California Graduate Educational Technology Programs

Graduate educational technology programs teach students how to use technology to potentially improve and enhance education. More specifically, an educational technology degree could prepare students to:

  • Introduce digital tools into a classroom or corporation
  • Manage distance learning programs
  • Initiate a career in online education
  • Teach or develop educational information systems

As such, they may appeal to education professionals, instruction coordinators and education software developers.

Educational Technology Degree Programs

What Is Educational Technology?

Education technology is the intersection between technology, online learning and education.  It is the study and practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing technological processes and resources. Within this broad area, there are several different areas of emphasis.

Some educational technology graduate programs are oriented towards design. Others focus on implementation and maintenance. You may also find programs intersect with instructional technology which focus more on the development and creation of learning systems that use technology.

Going into your search, it helps to have a sense of your own career aspirations. Also it is valuable to understand what ‘educational technology’ means within the context of your program.

At the graduate level, an educational technology degree may highlight the following areas.

  • Research
  • Developing curriculums that include technology (e.g. use of tablets)
  • Instructional technology development
  • Media platforms (text, audio, video, animation, satellite TV)
  • Teaching online courses
  • Developing online courses
  • Training others in the uses of educational technology
  • Networking hardware for electronic learning processes
  • Electronic educational technology (e-learning)
  • Computer based learning systems
  • Effective uses and theoretical understanding of technological tools

Read education technology program descriptions and talk with an admission advisor to learn what each program covers.

Types of Educational Technology Graduate Programs

Graduate Educational Technology programs provide advanced study at the graduate certificates, masters and doctorate levels. The programs may prepare graduates to earn teacher licensure or, be suitable for currently licensed teachers who have their bachelor’s degree. The specifics may depend on the degree level and program's area of focus.

Generally, you need a Bachelors in Education or related undergraduate degree to enroll in Education Technology Master’s programs. For PhD Educational Technology programs you may need either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to enter. Each school, of course, has its own specific requirements and admissions procedures.

FACT: 65% of Instructional Designers and Technologists hold a Master’s Degree; this includes Chief Technology Officers and Instructional Technology Senior Analysts.i

Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology

Graduate Certificates in Educational Technology often appeal to currently licensed educators looking for specialized credentials to add onto their existing knowledge base. The field of education is regulated by each state and some may require teachers to earn an ‘endorsement’ in any additional subject they wish to teach.

Certificates in Educational Technology may help teachers earn the necessary credits and cover key subject matter. They are often shorter and more focused than full educational technology degree programs. And in some cases, the credits earned may be applicable to a Master’s degree completed at a later date.

Example Certificate in Education Technology programs include the online Instructional Technology Endorsement (P-12) and Instructional Technology Specialist Certificate. Contact state boards and individual programs to learn if they meet endorsement requirements.

Masters in Educational Technology Programs

Masters in Educational Technology programs may award a Master of Arts, Master of Science or Master of Education degree. These different degree types could reflect varying areas of focus and requirements.

Generally, MEd Educational Technology programs focus closely on teaching or the administration of the school system. MA and MS programs, on the other hand, may appeal to a wider range of students, including those interested in IT, management and design. However every school structures their program differently and there may be some overlap.

Masters in Educational Technology programs may also vary in their application requirements. Some may be appropriate for licensed educators. Others may help prepare students for the initial licensure.

Additionally, masters educational technology degree programs with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction may require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in teaching. However some programs may be open to those with bachelors degrees in other areas of study.

Although program lengths and course curriculums vary, a master’s in educational technology program could entail about 36 credits and 2 years of full time study. You might study how to use current technology to improve student learning. Or explore ways to manage student records, or  design and develop multimedia training for businesses.

Talk to individual schools to learn about their specific program requirements and goals.

EdD and PhD in Educational Technology Programs

Doctorate in Educational Technology programs focus on researching the relationships between people, media technology and learning. Offered as Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education programs, students may be able to choose a concentration area such as e-learning or design. Some programs may even offer courses in cognitive science or game studies.

Typically a PhD in Educational Technology degree is aimed at those interested in research and academic studies. An EdD may be more practitioner based and great for students interested in leadership and administration. In either case, there may be a research component in addition to coursework.

Although program lengths and course curriculums vary, earning a doctorate degree could require about 60 credits. This may take about 3 to 6 years of full time study with possible residency and dissertation requirements. Contact schools to learn about how they design their particluar program.

Campus or Online Educational Technology Degree?

As graduate students in educational technology, you know firsthand that modern technology makes it possible to earn your degree fully online. Certainly, if you live out of geographical proximity of the educational technology degree program that appeals to you, distance-learning may be a convenient alternative to relocation. Online educational technology graduate programs may also be great for working professionals, who need to fit classes around their work schedule.

That said, it may be wonderful to be part of a cohort system and study on a university campus. Educational Technology Schools may provide access to computer labs, libraries and other useful resources to enhance your studies.

It may also be in your interest to find a graduate school that has a partially online (hybrid) program. This way you may be able to take advantage of the best of both worlds.

Accredited Graduate Educational Technology Programs

Accreditation is an important component of choosing between graduate schools and educational technology graduate programs. It may speak to the finances, faculty and curriculum at a given school or program.

At the institutional level, you can find universities and colleges that have been regionally accredited. These universities and colleges are usually listed with the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

At the programmatic level, you might find some programs that are NCATE or TEAC accredited.ii Although since 2013, there has been consolidation with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).iii Contact individual programs or accrediting bodies to learn more.

What Could I Do With a Graduate Educational Technology Degree?

Earning a graduate Educational Technology degree may be helpful in pursuing a variety of career paths. Graduates might consider some of the following roles.

  • Educational Research and Product Strategyiv
  • Learning Development Specialistv
  • Teacher Support and Student Interventionvi
  • Instructional Designers and Technologistsvii
  • Education Specialistviii
  • Instructional Coordinatorsix

Entry level education and experience requirements vary.

Find Educational Technology Programs

Technology and its multiple uses in education are contributing to the creation of different specialist occupations.x So, it can be an exciting time to pursue a graduate educational technology degree.

Start reviewing some of your options here. Or refine your search using the menu. You can sort educational technology programs by level orformat.

Make sure you reach out to your prospective graduate schools for more details about their unique  programs. And of course, consult with an advisor so you do not miss the application deadline. Just follow the link and fill out the simple on page form.


sources; [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.01 |[ii] teac.org |[iii] caepnet.org/ |[iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.01 |[v] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.01 |[vi] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.01 |[vii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.01 |[viii] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.00 |[ix] onetonline.org/link/summary/25-9031.00 [x] bls.gov/opub/mlr/2004/12/ressum1.pdf

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