Online Masters Degree in Education

If you teach full-time and don’t want to leave your tenure-track, an Online Masters in Education program may be right for you. Earning an online master’s degree in education may not only help refine your teaching skills, but also help you cultivate a specialization, which may in turn lead to a variety of potential new career opportunities. Online Masters in Education programs are offered in a broad array of concentrations. Whether you want to learn how to teach special needs students, move from teaching high school to becoming a principal, teaching English as a second language, or becoming a school counselor, read on to find out a bit more about distance-learning education masters programs.

Online Masters in Education

Online Masters in Education Programs: Overview

Most online masters programs in education typically take between 18 and 24 months to complete and require around 30 credit hours of coursework in addition to a final research project or portfolio. Sometimes, an online master’s degree in education is used by teachers to further their careers, or as a preparatory support for an EdD or PhD in Education. Depending on the program, some fieldwork, on-site apprentanceship and research thesis may be required. 

FUN FACT: Principals typically need a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Most commonly, postsecondary teachers must have a Ph.D. Instructional coordinators need a master’s degree and related work experience, such as teaching or school administration. Most states require school counselors to have a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field.

Potential Benefits to Online Masters in Education Programs

Most M.Ed programs are designed for the experienced educator.  If you are already teaching on a full-time basis or just have a busy schedule, an online Masters in education program may be a great learning format for you. The chief benefit of pursuing an online masters degree in education is convenience; you can typically work at your own pace, on weekends and evenings when the format is asynchronous. Students can then log into their courses wherever they have a computer and reliable Internet. Research is done via online libraries, and with pre-recorded audio and video, you are able to pause when you need to.

One possible drawback to earning an online degree is lack of face-time with instructors. However, web cams, web chats, emails, and online group discussion boards do help with staying connected to both professors and classmates. To determine if an online program is right for you, consider your learning style. If you learn more from being in class than reading textbooks, you may want to consider a traditional campus-based program. If you are a self-motivated learner, however, an online Masters in education program could be a perfect fit for your demanding lifestyle.

Ready to review some listings? GradSchools.com has a fantastic directory, so you can scroll through the page you are on to find options such as: Online Master of Arts in higher Education Administration, Online Master of Science in Education, Online Master of Education in Instructional Design and Technology or Online Master of Science (MS) in Education – Adolescent Literature and Technology (Grades 6-12). Alternatively, click through the ‘subject selection’ to choose a special niche area in education and this will bring you to their online listings. Either way, really easy to use, or you can request information from the school directly from our site. It is wise to contact several schools to gather more information, helping you to make a more-informed decision about the future of your education.

Be sure to check with the State you intend to teach in to verify what licenses, certifications registrations are required. The American School Counselor Association or the Office of Educator Licensure of your state may be useful sites.

Types of Online Masters in Education Degrees: M.A., M.S., M.Ed.

There are certainly a variety of listings to choose from, each valuable, each with a possibly unique curriculum.  If you are looking into an Online Master of Arts in Teaching, these programs are often designed for initial teacher licensure and may emphasize applicable classroom skills and teaching specific subjects. An Online Masters in Education on the other hand, is usually designed for experienced teachers, providing enhanced knowledge and skill-sets to prepare them for specific new roles. The Master of Science in Education and Master of Arts in Education are similar to the M.Ed.

Types of Online Masters in Education Degree Programs and Career Choice

If you are currently a teacher in one area and want to advance your knowledge and capabilities in order to stay current with methods, theories, practices, or technology, finding a distance-learning education masters program will be a question of determining which school is more appealing. If you aspire to specialize your career, or change directions, you definitely want to pursue an online masters in education degree that aligns with your interests and leads to certification or appropriate credentials for that potential role.

Online Masters in Education programs that focus on the learning needs of different populations include Adult Education, Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education, Special and Gifted Education, ESL/TESOL and Higher Education Masters Programs.

Programs that are geared to designing and developing educational curriculums, using education technology, include online Masters in Education, Technology and Online Learning and Curriculum and Design. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for Instructional Coordinators from 2014 to 2024 is estimated at 7%[i]

Online Education Leadership and Administration may help teachers move up the ladder into administrative roles.  According to the BLS, job prospects for principals will be best for candidates with a master’s degree and with teaching experience.[ii]

Online Masters in School Counseling fall under Educational and School Psychology. The job outlook is positive for school counselors; rising student enrollments in elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as in colleges and universities, is predicted to increase demand for school counselors by 8% from 2014 to 2024.[iii]

Ready to Search for an Online Masters in Education?

Earning a masters in Education is seen as the necessary educational background or springboard degree to a variety of potential career options that may be available to graduates. Earning your graduate degree online may make it easier for you to accomplish your goals in the field of Education. Use our directory to make this a possibility today!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm | Other sources: bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm | bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm

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