You’ve completed your education and earned your Bachelor of Education. You are teaching and loving what you do. Why do you need a Master of Education? It may seem like a long and complex journey, but obtaining this advanced level of education is sometimes a requirement. And it is always a benefit. For those who are unsure of whether or not getting this type of education really fits their long-term goals, take a closer look at your path, what it offers, and what a master’s degree can do for you.
What Are the Real Benefits of Enrolling in a Master of Education Program?
In some states, there is no requirement that you need to obtain your master’s degree. It is in others. No matter which is true for you, know that it’s always a good idea. If you are thinking about the benefits of enrolling in this program beyond requirements, though, you’ll find that there are more than a few very valid reasons to get your masters. Take a closer look so consider some of the key benefits of this program and why you may actually need it.
Your Students Need the Best
There is plenty of evidence that shows that student outcomes relate directly back to having a well-qualified, advanced teacher. This applies to nearly all areas of education and at all ages. In short, teachers who have the skills to create curriculums that are innovative and teaching methods that are diverse enough to reach a larger audience in a more effective manner are going to give their students the very best level of education possible.
You’ll Earn More
There’s no doubt that most teachers end up in the positions they are in because they want to help children and they are less driven by their paycheck. However, there is also no doubt that they can earn more by bringing more skills to the table. The key here is to recognize that it also opens new career paths for you, which can help you to build your paycheck even further. According to Payscale.com, those with a Master of Education will earn an average of $53,500. However, those who have more experience can expect to earn more.
You Can Do More
Those with a master’s will have the ability to do more in the educational sector. You can move beyond teaching jobs and work in areas like guidance counseling. Or move into an assistant professor role. Some will move into research-based programs. Others will work in adult education areas. Some will even move into administration programs. If you do not see yourself being a teacher all of your life, this degree program provides you with new avenues to pursue.
Many times, the key benefit to obtaining an education at this level is to have the opportunity to expand your knowledge in a specific area. Some teachers want to focus their education in their teaching area, others want to develop key skills to bring into the classroom. Some, for example, may wish to be able to teach their diverse students in a more effective manner. Some want to develop applications for technology-based learning. Sometimes, they earn their master’s to provide themselves with a way of enhancing their research in a specific field of study.
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What Are the Cons of Getting Your Master’s?
There can be some drawbacks to obtaining your Master’s. You will need to put the time into it. This is perhaps the biggest concern for some students, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, students who enroll in online programs are able to move through their master’s with more ease. Some studies indicate that it can take a bit more two years to complete a master’s degree.
There is also the matter of paying for it. It can cost as much as $40,000 to obtain your master’s, though this is dependent on how you get your education. Some programs are much less expensive and start around $5,000. Many students are able to obtain loans and financing to cover costs.
It’s important to recognize that, yes, it takes more time to earn a master’s degree, but it also does not have to be something you do immediately.
Many times, students enter into the world of education and begin their careers. They then pursue their master’s degree over time. This makes it far more within reach and allows for these individuals to reach their long-term professional goals over time. This also makes it more accessible to students who need to get to work and get out of a college setting.
Does It Offer You More Than a Teaching Certificate?
After you obtain a teaching certificate, you can now begin to teach. This can be very fulfilling to many people. It allows them to get into the classroom and begin to provide the type of service they have worked hard to provide. But, moving your education beyond this is also important. With a teaching certificate, you may face numerous limitations that a Master of Education can help you to overcome. This may mean new opportunities, better skills, and the ability to provide your students with a much better level of education. Here are some examples of how a Master of Education can help you go further than with a teaching certificate.
- Some school districts will place a pay cap on those with a teaching certificate. That remains until you continue your education.
- You may be unable to hold any authoritative or advanced positions within the school district.
- You have limited reach in terms of being able to provide your students with curriculum development.
- A master’s degree can help you to provide focused insight that can help your school district or others to improve in key areas.
- Your prospects open up. Many school districts – including some of the best to work in – are making it more mandatory to have a master’s. For those who are teachers there, it is possible to see your career become more limited without this advanced education.
The demands on today’s teachers are ever increasing. They need to be able to provide more with limited budgets. They need to teach at a more diverse level. And, they need to be able to communicate with students with a vastly different makeup than ever before. For these reasons, it is nearly always beneficial to move beyond a basic teaching certificate into a program that gives you key skills to innovate and even compete in this area.
What About Timing? When Should You Pursue This Educational Path?
When should you consider this degree? To make it worthwhile, students must consider their individual needs and goals.
In some situations, obtaining a master’s degree as soon as you wrap up your bachelor’s makes sense.
For those who do not want to work in a traditional classroom but who aim to work in research and behind the scenes, this is a more important step to take immediately. For most others, getting into the classroom and beginning to teach is an important first step. Most often, students will want to get some experience working in the field before they begin to take their master’s degree path. However, this is not always a one-or-the-other decision.
If you were to apply to a school in which you hope to teach, and you are able to tell that school that you are already enrolled into a master’s program, they are going to see you as far more valuable than someone with just a teaching degree. You can do both at the same time.
When you do enroll in these educational programs, you will see that the other students in the program with you will come from a diverse background. Some will be at various stages of their career. And, you will find that some are working full time, raising a family, and taking their education seriously. Ultimately, only you can decide when the right time is for your needs.
Because of the time requirements and the overall need to obtain this higher level of education to achieve your long-term goals, you may not want to put off this degree program for too long. The key is to find a flexible program that matches your goals, one that gives you the resources you need to achieve your goals.
Should You Enroll in an Online or on Campus Master’s Degree Program?
When you consider enrolling in a master’s degree program, it helps to know you have more options for doing so than you may think. Many students believe they have to go back to school full time, live on campus, or settle for a school in their local area. This is not true. Today, you can obtain all of the educational requirements you need online.
The best programs will help you to meet your continuing education requirements and help you to get an accredited Master of Education degree. It is important to know that not every online program is going to be worthwhile and that some may not offer the areas of concentration you are hoping to be a part of. For this reason, it is important that students carefully research any program they plan to enroll in. Ensure it:
- Offers the areas of concentration desired
- Provides for an accredited Master of Education degree
- Provides for the flexibility and versatility desired
- Meets financial needs
- Offers modern, researched-based and advanced education
Now, assume that you have a program that fits your goals and is well-recognized and respected. Should you enroll online or go to a campus? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make that decision.
- Flexibility – teachers work during the day, they need to be able to pursue their education in the evenings, on weekends, and during other break periods.
- Cost-effective – online education tends to be more affordable for this area of study.
- Name recognition – a school known for offering advanced studies and quality education can go a long way in helping you to use your master’s degree later.
- It fits – online education is generally best for those who are already in the field and want to advance their career.
- Paced for you – if you want to enroll quickly and get started on your schedule, online education has a lot to offer.
The key here is to ensure that the quality of education you receive is what you want and need it to be. No matter where you go, this will be the factor that matters most.
Making a Decision That’s Right for You
With a Master of Education, teachers can do more, achieve bigger things in their field, and have a larger impact on their students. For this reason, many of today’s teachers will want to enroll. And with online programs offering highly effective and diverse offerings in this field, earning a graduate degree has never been more accessible to students.
For those who are still unsure what their long-term goals are in their career, a Master of Education can offer new opportunities to explore this. It can also help you to become a more in-demand and well-paid teacher in today’s highly diverse and complex world of education.