No matter what profession you are in, there is always room to grow and learn. An undergraduate degree will set you up for success and opportunity. If you are in a career area such as education, an undergraduate degree is required. The same as with other careers, when an educator pursues an advanced degree, it could take them even further. There are several reasons why veterans and aspiring teachers alike enroll in a graduate program.
The most common goals range from improving salaries to satisfying a lifelong love of learning. A master’s degree can provide teachers with an advanced understanding of their subject matter. Also, a graduate program can elevate an educator’s teaching skills, translating to higher average test scores and increased engagement. As an added benefit, many graduate programs are now online. A program of study like Merrimack College online courses can take your teaching career to the next level. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons teachers should pursue a master’s degree in education.
1. Increased Pay
In the vast majority of states, the compensation rate for teachers is not equivalent to the amount of work they do each day. In several states and school districts, however, acquiring a master’s degree is one way of increasing pay. If you work in one of these states or districts, a master’s degree is factored into salaries automatically. The Center for American Progress calls these raises the “master’s bump.” Usually, this raise or “bump” can be a significant increase.
A teacher with a master’s degree earns an average of $3,000 to $10,000 per year more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Depending on the state pay scale, a “master’s bump” could make the time spent and student debt incurred worth the minor setback. Also, with online courses, there is usually flexibility with time so it might make it all the more so attractive.
2. New Opportunity
If you have considered working in school administration, school counseling, or even becoming a media specialist, you will need to have an advanced degree. To move into certain positions such as a school principal or counselor, a master’s degree is mandatory.
Master’s programs highlight current issues in education and allow students to examine case studies and the sustainability of certain assessments. A specialized study on these topics in education affords students the opportunities to cultivate leadership and administration skills. A master’s degree in education could provide new opportunities for a different career path in education.
With a master’s degree, you could develop a specialization in a field such as special education or advanced math. Many students in graduate education programs aren’t simply getting a degree, but, they are also gaining expertise in a specialized area. Graduate programs usually offer concentration options such as Curriculum and Instruction or English as a Second Language.
These specializations can be applied to areas from pre-K to high school. You might even consider a specialization the focuses on a specific subject area. Whatever area you choose, a graduate degree with a specialization can open up different opportunities.
4. New Instructional Methods
Aside from increasing your salary or moving into a different area of education, you might be interested in a graduate program to keep learning. Many teachers also enjoy being students and have a love for lifelong learning. Graduate programs often include various courses in foundational background methods. Additionally, they also include courses on new perspectives and advanced pedagogies in education.
With the honed skills and new instructional methods, you could apply what you have learned beyond the classroom. As an example, you might have a better understanding of how to organize virtual Sunday school. No matter where you use your skills and education, an advanced degree in education can help you build new instructional methods.
Getting a Master of Education degree won’t necessarily be an instant way of achieving all of your goals. One thing to consider is that graduate school will require a large investment of your time, money, and hard work. If you are willing to invest in your future, however, a graduate degree in education can move your career goals in the right direction.