The Benefits of a Master's Degree in Education
"9 Reasons to Pursue a Master's Degree Besides the Paycheck", William Sharon, Huffington Post, accessed April 2019, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/9-reasons-to-pursue-a-masters-degree_b_4097366
"How much do teachers with a master's degree make?", Ron White, Houston Chronicle, accessed April 2019, https://work.chron.com/much-teachers-masters-degree-make-11707.html
Master of Education (MEd) Degree, Payscale.com, accessed April 2019, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Master_of_Education_(MEd)/Salary
Education is potentially the most impactful way to positively affect your future. It is something that no one can ever take away. Education will help you open doors and create possibilities, regardless of your monetary standing or the various difficulties and challenges that life may throw at you.
But you know this already, and it's likely part of why you decided to become an educator in the first place: to give students an opportunity for success regardless of their background. This is the essence, the thought, the mantra that helps you sail through the easy teaching days and keeps you going during the toughest ones.
Given this goal and belief, it is worthwhile to consider taking your personal education a step further and earning a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree. There are numerous benefits for earning a master's degree, including the potential for a higher salary and greater career mobility. But perhaps most importantly, an advanced degree can improve your knowledge of a particular topic and upgrade your teaching abilities.
Why Take the Next Step?
The value of advancing your education cannot be understated, especially for those who are passionate about what they do. Educators who are lifelong learners and make the decision to continue to attend graduate school are often able to delve deeper into topics that interest them and communicate their knowledge effectively.
Earning a master's in education can provide a bump in salary in many school districts across the nation. Some statistics indicate that this increase in annual salary could range anywhere from an additional $2,000 to $10,000. Nationwide, the average salary for an educator with a master's degree is approximately $56,000, according to Payscale.com. In some states an M.Ed. is required for teachers to move into administrative positions such as school principals. A degree at this level can also help meet certain state teaching requirements for those who may move to a different state mid-career.
What to Look For
If you are interested in earning your master's degree in education, here are three things to look for when researching degree programs:
- The ability to earn the degree within a reasonable time frame. Many M.Ed. programs can be completed in approximately one year.
- Consider the program's satisfaction rate. How do graduates feel about their program? Check to see whether the school provides this data to prospective students.
- Whether the M.Ed. degree leads to additional state certifications, endorsements, and credentials if those are your goals.
Some master's degree graduates found that they were able to use their degree to take greater strides towards pursuing specific passions. For example, former Concordia University-Portland student Shana Burres graduated with her M.Ed. and immediately started her own nonprofit, DASH Kids, which focuses on the connection between physical activity and learning. Her experiences in the university's Master of Education program were integral to preparing her for the rigors of working in the nonprofit realm. It also developed her eye for the intricacies of how community plays a role in education. Now she feels confident in her ability to better address the differences in values and viewpoints of community members. The degree also helped her bridge those differences more effectively.
Pursuing a Master of Education degree is a big decision that can have substantial career benefits. As you look towards making this decision, be sure you are entering a program with strong reviews that meets your specific interests and needs. Find a program that inspires you to make a difference in the lives of today's youth, even more than you already do. Consider exploring educational leadership programs or K-12 education programs to start.
The Room 241 team at Concordia University-Portland's College of Education creates information resources for educators.