education and make a positive impact on the minds of tomorrow.