Education is a field that continues to grow in new ways. Most recently, teachers have needed the agility to move from in-person to online classrooms and sometimes back and forth between the two. To be a teacher, you must have patience and a true love of learning. You are on the front lines of education, and many children in the classroom will perceive you as a role model. Whether you are currently in education or are an aspiring teacher, there are many advantages to earning a master's degree in education.
Teach in a Classroom
Many master’s degree programs in education can lead to teacher licensure. If you have a bachelor's degree in another field and have been working outside of education, a master's degree in education can help you gain the necessary qualifications to become a teacher. In your master's program, you will learn about the art of teaching and gain experience in the field. You will become prepared to complete your teacher licensing exam and ultimately teach in a classroom.
Become a Better Teacher
People who are ready to work as teachers in elementary education can benefit substantially from earning this advanced degree in education. When you earn a master's degree in education, you acquire the skills to work with students at a higher educational level. You can choose to specialize in an area of interest in your MEd degree and become a subject matter expert. While pursuing your degree, you will also discover recent research in pedagogy that can enhance your teaching skills. Think about earning a master's degree as investing in yourself and your profession.
Renew Your License
Professional development is an important part of working in education. Just like doctors, lawyers and other professionals, teachers must renew their credentials or licenses every few years. They do this by earning continuing education credits, attending professional development events — or earning a master's degree in education. The schoolwork you complete will help you become a better educator as you renew your credentials. When you earn a master's degree in education, you easily fulfill the hourly requirement for being re-licensed as a teacher.
If you are already in the classroom but are interested in honing your skills in a particular area so that you can teach certain age groups or subject areas, a master's degree in education is the way to go. You can earn master’s degrees in specialized areas like early childhood education as well as in secondary education subjects or special education. A master's degree in education can also help you work with a student population that requires or benefits from specialized instruction. For example, many teachers go back to school to earn a master's degree in special education. Technology and teacher leadership are also common educational fields in which to pursue a master’s degree.
Earn Additional Income
In education, advanced degrees can lead to higher income. If you get hired as a new teacher with a master's degree, you can earn more than your new colleagues who have bachelor's degrees, and your salary may continue to increase beyond theirs. Schools sometimes offer additional perks to teachers with master's degrees; those teachers with more experience or more education may be offered summer school teaching jobs or department leadership roles. In some cases, when you earn a master's degree in a specialized area of education such as special education, technology or STEM, you may be able to earn additional money for teaching in high-needs areas. Some schools and districts even offer a stipend to support educators in acquiring their master's degree.
Become a School Administrator
To become a school administrator, you generally need a minimum of a master's degree in education. Earning your advanced education degree is the first step toward finding a new role as a vice principal or principal or taking on another leadership role in a school. Administrators must understand the entire workings of a school, from the curriculum and the student population to how to engage with parents and how to be a strong educational leader. A specialized master's program in educational leadership and administration will give you the knowledge and skills needed to tackle the full range of administrative demands. If you are thinking of becoming a principal or a superintendent, earning your master’s degree in education now will set you on the right path.
Grow Professionally Outside the Classroom
If you have been teaching for a while and know that you want to move into the corporate world or the nonprofit sector, a master's degree can be a huge benefit. Many careers and jobs outside of education look for people with advanced degrees; having a master's degree in education tells future employers that you are reliable, intelligent and ready to learn. In addition, most employers know that teachers and others who work in education — especially those with advanced education degrees — have important transferable skills. They will expect you to have excellent communication and innovation skills and to be agile, and they will know that you can motivate and inspire others.
Make a Difference Through Your Special Knowledge
If you do find work outside of education, your master's degree in education gives you a unique perspective on the world. Your advanced study helps you to understand how people learn and to know the best way to engage them in any educational or training process.
Your experience in education also exposes you to the trials and challenges many people face when they seek access to education. If you have been a teacher, you know that your students and their families may not have a lot of resources. The benefit of this experience is that you grow in empathy for and understanding of people whose lives may differ from yours; these skills are invaluable in all fields. Transitioning outside the classroom, you might find work at a nonprofit, and the experience you gained can help you connect with the population you serve and help your team gain a better understanding of diverse and global populations.
Earning your teaching degree can lead to an incredibly rewarding career helping prepare the next generation of leaders. Check out all the teaching degree choices at Grand Canyon University’s College of Education and get started on your journey to find your purpose.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.