If you hold a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, you have some excellent career options in schools, colleges, private corporations, healthcare, business and industry, and government agencies at the local, state, and national levels.  With the continuing digitization of learning, the proliferation of online programs and training, and more and more organizations in non-school related sectors demanding highly-skilled, highly-qualified individuals for curriculum and instruction, it is a great time to earn your degree. Even though companies are hiring highly-qualified individuals, a Master’s of Curriculum and Instruction still focuses on school-setting applications.  Those applications range from developing curriculum and working with teachers, assisting school administrators to improve instruction and school-wide improvement.  U.S. News and World Report cites the need for curriculum development in math and science, particularly as the demand for STEM-related jobs and training grows.

Instructional coordinators, also known as curriculum developers, or curriculum specialists, oversee organizational curriculum and teaching standards. The curriculum part of the degree refers to the “what” and the instruction, refers to the “how.”  Perhaps this connection to teaching is why it is often teachers who make the best instructional coordinators, much like players often make good coaches.  If you are a teacher and desire a leadership position but want to remain close to instruction, becoming an instructional coordinator who develops instructional material, coordinates its implementation with teachers and principals, or other key stakeholders, and assesses its effectiveness may be worth considering.  Curriculum experts and leaders get the stimulating and satisfying job of helping students or individuals learn, but (in the school setting) without the classroom discipline, parents, and sometimes very draining everyday responsibilities of teachers.  

Generally speaking, most degrees in curriculum and instruction are designed for current teachers seeking professional development or career advancement. Within the field of curriculum development, there are also many specializations for teachers.  Degrees and Specializations can be earned, online, blended, or through on-campus delivery.

A list of specializations in Curriculum and Instruction includes:

  • Early childhood education focuses on PK-3rd grade.
  • Elementary education deals with curriculum development and implementation for grades K-6.
  • Secondary education essentially includes grades 9-12, though sometimes includes middle grades 6-8, and involves specific subject-related strategies across the high school curriculum.
  • Reading, which targets language acquisition and literacy at many educational levels
  • Special education
  • Mathematics Education works with students and teachers to more effectively teach students in mathematics.
  • Leadership is a specialization that is geared to those seekings school improvement by analyzing, designing, and implementing curriculum changes.  It may include administrative positions or district positions.
  • Online/E-Learning focuses on the burgeoning field of Internet-based education
  • Library/Media is a specialization honed into managing school’s libraries and media, particularly strategies to encourage research.
  • Science
  • ESL is a specialization in high demand for those in curriculum and development necessary to assist teachers, schools, and administrators in the instruction in our multicultural schools.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that employment of Instructional Coordinators is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.  Another important fact is that those with careers in curriculum and instruction report their jobs as highly satisfying, according to Payscale.