Types of Masters in Education Degrees
Are you considering obtaining a masters of education degree? It is important to review all of the degree options out there to determine which one is the most appropriate for your career goals. Once you have narrowed down the type of degree that you’d like to obtain, you can start researching degree programs.
Nearly all masters in education degrees are designed for working individuals who already possess teaching certification and/or a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Most degree programs have schedules that are structured around 9AM-5PM day jobs with options for night classes and online classes. Additionally, many programs offer a choice of full time or part time status.
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
The M.Ed. is an ideal choice for experienced, certified teachers who are looking to further their academic and professional skills and knowledge in a specific concentration. The most popular concentrations are technology, science, and language arts. A language arts concentration typically includes a heavy emphasis on reading that will lead to reading specialist certification.
The M.Ed. coursework often covers many of the following topics: research methodologies, organizational change, school reform, multicultural education, comprehensive assessments, instructional material development, and evaluation of education materials for effectiveness. Additionally, many M.Ed. programs include a thesis and research project.
Master of Arts in Education (M.A. Ed.)
The M.A. Ed. is perhaps the most flexible of the masters in education degrees, with a wide variety of possible concentrations and specializations. Typical programs will include core classes in educational philosophy, child psychology, educational ethics, and education research methods, while also allowing teachers to specialize in one of several possible areas.
Generally speaking, the M.A.Ed. includes more of the theoretical study of education than most of the other masters in education degree options. The M.A.Ed. also offers a high degree of flexibility, and can help to advance careers both inside and outside of the classroom.
Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed.)
Typically students who are interested in obtaining an M.S. Ed. degree already have a bachelor’s degree and an established position in the field of education, such as teaching. M.S. Ed. degrees are designed to provide the knowledge and skills that are required for higher level education positions, such as principals, director positions (i.e. special education director), and other district leaders (i.e. head of technology for a school district). Popular areas of concentration for M.S. Ed. degrees include special education, curriculum studies, gifted and talented education, instructional technology, and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)
M.A.T. degrees are designed for individuals who currently hold bachelor’s degrees in academic areas outside of teaching and are interested in entering the world of education. Additionally, M.A.T. degrees are often appropriate for individuals within the teaching field who are looking to change concentrations. For example, if an individual holds a bachelor’s degree in art education and is interested in getting certified in special education, the M.A.T. degree may be a good choice. M.A.T. degrees are available for almost every academic field including art, music, special education, and foreign languages.