Earning a Graduate Degree in Education May Help You Become a Better Teacher

by Laura Morrison, April 2014

become better teacher Great educators are essential to ensuring students in kindergarten and up receive the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. While many people appreciate the work these professionals do on a daily basis, it's encouraged on one week in particular - National Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs from May 4-10.

National Teacher Appreciation Day was May 6 and, according to the U.S. Department of Education's blog, is a chance for people to thank an educator who has inspired them[i]. Do you have a passion for education and aspire to become one of these professionals? Then you may want to consider continuing your studies in graduate school.

Graduate Program Options for Educators

Colleges and universities nationwide offer a plethora of graduate programs ideal for teachers who want to take their skills to new heights. For example, there's the Master of Education, which is often available with several specializations, such as curriculum and instruction. This master's credential is ideal for those who wish to enter advanced roles in education, including principal or dean.

The Master of Education is geared toward students who already have experience as instructors. Another credential, the Master's of Arts in Teaching, is designed for individuals interested in furthering their instructional skills at the graduate level before they become full-time educators.

Beyond the master's level, teachers can pursue a Doctor of Education, which is required for those who wish to teach in post-secondary settings, including universities.

Potential Career Boost for Educators with a Graduate Degree

As teachers tend to have a passion of learning, it's likely they understand the immediate value of higher education. However, beyond acquiring deeper knowledge in their field, educators also stand to make more money after earning one or more advanced degrees.

With a bachelor's degree, for instance, professionals had median weekly earnings of $1,108 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[ii]. Those who earned a master's degree, however, took home median weekly earnings of $1,329. Individuals who held a doctoral degree made $1,623 in median weekly earnings in 2013.

While money isn't everything, the chance to earn a higher income might certainly factor into your decision to enroll in graduate school. At the end of the day, however, having a passion for education can make you a strong student and, possibly, a more effective teacher.

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Sources: [i] ed.gov/blog/2014/05/thankateacher-and-share-on-teacher-appreciation-day/ | [ii] bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

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