Completing an online master’s programs in education may be a necessary step for those who wish to work as a teacher or in other positions. There may be numerous types of education degrees available to help you get to that point. Many school districts in the U.S. require teachers to have a master’s degree. Some require this prior to hiring the teacher. Others require newly hired teachers to continue their education until they earn a master’s degree. They may limit how long this takes, such as completing a master’s within 4 to 5 years.
For some teachers, completing an online master’s programs in education could help. It may allow them to continue teaching during the day and complete their master’s during the evening or on the weekend while remaining at home. This is not the only path for teachers. It may be one step towards completing their education in a convenient manner.
What types of education degrees are there?
One of the prominent decisions a teacher needs to make typically is what type of education degree they desire. Many start with a bachelor’s degree in education. At the master’s level, it may be possible to choose a focus area that is more specific. This may allow the teacher to complete their education in an area that interests them or is in demand.
The key to remember is that there are often numerous types of education degrees at the master’s level. There is no single program that is better than others. Rather, it is about what you hope to teach and learn. Explore more than one to determine which may be a fit for your needs and goals.
Types of Education Degrees Available in the U.S.
There are four main types of master’s degrees in education. Those include:
- Master of Education (M.Ed.)
- Master of Arts in Education (M.A. Ed.)
- Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.)
- Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T)
To determine which path to consider, students may wish to first start with the type of career they hope to have. Be sure the program selected matches career objectives as a first step. Then, be sure that local state and organization criteria necessary for licensing or continuing employment are met by the program. Some educational programs may focus on providing teachers who already have a license with additional education. These typically help with professional development or working towards a rank increase in the educational field.
Take a closer look at what each of these master’s courses may include. Keep in mind that programs and content may differ from one university to the other. Be sure to verify the details from the university selected prior to choosing one career path or another.
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What is a Master of Education?
The M.Ed. program may provide an opportunity for those who have a varied background. This degree path is called an applied degree. That means students may be able to take what they learn in this educational path and apply it to various industries. That includes education. It may include other industries as well. Those completing this degree typically focus on educational theory and leadership. They may have a basic curriculum to start with and may tailor it to meet their goals. This option may help those who want an overall, well-rounded educational track. Many M.Ed. programs offer focus areas for students to select from during their education. These concentrations may differ from one school to the next.
What is a Master of Arts in Education?
The MA. Ed. program is slightly different. This degree program may provide a more tailored approach to education. It may be a better option for those who are looking to enrich their knowledge and skills in a specific subject area. It may allow students to focus on areas that interest them or may complement or enhance their existing degrees. There are concentrations in this area as well. This may allow for very specific education for those seeking a narrow path in their education.
What is a Master of Science in Education?
This type of education path typically focuses on pedagogy, instructional design, and curriculum methodology. It typically focuses on teaching mathematics and sciences. This may differ from one institution to the next – be sure to verify what you are earning from any degree path you select. Some of these programs are theory-based, while others are research-based. Choose a program that better matches career goals in the specific subject area desired. Some students may wish to complete the M.A. Ed. path to become administrators or take on a leadership role. This may be an option through some colleges.
What is a Master of Arts in Teaching?
The M.A. in Teaching path is typically for those who want to teach and learn teaching strategies. Typically, these are individuals who have not earned an initial teaching certificate or license just yet, though that may be something they hope to do in the future. This path still may allow for students to choose areas of concentration interesting to them or in areas they wish to pursue their career.
Concentrations in a master’s degree
The next step, then, is to determine which area to focus on within that program. Many online master’s degrees in education may allow students to choose a specific focus area that interests them or fits their specific career objectives. These differ widely not just in what they teach but also in their names. Before selecting, be sure to consider what the course teaches and prepares students for in their careers.
Some examples of these concentrations available in each of these degree paths listed above include:
- Adult education
- Early childhoood education
- Instructional technology
- Higher education administration
- Curriculum and instruction
- Education administration
- Elementary education
- Gifted and talented education
- Math education
- Reading and literacy
- Child development
- English language learning
- Secondary education
- Special education
- Social studies education
Colleges That Offer an Online Master’s Program in Education
Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer online master’s programs in education. These often range widely in what they teach and how they meet a student’s needs. Hybrid learning options are one route that may be available. Others may be fully remote, while some may offer in-person labs or testing. Many of these programs offer the flexibility for students to take courses full time or part time. That is often based on their needs.
Some examples of schools that offer an online Master in Education online include:
- University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
- Clemson University (Moore), Florence, SC
- California State University – Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
- Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
- University of Georgia, Athens, GA
- Creighton University, Omaha, NE
- Pennsylvania State University – World Campus, University Park, PA
- University of Houston, Houston, TX
- Texas A&M University – College Station, College Station, TX
- University of Albany – SUNY, Albany, NY
- University of North Texas, Denton, TX
- University of Virginia – Curry, Charlottesville, VA
- Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
- Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
- Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
These are just some of the colleges that offer an educational master’s degree that’s available online. Students may wish to pursue one of these or other schools available. Keep in mind that location is not typically a factor since many programs are fully online.
How to Get Started in an Online Master’s Program in Education
Completing a master’s programs in education online often takes commitment and time. These programs may provide a necessary step for those who have a bachelor’s degree in education. They may also help those who have a bachelor’s degree in another area to complete their educational path in a teaching degree. Keep in mind that students may also need to check with state licensing boards as well as their local employer to determine which of these programs meets any requirements of them.
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