Education Online Master’s Degree Overview
An accelerated online master’s degree in education puts the recipient on the fast-track to career strides. Influential, high-paying educational careers such as principal and instructional coordinator typically demand a master’s degree. Likewise, roughly half of all elementary, middle, and high school teachers hold a master’s degree. Employment-seeking teachers without one may find themselves at a disadvantage on the job market.
Working professionals often find an accelerated online master’s degree program a convenient way to pursue graduate studies. They can work towards their degree without leaving their job or disrupting their family life. Many also like the fact that accelerated programs significantly reduce the time it takes to earn a degree – sometimes cutting it in half!
What is an Education Online Master’s Degree?
Earning a master’s degree in education demonstrates a high level of commitment and expertise. Students become stronger, more thoughtful instructors, leaders, and decision-makers. They graduate ready to tackle today’s pressing educational issues.
Regular master’s in education programs require two or more years of study. Accelerated programs help students earn their MEd in less time. Depending on the school, students can earn their MEd in anywhere from 10-22 months.
Outstanding Schools with Education Online Master’s Degrees in The U.S.
The perfect school for each prospective student varies based on personal needs. However, anyone interested in an accelerated online master’s degree in education should not have trouble finding an institution that fits his or her goals.
Here is a sample of respected places:
Twenty months is all it takes to earn an MEd online from this private school.5 Students take five foundation courses plus five courses in their area of interest. Specializations offered include:
- Inclusive learning
- Literacy and digital learning
- Curriculum and instruction
- School leadership
Rolling admissions provides flexibility on whenr students can start their studies (spring, summer, fall). All those admitted possess at least two years of teaching experience. Students musteither work in an educational setting or have access to a classroom for hands-on practice.
Though a public institution, this Massachusetts-based school charges the same price to in-state and out-of-state students in its online MEd program in educational leadership and management. And your ears will perk up when you hear that the program can be completed in under 12 months!6
The program involves 11 courses, and each course lasts seven weeks. ,, Here are some of the topics covered:
- Community-school relationships
- Educational law
- Curriculum and instruction
- Managing human resources
For students with a passion for special education, this accelerated program can lead to an MEd in as little as 10 months.7
Coursework focuses on how individual characteristics affect learning. Participants should be prepared to analyze research regarding contemporary issues and programs for exceptional individuals.
This public institution’s program is designed for certified teachers who want to pursue 100% online graduate studies taught by the same faculty as on-site classes.8 Students can tailor their degree to one of four high-demand specializations:
- English for speakers of other languages
- Literacy and reading
- Multicultural contexts in education
- Project-based learning
The program proves an especially good deal for teachers in South Carolina since they receive reduced-rate tuition.
This institution conducts six accelerated online MEd programs. Students choose from the following specialties:9
- Curriculum and instruction
- Early childhood education
- Adult education
- Educational leadership
- Education leadership, principal certification
Designed for working professionals, courses last six weeks. Ambitious students can complete their degree in as few as 12 months, and they can choose from seven different start dates each year.
What Can I Do with an Education Online Master’s Degree?
Earning an education online master’s degree expands many possible career paths. Some take the skills gained in graduate school to the classroom as highly trained elementary, middle, secondary, or special education teachers. Others find employment as educational coordinators. Aspiring principals and other educational administrators usually find that such leadership positions require an MEd.
Education Online Master’s Degree Salaries
Teachers are right to believe that “education pays” as data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that at every grade level from PK-12, teachers with a master’s degree earn between 24%-43% more than counterparts with only a bachelor’s.10
The same holds true for educational administrators. Those with a master’s degree bring home a median annual wage 44% higher than colleagues who did not complete graduate studies.
Education Online Master’s Degree Job Projections
The BLS projects employment growth of 5% in education, training, and library occupations between 2019 to 2029 – faster than the average for all occupations. Though projections do not guarantee job growth, this estimate should prove encouragement to those interested in this career field.
Education Online Master’s Degree Career Paths
Career opportunities abound for those with an education online master’s degree. Some possibilities include:
|Career||Salary||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)||About the Position|
|Principal||$96,400||4%||Elementary, middle, and high schools employ principals. These leaders make decisions crucial to the institution and oversee all aspects of educational operations.|
|College administrator||$95,410||4%||Postsecondary administrators are in charge of things such as admissions, academic divisions, student life, housing, scheduling, and special events.|
|Instructional coordinator||$66,290||6%||Schools, educational organizations, and the government hire instructional coordinators to assess data on student performance, improve instruction methods, and make changes to curricula.|
|High school teacher||$61,660||4%||These instructors teach a specific subject matter. An MEd puts them in line for expanded responsibilities, such as chair of an academic division.|
Earning an Education Online Master’s Degree
An accelerated online education master’s program strengthens a student’s background for the role he or she pursues. Some graduates bring their education to the classroom as inspirational, effective teachers. Others work in non-classroom settings counseling students, making decisions about curriculum, and handling administrative matters.
Courses in Topic Programs
Students graduating from an accelerated online education master’s program earn an MEd. There are some common classes all of MEd-seekers take, but much of the coursework depends on an individual’s interests.
For example, the transcript of someone focusing on educational leadership undoubtedly will look different than that of a colleague concentrating on special education.
A few classes often seen among graduation requirements for an MEd are:
- Educational equality – This type of course looks at issues such as diversity, inequality, and social justice within school systems.
- Educational research methodology – Students learn the basics of how educational studies get conducted and how to critically interpret results.
- Educational technology – Classes of this sort focus on the various types of learning tools available and how each could be employed in the classroom.Curriculum and instruction – Students ponder essential questions about what material gets taught and how to do so effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Education Online Master’s Degree?
Completing an accelerated online master’s degree in education commonly requires 30-36 credits, depending on the institution and specific program. While traditional programs span two years or longer, accelerated studies go faster. Completion time runs 10-22 months.
Factors that could influence length include:
- The drive of the student to proceed at a quick pace
- The number of courses a school allows students to take at once
- A student’s history, as someone without a background in education may need to take additional courses to fill in gaps
Skills Learned in an Education Online Master’s Degree Program
Administrators hone skills such as leadership and decision-making. Teachers find new ways to create engaging classrooms dedicated to maximizing success for all. Instructional coordinators learn how to interpret assessment data and thoughtfully analyze both what is taught and how that material is conveyed.
Choosing the Best Education Online Master’s Degree
No single “best” program exists. Students must consider their career goals and look for online master’s degree options that correspond. The program’s set-up, including how and when online classes are offered, should correspond to the individual’s learning preference and lifestyle.
Education Online Master’s Degree Specializations
Accelerated education online master’s degrees are not one-size-fits-all. Students need to evaluate their interests and career goals to choose a satisfying program.
Someone looking to pursue an educational role outside of the classroom may want to consider an MEd in:
- Educational leadership
- Educational administration
- Curriculum and instruction
- Educational technology
- Instructional design
- School counseling
Teachers often pursue an MEd in:
- Early childhood education
- Elementary education
- Secondary education
- Adult education
- Special education
- English as a second language
- Online teaching
Education Online Master’s Degrees vs. On Campus
Gone are the days when someone going to graduate school needs to attend classes on a physical campus. While the option still exists, online programs remove many of the barriers to obtaining an advanced degree.
The flexible nature of online learning allows working professionals to balance their degree program with other personal and professional obligations.
Should I Complete Courses Online?
The answer depends on the individual. Online programs can be more affordable, because students do not incur travel and campus housing expenses. They are also less disruptive to a person’s current lifestyle. Ambitious students may like accelerated online studies because they’ll earn their degree as fast as possible.
Some students prefer traditional on-campus studies. Being around other students helps them focus, and physically committing to attendance keeps them organized.
One method is not better or worse than the other. In fact, schools frequently use the same faculty for both on-campus and online courses. Just be certain to verify the program is accredited.
How Long do Online Courses Take to Complete?
The answer to this question depends on both the individual school’s program and a given student’s motivation. Accelerated online education master’s programs take anywhere from 10 months to under two years to complete.
At some schools, students focus on one course at a time for six or seven weeks. Other programs possess a more traditional semester format but allow students to choose the number of courses they wish to take. Prospective students should evaluate each school of interest to see the various formats offered and what arrangement best corresponds to their needs.
Ensure future employers will respect your accelerated online master’s degree in education! The school you attend should have regional accreditation. Choose an institution approved by the U.S. Department of Education11 or the nonprofit Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)12. Also, check that the program’s accreditation is deemed acceptable by one or both of these organizations.
Applying to Education Online Master’s Degree Programs
Enrolling in an education online master’s degree program involves applying to individual schools. You will be asked about your undergraduate studies and professional work experience.
Admission Requirements for Education Online Master’s Degree Programs
Specific requirements vary by institution. Some things admissions departments commonly want from applicants include:
- An official transcript from undergraduate studies that shows classes taken, GPA, and degree awarded with date
- Proof of any graduate classes completed, certifications, or licenses
- A resume or CV that details work history
- A description of other relevant activities, such as volunteer work or participation in professional associations
- Scores from the GRE
- Letters of recommendation that support the candidacy
- Responses to essay prompts
- A personal statement explaining why the student wants to pursue this degree
Some accelerated online master’s degree programs only accept certified teachers. Also, students who apply to selective schools generally need a higher undergraduate GPA.
Paying for an Education Online Master’s Degree
A chief concern of those considering an education online master’s degree is cost. The good news is that pursuing graduate studies in this manner tends to reduce expenses. Students often continue working at their regular job or hold part-time employment while enrolled in an online program. They also eliminate costs associated with travel and campus housing.
Scholarships, grants, and loans help many students cover educational costs. Students also realize that money spent out-of-pocket on tuition today yields better job prospects and pay in the future.
How Much Does an Education Online Master’s Degree Cost?
Program cost depends on a variety of factors. Private schools often charge more than public institutions. In-state tuition reduces costs for eligible residents.
Students pursuing an education online master’s degree may qualify for financial aid. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see availability of loans and grants.
Someone currently employed should look into possible reimbursement for higher education from their company. Some places set aside money for professional development because the information acquired benefits the organization.
Scholarships for Education Online Master’s Degree Students
Looking for some financial assistance? These scholarship opportunities help those seeking an online education degree:
- American Association of University Women – This group’s Career Development Grants help women who already hold a bachelor’s degree pursue graduate studies. Funding ranges from $2,000 to $12,000.
- Inspire Our Future – Teacher.org awards a $500 scholarship to a current teacher to use toward pursuit of a master’s degree. The application includes an essay on how to inspire students.
Educators in specific niches often are eligible to compete for scholarships from their discipline’s professional organization:
- The National Council of Teachers of English annually awards the Edwyna Wheadon Postgraduate Training Scholarship in the amount of $500.
- The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offers several scholarships for people interested in improving math education. Some grants are geared toward improving instruction at a specific grade level. Others focus on a certain aspect of math education, such as technology or innovative lesson plans.
- Biology Educator Leadership Scholarship – The National Association of Biology Teachers annually awards a practicing educator this $5,000 scholarship toward graduate studies focused on life science education.
Education Online Master’s Degree Career Resources
People pursuing an education online master’s degree may find the following organizations helpful to their studies and career:
- NEA – With more than three million members, the National Education Association is a strong force in public education. The organization’s website covers a large number of topics related to professional development, student success, justice issues, and more.
- AAE – The American Association of Educators is a non-union group that focuses on professional development and advocacy for teachers. Explore its website for resources and links covering topics such as character education, teaching materials, and job recruiting.
- ASCD – Students aspiring to a career as an instructional coordinator or similar role may want to check out the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Its website provides articles on a variety of critical educational issues as well as information on attending free webinars.
NAESP and NASSP – The National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals support educational leaders. Check them out for questions regarding career development, building better schools, and pressing issues such as virtual classrooms and diversity in education.
Education Online Master’s Degree FAQ
The decision to seek a graduate education is a highly individual one. People base their decision on factors such as career goals and current life circumstances. A master’s degree opens up doors to jobs with higher responsibility levels and pay. Students often choose online programs for their flexibility and to eliminate the cost of campus housing and travel.
An online accelerated master’s degree in education provides the opportunity to earn an MEd in less time than a traditional program. Working professionals eager to advance in their careers often favor this option. Online studies enable keeping one’s job while pursuing a graduate degree.
Employers know that an increasing number of schools throughout the country provide excellent online programs. Many use the same instructors for their on-site classes as well. Before committing to an online program, students should ensure the institution has proper accreditation.
Whether obtained online or on campus, a master’s degree in education sets up the recipient for a variety of occupations in the discipline. Common career routes include instructional coordinator, teacher, principal, and college administrator.
- College Administrators
- Instructional Coordinators
- High School Teachers