An elementary or secondary school teacher’s work can be quite involving. The teacher is required to maintain certain professional documents, without which he or she may not be able to dispense his or her duties effectively. Apart from the mandatory lesson notes, the teacher is also required to make lesson plans, and in collaboration with the dean’s office ensure that the learners’ academic records are well maintained. In addition, the teacher is required to source for teaching and learning aids that are appropriate for the content being taught. It therefore goes without saying that acquiring the certifications necessary to carry all the duties of a competent teacher in a particular specialty or area is not a walk in the park. At best, it is a big challenge.
Many young teachers harbor the dream to live beyond their first degree, by deciding to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education. Young educators are keen to acquire this certification because it definitely sets them apart from their less specialized counter-parts. A Master’s Degree program can offer studies related to school guidance & counseling, instructional methods and curriculum development; and expertise in subfields related to the broader area of study. They are many options available for the educator who would want to specialize in the arts or sciences.
Making the decision to enroll for a Master’s Degree works quite well for the perceptive teacher. Apart from the fact that it allows teachers to specialize further in their line of work, it undoubtedly increases their earning power. Like in most other professions, teachers who successfully complete their Master’s Degree in Education have noticeable advantages over those who operate with only their bachelor’s degree. They have more employment avenues open to them, they are able to negotiate for better terms of employment, and have the potential to be more upwardly mobile. Upon the acquisition of the Master’s degree, it is perfectly within the rights of the teacher to ask for higher pay- as this is usually provided for in the pay scale.
Granted, the Master’s Degree is not a must-have-requirement for most K-12 public school teaching positions in the United States. Its acquisition, however, gives the holder the distinct advantage of being able to clinch many lucrative positions in the education sector with much ease. Such positions include administrative roles that come with hefty rewards and benefits. That aside, the process of working for and bagging the Master’s Degree has its own unique benefits. The educator is exposed to a variety of hands-on teaching techniques that can be of immense value in the classroom. Such knowledge and skills thus acquired will enhance the learners’ experience once they encounter the teacher, making the teaching and learning process quite easy and effortless.
The educator who is equipped with the Master’s Degree in Education becomes a much-sought-after candidate in schools that offer competitive terms and conditions of service. Even if such a teacher may opt not to leave their current station of work, they are bound to rise and occupy some of the plum administrative positions in their institutions. The Master’s degree is a sure way for the educator, whether new to the profession or experienced, to quickly scale the ranks and become a critical decision maker within the organization.
Many young teachers take the Master’s Degree in Education as the stepping-stone to doctoral studies. Indeed, the research projects and thesis that form part of the Master’s program often fulfill part of application requirements for a doctoral program. As such, educators who harbor the dream of joining the pinnacle of academia are keen to enroll in the Master’s program quite early in their career – often as soon as they acquire their bachelor’s degree.
How Do You Enroll for a Master’s in Education Degree?
Enrolling for the Master’s degree is not a complicated affair. In fact, the process is quite similar to applying for a Bachelor’s degree. You first need to identify what it is that you what to study for. This is critical, because your decision needs to be informed by your own personal needs as well as market dynamics. Once that is settled, the following criteria can be used as a guide:
- Be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education –Sciences or Arts. Transcripts from college and GRE scores will definitely be required.
- Arrange to have well-written resume, complete with letters of recommendation from your employee or previous learning institutions.
- Ensure that you choose a program approved by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs – and is thus accredited.
- Ensure that you are satisfied with the program’s faculty.
- Find out about college’s graduate placement policy
There are a variety of M.Ed. modules, and this difference is reflected in the pricing. You may choose to study part-time, full-time, in public or private institutions. One preference that many young teachers have an inclination for is online study, as this gives them the option to continue working even as they pursue their M.Ed. program. The price for each module varies, with the average full-time M.Ed. being around $20,000. The good news, however, is that it is easy for the educator to recoup this amount upon the completion of the M.Ed. course. Research has shown that a Master’s in Education graduate has the potential to land a position that will see them recoup the entire amount in 1 to 2 years based on increased earning.
The earning power of the graduate M.Ed. teacher grows by the year. Even in situations where the graduate does not join the school administration but opts to remain as a classroom teacher, the benefits he/she is bound to reap by his/her 7th year will be impressive. Teaches who choose to join the school administration of course realize the benefits almost immediately.
The Convenience of Online Master’s Degree in Education
Many young educators choose online M.Ed. programs for obvious reasons. The online version is cheaper, and offers the candidate the opportunity to continue working and earning while undertaking the program. Another M.Ed. study option that is gaining in popularity is the hybrid one, while the candidate does some courses in person and others online.
Online programs still carry the day for the immense benefits they offer the students. Apart from the aforementioned benefits, online programs also take a short time to complete. With as few as 18 months needed to do the entire program, educators who wish to pursue a M.Ed. can do so quite conveniently. In addition, it is possible to get grants and scholarships for the hundreds of online programs available today.