So you may be asking yourself what is a Masters Degree in Education and why should I pursue this level of academia? For starters, a Masters Degree acquired in any field is an indication of one’s dedication to self-improvement and desire to be the best in one’s chosen profession. For most career fields a Masters Degree is not required for entry level positions. However, almost anyone that is highly successful in business or educational careers will agree the box by Masters Degree definitely needs a check mark in it.
This is especially true in the field of education. A Masters Degree is an indicator of professional status and dedication to one’s profession. It says loud and clear that you are not just doing the job for kicks, you are 100 percent dedicated to providing quality education to your students. It designates you as a specialist in your chosen area of concentration.
Today, universities offer a wide variety of areas that one may specialize in when accomplishing requirements for their Master of Arts in Education. I personally chose to specialize in children’s literacy development at my alma mater. As a former special education teacher, I was constantly reminded how crucial teaching good reading skills is to a young child’s academic growth and development. Acquiring a Masters Degree has allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a reading specialist. For me and others alike, a Masters Degree in Education has sealed the bid for better paying teaching positions. It indicates to prospective employers they are interviewing the most highly qualified teacher for the position they need to fill. Also, as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 continues to be reformed and rewritten, the requirements for teachers to become highly qualified is more and more demanding. By acquiring a Masters Degree, teachers can ensure their place in future educational settings. The current version of ESEA, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, really brings this topic to public interest. Parents and administrators are becoming increasingly concerned about the need to meet the guidelines spelled out in NCLB.
In addition to specific subject area, Masters Degree candidates may also acquire specialization in areas such as: Curriculum and Instruction; Educational Leadership and Administration; Teaching and Instruction; Early Childhood Education; Adult Education; and E-Learning. Regardless of one’s interest there are programs that will fit almost any persons schedule and specific needs. Most degree plans are designed so the graduate student will accomplish 24 – 30 semester hour of core curriculum and an additional 12 – 18 semester hours of elective courses that offer students an opportunity to fine tune their studies for their specific interests and needs.
The main thing to remember is choose a degree plan and a university that is right for you. Once enrolled at this level of study it is very costly to make changes to your educational path. Depending on your current circumstances, the method of course delivery may be of utmost concern to you as well. There is a wide variety of instructional methods available ranging from traditional school programs that require regular attendance in a classroom to more non-traditional methods that include: telecourses, correspondence courses, and on-line degrees that may be accomplished 100% via the internet. So what are you waiting for? Opportunities for higher education services have never been so good.
One a final point of to remember, ensure you to check out the credentials of the university you plan to attend. If you plan to take correspondence or on-line courses, this is especially important. A degree from a university or college that has not been accredited by a regional accreditation agency is pretty much worthless and nice to throw darts at. Ensure the university has attained the same accreditation as traditional universities in your area.