Definition of Master of Education
A Master of Education (MEd) is a postgraduate academic master’s degree that allows current teachers to broaden their teaching skills while learning the newest educational trends and classroom techniques. Often this degree is designed for individuals with a background in education, such as public school teachers, who wish to advance their career and broaden their knowledge of curriculum instruction, counseling and school administration. A master’s degree in education also qualifies an individual to be a school principal or counselor. Someone without an education background can also obtain an Med, which may help him or her succeed as curriculum coordinators or in other education based careers.
This degree prepares students to become highly qualified and licensed classroom teachers. Students need a strong liberal arts backgrounds and can include everything from a recent college graduate to a career-changers. Sometimes a MEd is offered at a university as a fifth year program that a student can complete in addition after completing their undergraduate education work. In general, those who need an MEd degree, in addition to a state teaching license, are those who wish to teach at primary or secondary public schools. Some private schools may also require MEd degrees to teach.
Every master’s in education online program has its own individual offerings and requirements, though most cover teaching theory and trends in education. Depending on your institution of choice you can choose among a variety of Master of Education specializations. Many times MEd degrees prepare you to teach a specific subject group, sometimes to a specific group of people. A list of common online master degree in education programs includes:
- Master of Reading Education
- Master of Math Education
- Master of Gifted Education
- Teaching English as Secondary Language – TESOL or ESL Degree
- Master of Special Education
- Athletic Administration Degree
- Coaching Education Degree
- Master of Science in Education
- Master of Educational Leadership
- Master of Curriculum & Instruction
- Master of Literacy (K-12) Degree
- Master of Inclusion Education
- Master of Arts in Teaching
- Master of Music Education
- Master of Art Education
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)
- National Board Certification
Benefits of an Online Master of Education
Education is a way to spread your passion for knowledge. Teaching is one of the most highly rewarding jobs, playing a vital role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders. Every level of education has an influence on a person and helps that person reach for their potential. Grade school teachers are involved in the crucial task of providing students with the basic education that every child deserves and should receive. High school education provides young adults with the foundation of adulthood principles that will shape them through their future. Higher education professors can expand upon the foundational learnings and prepare students for gainful employment, encouraging them to reach their goals, dreams, and desires.
Currently teachers are in high demand. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of people pursuing teaching degrees has stayed at about 106,000 education degrees every year, even though the population of our country and world has grown tremendously.
Obtaining a Master of education through an online program will: help non-teachers prepare for a teaching career; help current teachers stay abreast in their field and become even more effective in the classroom; provide stepping stones to positions in school administration, education curriculum design, and teaching at all levels of education from early childhood to adult; and receive higher pay than teachers without post-graduate degrees, even for the same position.
Master of Education Requirements
There are a few admissions requirements for applying to a master’s in education degree program. Every school has its own standards, but usually you must submit college transcripts, have an acceptable undergraduate GPA and GRE score, as well as a few letters of recommendation. A certain undergraduate degree may be required if a student wants to specialize in a specific teaching field. Also, many programs offer credit for prior coursework, and transfer credits, but that will be judged on a per-institution basis. Making sure that your past college degree is from an accredited institution will play in having credits accepted. Additionally you should make sure that the Master of Education program you enroll in is accredited. There are a few resources to help you in this process:
There are also programs catering strictly to non-teachers and will not accept applications who already have their teaching license or undergraduate teaching degree. It’s important to research the online programs you’re interested in to be assured that it’s the type of program with the requirements you are seeking. You can always contact a program’s admissions representative for more details on requirements.
Many master’s in education degrees do not require a thesis, and instead in its place are additional course work as well as examinations determining your understanding of a specific body of knowledge. The Master of Education degree is designed for people who do not wish to move on in academia with a more advanced degree, but instead are for those who wish for a career change and are looking to get into the field of teaching. Fieldwork is usually a component of a Master of Education program, and depending on the curriculum of the program students may be required to student teach or to develop a course in their chosen specialty. In many cases, online programs will pair you will local schools in order to complete field-based requirements. Student teaching usually takes place over 10-12 weeks during normal school hours. If you’re a current teacher seeking an online masters degree program in education, this should be considered in what program you choose in case this type of requirement would conflict with your schedule.
Master of Education Career Opportunities
A Master of Education provides you with the foundation necessary for you to obtain your initial public teaching license and become a teacher. Coursework will prepare you to take the state teaching examination in the state where you are getting your online degree. You should therefore examine the requirements of you state’s Department of Education if you’re taking the master of education online.
There are many careers a person with a Master of Education can obtain. Possible potential career paths include, but are not limited to:
- Preschool Teacher
- Primary School Teacher
- Middle School Teacher
- Secondary School Teacher
- College Professor
- School Administrator
- Organization Administrator
- Curriculum Designer
- Private Organization or Nonprofit Teacher
There are many professional teaching organizations in the world for students who are looking to or have completed a Master of Education. These resources provide an amazing wealth of information for current and potential teachers. Many individual states also have their own statewide teaching organizations that you should look into.
- American Federation of Teachers (AFT): The AFT are women and men who are in education professional positions, and who commit to improve their communities and lives of those who they serve. The overall mission of the AFT is to improve the lives of their members and their families; to give voice to their legitimate professional, economic and social aspirations; to strengthen the institutions in which they work; to improve the quality of the services they provide; to bring together all members to assist and support one another; and to promote democracy, human rights and freedom in their union, in their nation and throughout the world.
- National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS): The NCSS provides leadership, service, and support for all social studies educations. They do this through content knowledge, intellectual skills, and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy.
- National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE): The NCTE is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. The National Council of Teachers of English is devoted to improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education.
- National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM): As the world’s largest organization concerned with mathematics education, the NCTM is a public voice of mathematics education, supporting teachers to ensure equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students through vision, leadership, professional development, and research.
- National Education Association (NEA): Having 3.2 million members, NEA is the largest professional organization and largest labor union in the U.S., representing public school teachers and other support personnel, faculty and staffers at colleges and universities, retired educators, and college students preparing to become teachers.