Are you a teacher or professional educator, looking to build your expertise in and out of the classroom through higher education? Online education graduate programs might be a great way to accomplish this while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Earning an online education graduate degree might allow you to take your classes when and where works for you, without worrying about commuting to a physical campus.
Why Consider Online Education Graduate Programs?
Whether you’re a busy professional trying to fit education into a packed schedule, or simply have an independent learning style and prefer working on your own, online education graduate programs might be a great choice for you. Online education graduate programs might allow the flexibility you need to earn your degree, while incorporating some of the same benefits as campus programs. This might include services and resources like academic advisement, career advisement, and even some library services such as online scholarly journal database access, variable depending upon the program in question.
Online education graduate programs might be offered in a few different formats:
- Synchronous online education graduate programs might try to incorporate some qualities of the physical classroom, by asking that students log into online course modules at specific times each week to attend live streamed lectures, discussions, and other course activities.
- Asynchronous online education graduate programs might emphasize flexibility rather than emulating the experience of the physical classroom. That means rather than being required to be available at specific times, you might have the freedom to complete course assignments when and where work for you each week.
Some programs may additionally combine features of both synchronous and asynchronous programs, by listing courses in various formats alongside one another, allowing students to choose courses of different types each semester. The specific formats and services offered by online programs may vary between institutions, so if this is something that interests you, make sure to inquire with the schools you might want to apply to for more information.
Choosing Your Online Education Graduate Programs
Choosing your online education graduate program is a big step. Whether you’re looking for a master’s program to build on your skills in the classroom, a program to help move your career into a new direction, or a doctoral program focused on research, a bunch of great options might be out there for you to consider.
Online Education Master’s Degree Programs
Interested in earning your online master’s in education or master’s in teaching? Online education master’s programs might be a great way to pursue the education you’re looking for while still keeping up with your career and home life. Pursuing an online education master’s degree, you might have the opportunity to study a concentration area relevant to your future goals or current career, such as pedagogy, literacy, reading, mathematics, or topics related to special education.
Several types of education master’s degrees might be awarded up on completion of an online education graduate program:
- Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) Programs – These may be a good choice for you if you’re focused on developing your teaching skills in the classroom. While programs may vary, M.A.T. programs may offer more focus on skills and topics relevant to being a classroom teacher.
- Master’s of Education (M.Ed. or M.E.) Programs – These programs may be available with a variety of focuses and formats, making them a potentially versatile option. That means you might be able to enroll in programs focused on the teaching or pedagogy, administration, counseling, and more. [i]
- M.S. in Education Programs – Similar to M.Ed. programs, these might be a versatile option with a variety of applications in the field. However, they might be a good fit for you if you’re interested in pursuing educational research or a doctoral program.
This may not be an exhaustive list of types of potential online education master’s programs. Between the various types of online master’s degrees in education, and potential courses of study within the field, individual online education master’s programs may vary. As such, it’s important to inquire with programs you may be interested in for additional information.
Online Education Doctoral Programs
For those who have already earned a master’s degree and seek a higher distinction, online doctoral programs in education might be a great option. Similar to with master’s programs, online doctorate in education programs may focus on a variety of subjects and concentrations, and have a number of unique applications in the field. Online doctoral programs in education might especially be oriented toward roles such as research, administration, and teaching, especially at the university level. Two degree types you might encounter when searching for your programs are:
- Education Ph.D. Programs - Online Ph.D. programs in education might be offered with a variety of approaches to the material, making them potentially applicable for many different positions and goals. They may be a great choice for you if you’re interested in performing education research to help teachers, schools and districts make educated decisions.
- Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Programs – These might be a great option for you, especially if you’re currently working or interested in potential leadership positions within a school, district, or organization, or otherwise working in administration. These programs might additionally focus on understanding and applying research data in the real world.
Of course, the specific details of these programs, as well as the many ways you might apply these degree types after earning them, may vary on an individual basis. This might depend on a variety of factors, such as how the programs are designed at your school of choice, your individual course of study, your experience, and more. As such, it’s important to follow up with your potential schools for more information when making your decision where to apply.
Online Education Graduate Certificate Programs
Whether you hold a bachelor’s degree, or have already earned a graduate degree, if you’re looking for the opportunity to pursue graduate level education focused on a specific topic, without entering into a full degree program, graduate certificate programs may be a great option for you. Graduate certificate programs may be able to be completed in less time, depending on your program, schedule and preferences, and often allow the opportunity to focus on a specific concentration or subject.
As with graduate degree programs, there may be a variety of types of certificates that might be awarded at the culmination of a program. These programs may also be offered at either the master’s level, appropriate for those holding a bachelor’s degree, or post-master’s level in some cases. Additionally, some graduate certificate programs may allow you to utilize your completed coursework toward a graduate degree at a later date, if you wish to do so. With the wide variety of options potentially at your disposal, it may be important for you to inquire with your prospective programs for additional information when making your decision.
Find Great Online Education Graduate Programs Today!
If you’re ready to start looking for great online education graduate programs, GradSchools.com is ready to help you find them! We’ve already compiled a list of great online education graduate programs you may be interested in learning more about. If you’d like to narrow these options down further, you might add filters such as your preferred program level. Once you’re satisfied, get started reading up on potential online schools, and then reach out to the ones that sound promising for more information, or to get the application process started!