What Types of Master’s in Education Degrees Can You Get?

So what master's in education degrees can you get? Discover our list of 10 master's in education degrees to find out which one is right for you.

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by Kim-Ling Sun

Published October 14, 2022

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What Types of Master’s in Education Degrees Can You Get?
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Do you want to continue your studies in education, but you're just not sure in what area? Well, luckily, there are many master's in education degrees to choose from.

A master's in education can help you advance your career and launch you into leadership roles in areas that interest you. With a wide variety of degrees, you can tailor your studies to align with your learning objectives.

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Ready to start your journey?

Plus, the education field is growing, and teachers remain in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs in education to grow at a rate of 7% between 2021 and 2031.

So what master's in education degrees are available to you? Probably more than you think.

10 Common Master's in Education Degrees You Can Get

With a master's in education, you can become a curriculum designer, an administrator, a school counselor, or a teacher. There are plenty of options available to you — it's all about finding the degree that's best for you.

1. Master of Education

A master of education (M.Ed.) teaches you ways to improve educational outcomes for students. You'll gain experience both inside and outside of the classroom.

So what do you study in an M.Ed. program? This degree focuses on cultivating your leadership skills through its required coursework. Classes generally consist of the design, delivery, and implementation of instruction.

You'll also learn how to develop educational leadership, work with diverse populations, and integrate technology in the classroom.

What are typical career outcomes? Well, with an M.Ed. you can continue to work in the classroom, teach education courses as an adjunct professor, or become a training specialist.

2. Master's in Teaching

A master's in teaching (MAT) degree helps you sharpen your skills as an instructor. You'll study diverse teaching methods and learn how to implement them in a classroom setting effectively.

Coursework commonly covers important topics such as classroom management, child development, and differentiated instruction.

So what are common career paths? It might surprise you that there's more than just teaching. You can become an instructional coordinator, career counselor, or school principal with an MAT.

In some cases, you may need to take extra courses and earn licensure.

3. Master's in Special Education

A master's in special education degree focuses on just that — special education. It will prepare you to teach inside the classroom, as well as to hold leadership positions in this area.

The specialized coursework provides training based on current research. You'll apply what you have learned by providing direct instruction or supporting those who interact with students with special needs.

With this degree, you can become an interventionist, an instructional specialist, or an academic director. Other career options include adjunct professor, behavioral intervention specialist, or independent consultant.

4. Master's in Early Childhood Education

A master's in early childhood education focuses specifically on children 1-8 years old. The degree will prepare you to work with young children, families, and communities at large.

The coursework explores concepts such as child development and curriculum structure. It also teaches you how to maintain a consistent instruction pace to make sure students meet learning benchmarks.

With a degree in early childhood education, you can become an early childhood interventionist. Or, you can become a director of a childcare facility or a manager of a federally funded community initiative.

5. Master's in Elementary Education

A master's in elementary education helps you fine tune your skills as an elementary teacher, preparing you to teach and guide children.

The coursework focuses on advanced educational theory with an emphasis on research-based methods. Your studies will also teach you how to incorporate technology to reach students of all learning abilities.

With this degree, you can become an elementary teacher, an instructional coordinator, or an elementary assistant principal. If you want to work with older students, you can also become an adjunct professor teaching elementary education courses.

It's important to keep in mind that some of these careers may require licensure.

6. Master's in Secondary Education

A master's in secondary education focuses on working with high school students to meet their academic and social needs.

The coursework focuses on interdisciplinary instruction and educational psychology. It also allows for concentration areas in mathematics, literature, social studies, and science.

Plus, you can choose to stay in the classroom or seek other opportunities in education.

Career paths include high school teacher, instructional coordinator, or high school principal. Graduates may also become testing coordinators or adjunct professors. But some positions may require more steps for licensure.

7. Master's in Higher Education

This master's degree prepares you for the day-to-day administrative responsibilities at colleges and universities. It also teaches you how to deal with common student issues in postsecondary education.

The coursework covers important topics such as student development, program evaluation, and interpersonal relations. Students also learn marketing and finance principles.

And here's a bonus: A master's in higher education opens many doors to employment. Job opportunities include facilities manager, postsecondary administrator, and training and development specialist. You can also work in administrative services.

8. Master's in Curriculum and Instruction

A master's in curriculum and instruction teaches you the latest trends in the design, delivery, and application of instruction.

You'll learn about educational research, technology use, and reading and writing across the curriculum. You'll also study curriculum design.

Positions such as instructional coordinator, media specialist, and school principal are all common career paths for this degree. Another common career? Graduates can also pursue postsecondary administrator roles.

And as is common for many master's in education degrees, some of these positions may require extra coursework or licensure.

9. Master's in Educational Leadership

A master's in educational leadership targets those interested in high-level administrative positions. Many of these programs also prepare you for your state's licensure requirement.

The coursework covers curriculum development, data analysis, educational leadership theories, and school finance. The main focus centers on effectively leading a department, school, or division.

A master's in educational leadership prepares you to take on the role of a primary or secondary school principal. It also prepares you to become a postsecondary administrator, a manager in human resources, or a facility manager.

10. Master's in Educational Administration

A master's in educational administration degree prepares you for K-12 leadership roles. The degree will give you a firm understanding of school operations and curriculum design.

The coursework covers the fundamentals of educational law, leadership, human resources management, and curriculum. You'll also learn how to foster a positive campus environment.

With this degree, you can pursue careers such as academic dean, instructional coordinator, or school principal. Other career options include postsecondary administrator and educational consultant.

Which Type of Master's in Education Degree Is Right for You?

Going to graduate school can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you're already working full time. But there are also many benefits to getting a master's in education, such as higher earning potential and more job opportunities.

It's important to reflect on what interests you and what your career goals are. Ask yourself: Where do you want to be in two years? Who do you want to be in two years?

If your goal is to influence the wider teaching community, then maybe a master's in educational leadership will be the right fit.

Or, if you want to inspire the next generation of learners and thinkers, consider a degree in early childhood education.

Either way, there's a master's in education degree that's right for you.

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