A master's in teaching is ideal for students who want to teach, but would prefer to not have a particular emphasis in one subject, grade level, or curriculum. Teaching degrees tend to have a wide reaching, liberal arts curriculum, with courses in mathematics, life science, history, English, and social science. Being able to teach these foundational courses gives you the flexibility to command a variety of classrooms and grade levels. In fact, a K-12 program at the master's level will include areas such as education theory, practical classroom and school administration skills, and independent research.
Why a Master’s Degree?
Earning a master’s in teaching has definite benefits. While you may teach at most schools with a bachelor’s and state certification, a master’s opens the door to higher-level teaching jobs in postsecondary institutions or specialized schools. If you already teach, earning your master’s may be the next step toward a lucrative promotion.
Inside a Teaching Master’s Degree Program
Online master’s teaching programs usually take full-time students two years to complete. The coursework covers pedagogical topics such as instructional design, classroom leadership, student diversity, and curriculum management. Students also take theory courses, which challenge them to think about positive changes that could be made in the educational field and ways to accommodate students’ unique needs. Most programs include a research component, culminating in a presentation or thesis. You may also be required to fulfill a designated amount of student teaching.
Distance-learning programs differ slightly from traditional programs. To complete your master’s remotely, you will have to log into online platforms such as Blackboard to access coursework. Courses consist of prerecorded video lectures, live question and answer sessions through chat, discussion boards, and electronic assessments. The online route is ideal for students that have daytime priorities that conflict with regular classroom hours.
What’s Next for Teaching Master’s Degree Holders?
Degree-holders may teach at an elementary, middle, or high-school level with appropriate certification. They may also be able to teach at the college level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers made a mean annual wage of $59,330 in May 2014, while postsecondary teachers made $74,040.
Although you can teach at private schools without certification, it is required for teaching in public schools. Some master’s programs in education have structured in the certification component. Otherwise, students should also look into certification programs before applying for teaching jobs in their area. To further your credentials, you may also consider working toward a doctoral degree in education.