Higher education is extremely rewarding and can open many doors. If you are pursuing a career in education, see this detailed comparison of the best master’s degree for teachers to get!
In today’s competitive job market, a bachelor’s degree often is not enough. Teachers who earn master’s degrees develop a deeper understanding of education theory, and a commitment to the growth and success of students. Advanced degree programs give education professionals insight into the practical background that drives both classroom dynamics and unique, individual learning. If you are pursuing your own education and trying to decide which degree to get, read more about the best master’s degree for teachers to get.
Why Should Teachers Get a Master’s Degree?
Research has found that the benefits of a masters degree in teaching include increased pay and career prospects. But even more importantly, it is shown to improve classroom performance, which directly benefits endless amounts of students. According to the latest report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), students in classes taught by teachers with MA degrees in teaching scored higher on standardized tests in math and reading assignments when compared with students of teachers with BA degrees in education.
Even outside of the education field, employers are increasingly requiring master level degrees from employees, creating a strong demand in today’s marketplace. For many teachers, across several industries, their job satisfaction stems from their ability to motivate. Pursuing your higher education in teaching will not just increase your next salary, but you will gain a deep understanding of different teaching methods and the satisfaction of impacting the lives of your students.
Types of Master’s Degrees for Teachers
1. Master of Education
At the master level, there are many types of specializations that are highly demanded by both public and private schools. Government agencies have a strong need for this degree, as well as private businesses that need knowledgeable educators of their products and services. You can choose your specialization in line with your preferred career path, such as curriculum and instruction, English as a second language, educational leadership, or Pre-K-12.
The main difference between a Master of Science in Education and a Master of Arts in Education is that the M.S.E focuses on practical skills while the M.A.Ed focuses on more theoretical approaches. If you are a teacher who is passionate about the education field and aspires to take on academic leadership roles, the M.S.E is probably for you. This degree typically focuses on hands-on experiences that enable students to develop feasible solutions and strategies.
On the other hand, the Master of Arts in Education might be more suitable for those interested in the fundamental theories related to learning, educational research, curriculum development, and student assessments. Some of the main focuses of this degree often include child development, language learning, community services, and reading literacy.
2. Master’s in Teaching
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and are looking to start your career as a teacher, a master’s degree in teaching is a generally faster option than a second bachelor’s degree, as the programs are usually shorter in time and you will be able to choose a specialization right away. It may also be a more cost-effective option, as master’s programs often cater to students with family or financial obligations and time constraints.
3. Master’s in English Education
As students often struggle to develop skills in the English language, the demand for highly skilled English teachers continues to grow. Master’s programs in English education focus on the most efficient teaching practices to help teachers overcome classroom challenges, providing them with a greater range of resources. Some common course subjects include: critical readings and methods, differentiated reading instruction, and theories of cognitive development.
4. Master’s in Mathematics Education
Undergraduate programs in education give students the fundamentals of teaching mathematics, though graduate programs introduce new methods, resources, and philosophies used to reach and influence students. Though teachers gain wider knowledge of the subject of mathematics, they also concentrate heavily on how to teach it. A master’s degree in mathematics education will enhance teachers’ ability to explain mathematical concepts, focusing on education research, curriculum design and strategy, and assessment tools.
5. Master’s in Special Education
Special education teachers understand that all children learn differently, and a master’s in special education gives them the resources and patience to provide the best possible education. Some common courses in this degree include: cognitive learning and behavior, supervised practice, characteristics of learning disabilities, and inclusion strategies for special educators. If you are looking for your own career boost, pursuing a master’s degree in special education will provide the opportunity to expand your network of professional connections. And, many classes focus on the digital tools available to special education teachers, used to identify disabilities easily, develop and implement a learning plan, and individually track the progress of each student.
Popular Master’s Options
1. Curriculum and Instruction
With a focus on what students will learn during their time in the classroom, this MA is perfect for those interested in the process of developing curriculum and its implementation, or instruction, in the classroom.
2. Early Childhood Education
This MA is designed to give students a strong background in child development, language, family and community relationships, and research. Graduates of ECE programs often go on to work as childhood teachers, public policy and advocacy specialists, and academic scholars.
3. Higher Education
4. Educational Leadership
If you are interested in working in the education field as an administrator, affecting change at a community level, consider an MA in educational leadership. It may benefit you even if you plan to utilize your leadership skills in fields other than education!
What You Can Do With a Master’s Degree for Teachers
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in teaching, you are probably thinking about earning a master’s degree to improve your career prospects in the education field. But don’t be fooled by the myth that teaching degrees are only for teachers. An MA in teaching or education can unlock almost any career door, increasing your earning potential as well as access to a wide range of industries.
Employers look for this type of degree when hiring for roles that require management and motivation, such as corporate trainers, private tutors, media and technology specialists, and curriculum development. Considered both an art and a science, teaching degrees empower individuals with the ability to convey complex ideas using effective, easy to understand methods.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7% growth in new job opportunities for high school teachers, and 17% growth for college and university teachers. If you are already a working teacher, your advanced education could give you a huge edge in the competitive job market. Even if you are already established in the business world, or political society, for instance, education is one of the most important elements of societies around the world; and having the influence and control needed to inspire others will set you apart from your peers!
Best Master’s Degrees for Teachers in the US
University of California – Los Angeles, California
One of the most widely recognized schools in the nation, the University of California – Los Angeles makes a significant impact through their innovative teacher education and STEM-focused programs. Starting from day one, students are matched with mentor teachers as Apprentices, responsible for their own classrooms by their second year. Various specializations are offered, such as educational technology or administration, special education, curriculum and instruction, among others.
University of Florida – Gainesville, Florida
With one of the lowest tuition and fees, the master of education at the University of Florida is only $6,400 and the mean salary predicted after 10 years of graduation is $60,300! Not only is it offered in flexible formats and at an affordable price, but eight different concentrations are offered for the development of teaching skills.
University of Wyoming – Laramie, Wyoming
The MA degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Wyoming aims to help teachers expand their career options and grow through professional development. Students have the option to pursue two different tracks: one requiring a thesis, and one requiring a scholarly project or paper. Both tracks require a minimum of 32-credit hours and include courses on topics of multicultural education, research, and advanced instructional studies.
University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign, Illinois
As a student, the quality of education at the University of Illinois is unparallelled. They offer incredible choices for teachers in multiple formats, like Curriculum, Aesthetics & Teacher Education, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science & Engineering Education, Social Sciences & Education Policy, and Teacher Leader Specialization. Though the tuition may not be the lowest, the employment opportunities are highly respected in the education field.
Arizona State University – Tempe, Arizona
The MA at Arizona State University shapes teachers who are learning to grow in knowledge, skill, and leadership. Coursework includes areas such as child guidance and management, preparing educators to better deal with the emotional, social, and educational needs of young children. If you want to pursue your education in teaching English as a second language, this might be the program for you!
SUNY at Albany – Albany, New York
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, the University of Albany today is home to 17,000 students, offers over 1,000 study abroad opportunities, and 120 undergraduate and 125 graduate programs. The School of Education offers 19 highly respected Master of Arts and Master of Science programs, many of which are offered online.
Online masters programs are designed to equip students with the skills necessary to thrive in education environments. Between 2018 and 2027, it is believed that 52.1 million students will enroll in primary and secondary education, meaning the demand for teachers will continue to rise!
If you are already working full-time and looking to earn your degree on the side, you probably already started looking into earning your degree online. Or maybe you found your dream school but you need to study online due to geographical constraints. Whatever your situation, these online master’s degrees for teachers might be your next step.
Top Online Master’s Degrees for Teachers
American College of Education
The program is not only affordable but offered entirely online. Concentrated in curriculum and instruction, the online master’s at the American College of Education consists of a range of specialized options, like digital learning and teaching, elementary literacy, and differentiated instruction. The 12 required courses are taught by top-quality teachers who uphold evidence-based instruction and assessment, meeting national and state teaching standards.
University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington offers three unique masters in education programs completely online. Students can earn their degrees in curriculum and instruction with a focus on literary studies, mathematics education, and science education. Each program requires 30 credits and around 18 months of full-time enrollment to complete. The MA at the University of Texas holds a programmatic accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
University of the People
As the first non-profit, tuition-free, American accredited university, University of the People is dedicated to expanding higher education for students around the world, helping them overcome financial, geographic, political, and personal challenges. Our M.Ed. program offers two specializations: elementary/middle school education and secondary education; and you can choose to complete both specializations with a minimum of 16 courses. Through courses like learning and instruction theory, assessment and evaluation, child development, and research in education, the program aims to create effective learning environments and to engage students in their own professional development.
University of Southern California
Community and Public Health Student, USA
What master's degree is best for teachers? ›
A Master of Arts in teaching (MAT) is a great, practical degree for the educator hoping to take the next step in their teaching career. The time to complete a Master of Arts in teaching program depends on the program one chooses and if they pursue their studies full-time or part-time.Which Master degree is most valuable in education? ›
- Educational Leadership or Administration. ...
- Curriculum and Instruction. ...
- Teaching English Language Learners. ...
- School Counseling. ...
- Educational Technology.
Master of Arts in Second Language Acquisition
Many also use their skills in social work, community development work, and adult education teachers. This is considered among the easiest master's degrees due to its emphasis on language skills, not math and science skills.
- Accounting. Master's degrees in accounting prepare students to work as accountants. ...
- Computer Science. ...
- Dietetics and Nutrition. ...
- Human Resources. ...
- Library Science. ...
- Mechanical Engineering. ...
- Mathematics and Statistics. ...
The short answer is: Almost certainly yes. But, it depends in large part where you're planning to teach–and for how long. While you should consider getting a master's degree, a lot of other factors come into play when it comes to your income and return on investment (ROI).Are Masters degrees worth it for teachers? ›
Statistics reveal that teaching professionals with master's degrees currently earn higher salaries in every state compared to bachelor's degree-holders, and the pay gap widens with years of commensurate experience.Which Master degree is most valuable in future? ›
- Human resources.
- Business ethics.
- Business law.
- Business policies.
What are the hardest degree subjects? The hardest degree subjects are Aerospace Engineering, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.What master's degree takes the least amount of time? ›
The fastest degree offered is the master of business administration; this accelerated MBA takes just 12 months to complete. The traditional MBA can still be completed in just under two years, with enrolled students taking only one course at a time.What is the most versatile master's degree? ›
Social Sciences Master's degrees are some of the most versatile in terms of knowledge and skills, as they provide future graduates great career options. Top disciplines connected to Social Sciences are: Economics, International Relations, Political Science, and International Communication.
What is the coolest master's degree? ›
- Master of Science in Ceramic Engineering.
- Graduate Program in Acoustics.
- Master of Science in Thanatology.
- Master of Arts in Puppet Arts.
- Master of Science in Herbal Medicine.
- Master of Fine Art in Jewelry + Metalsmithing.
- Comedy Filmmaking Graduate Program.
Master's Degree in Health Sciences
This is hands-down one of the best Master's degree programs for the future. You'll get to explore a broad range of topics, perfect for if you know you want to work in healthcare but aren't sure you want to pursue a specialized degree like Nursing.
- Computer Science & IT – One of the Best Master's Degree for the Future.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
- Nursing – Top Master's Degree for the Future.
- Master's in Business & Management Studies.
- Master in Biological Sciences (Bioinformatics)
- Master's in Communications & Media Studies.
|States 1-12||Teacher Salary||States 13-25|
|District of Columbia||$80,659||Michigan|
When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.
State-by-State Guide to Salaries for Master's-Prepared Elementary School Teachers. With a master's degree, elementary school teachers can expect to earn somewhere in the range of $77,400 – $97,900 on a national basis, versus the $47,300 to $59,670 they might earn with a bachelor's.Is it better to get your Masters right after your bachelor's? ›
Going to graduate school right after undergrad may be the best option for you if you know for sure that you want a graduate degree. Though undergrad is a long four years, you will already be in the “student” mode of studying and going to class. This can make it easier to power through a master's program.Why should I get my Masters in teaching? ›
A Master's in Teaching opens so many opportunities to advance your career, whether you want to work in curriculum design, education technology, special education, or educational leadership. Many of these roles require additional knowledge beyond what you get in an undergraduate program.Which master's degree is most in demand in US? ›
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is one of the most popular graduate degrees and may lead graduates to some of the highest paying careers. With an MBA program, you can hone your leadership and management skills to make an impact in the fast-paced, competitive business world.
Which master's degree is most in demand in 2030? ›
- Marketing Analytics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for market research analysts is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2029, a rate of growth much higher than the average for all occupations. ...
- Nursing. ...
- Education. ...
- Business Administration. ...
- Mental Health.
The No. 1 spot goes to electrical engineering and computer science. The early-career median pay for majors is $119,200 annually.What are the 5 hardest majors? ›
- Chemistry. At number one on the list is chemistry.
- Architecture. ...
- Chemical Engineering. ...
- Computer Science. ...
- Aerospace Engineering. ...
- Biomedical Engineering. ...
- Materials Engineering. ...
- Petroleum Engineering. ...
- Chartered Accountancy.
- Quantum Mechanics.
- Aerospace/ Aeronautical Studies, Engineering.
- Biomedical Studies, Neurosciences, Biochemistry.
- Dentistry, Medicine.
For most people, a research doctorate is more difficult than a masters degree. Many postgraduate scholars battle with the dissertation of around 150 pages required for the master's degree. The PhD requires an original thesis generating new knowledge on an academic topic.What GPA is too low for Masters? ›
There is no universal minimum GPA for grad school. The minimum, when one is specified for admissions requirements, can vary by school and program. At many schools, admissions requirements for masters programs may specify a 3.0 GPA minimum, but some schools may accept applicants with lower GPAs.Is 50 too old to get a masters degree? ›
No matter your age, you're never too old to earn a college or graduate degree.Is 30 too late to get a masters degree? ›
Although the idea of going back to finish your degree or earning a new degree can be overwhelming—and even a bit scary—it's worth it in the long run. The good news is that mature students (in their 30s and beyond) are actually perfectly positioned to earn their college degree.What is the easiest Masters degree to complete? ›
- Masters of Fine Arts (MFA)
- Masters of Arts (MA)
- Masters in Mass Communication.
- Masters of Psychology.
- Masters of Finance.
- Masters of Human Resource Management (MHRM)
- Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
- Masters of Science (MSc)
- Pharmacology. For a lucrative career helping people, pharmacology is at the top of the list for in-demand degrees. ...
- Computer Science. ...
- Health Science. ...
- Information Technology. ...
- Engineering. ...
- Business Administration. ...
- Finance. ...
- Human Resources.
What Masters are worth it? ›
- Nurse anesthesia. Median pay: $165,000 per year. ...
- Telecommunications engineering. Median pay: $141,000 per year. ...
- Finance and economics. Median pay: $134,000 per year. ...
- Electrical engineering. ...
- Computer engineering. ...
- Biomedical engineering. ...
- Mathematics and statistics. ...
- Technology management.
- Culinary arts. Budding chefs may have previously thought that culinary college is a no-brainer, but recent statistics actually suggest otherwise. ...
- Fashion design. ...
- Art history. ...
- Music. ...
- Biology. ...
- Communications. ...
- Liberal arts. ...
- Studio arts and fine art.
- Choose a university. ...
- Decide on a specialization. ...
- Consider the length of the program. ...
- Investigate the curriculum. ...
- Think about your career prospects.
Having a master's degree may be very good for your job prospects. In fact, there are some jobs that outright require them. If you're looking for work as a statistician, political scientist, biomedical engineer, or speech-language pathologist, a master's degree is often expected.Can I teach a class with a masters degree? ›
A Master's in Higher Education will allow you to teach in a college's education department, either on campus or online (some universities also require a doctorate in order to become a professor).What is the most common degree for teachers? ›
Many universities and colleges offer bachelor's degrees in education, including more specific programs such as early childhood education, if you want to become a preschool or elementary school teacher, for example.
Master's Degree Prerequisites
All master's degrees require the completion of a bachelor's degree and usually require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Many schools also require taking entrance exams like the GRE or GMAT.
Graduate Degrees in Education
There are four main types of master's degrees in education: the Master of Education (M. Ed.), Master of Arts in Education (M.A. Ed.), Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.) and Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.).
Yes, you can be a professor with a master's degree.
The primary qualifications for landing an entry-level professor position ultimately depend on the school. Some professor positions require just a master's degree (6-year program), whereas others require a doctorate (8-year program).
If you've earned a bachelor's degree in any subject you can enroll in an alternative teacher certification program to become a licensed teacher in the states.
How many years is master's degree in education? ›
The Master of Arts in Education program (MAED) is a two-year graduate program that reinforces the students' understanding of educational theories, concepts, curriculum, and instructional techniques in order to further advance in their professional careers.
There are even colleges and universities that offer one-year master's in education programs for non-teachers. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you may be able to become a teacher in just one year by enrolling in a master's in education programs for non-teachers with a licensure track.Which course is best in degree to become a teacher? ›
Bachelor of education, B. Ed is a professional teaching degree that makes the candidate eligible to become a government teacher at school and colleges. The candidate must be graduate from a recognized university with a minimum of 50% marks to be eligible to pursue B. Ed course.Can I get a masters with a 3.3 GPA? ›
Yes, your undergraduate GPA is taken into account when you apply to graduate programs. Most colleges like to see at least a 2.5 or a 3.0 from master's program applicants. Some programs set their minimums at 3.3 or higher. The minimum GPA for a doctoral program may start at 3.3.Can you do a Masters with a 2 2? ›
Yes, in many cases it's possible to apply for a Masters with a 2.2 degree, although this is often at the discretion of the university (and department).Should I get a masters in teaching or a masters in education? ›
The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.Why do teachers get masters degrees? ›
It's a well-known fact that advanced degrees can lead to higher incomes. In fact, on average, a teacher with a master's degree earns between $2,760 - $7,358 more each year than those with a bachelor's degree. Some school districts even offer automatic wage increases for teachers with a master's in education.