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What Can You Do with a Master’s in Education?
What Can You Do with a Master’s in Education? 7 Careers to Consider
Education can be transformative. You’ve seen it firsthand when a lesson finally clicks with a student. These moments make being a teacher incredibly rewarding. But while you enjoy your time in the classroom, you wonder whether you’re reaching your full potential.
As you think about what might be next in your career, you’ve started to wonder whether it’s time to step back into the student role yourself. Completing something like a Master of Education (M.Ed.) program seems like a logical next step. But, practically speaking, what can you do with a master’s in education?
There are actually a surprising number of opportunities for teachers looking to make an impact by obtaining an M.Ed. You can start exploring what’s out there right now.
What can you do with a master’s in education, exactly?
Unlike some other graduate degrees available to instructors, an M.Ed. is really a practitioner’s degree that focuses on developing applicable knowledge and skills for a variety of positions. For instance, many teachers seek this credential to hone their instruction skills. You can also deepen you knowledge in a particular specialization like special education.
And of those postings seeking educators with a master’s degree that advertised salaries, they were more than $10,000 higher on average than ones seeking baccalaureate-qualified teachers.2 Also consider that some states require teachers to eventually complete a master’s degree.
But maybe you’re craving a different career trajectory. Perhaps you’re more interested in stepping into a leadership role that allows you to positively impact both students and the larger education system. Or maybe you want to make positive changes within different companies. Graduating from an M.Ed. program can also help prepare you for roles like these.
6 other careers you could pursue with a master’s in education
Aside from teaching at the elementary, middle or high school level, you could pursue some entirely different paths by completing a master’s in education. Consider the following options.
1. Instructional coordinator
These education specialists are responsible for overseeing school curriculums and establishing teaching standards. They develop the material used to teach students, implement it and also assess how effective it is. Instructional coordinators observe teachers, analyze data on student test performance, suggest new materials or techniques and conduct teacher trainings or workshops.
A key part of the work instructional coordinators do is introducing new technologies to the classroom. They’re the reason interactive apps, visualization tools and other technologies are now commonplace.
To become an instructional coordinator, you must obtain a master’s degree in a discipline like education – preferably a program that focuses on instruction and curriculum development. Licensure may also be required depending on the location and specific position. The median annual salary for instructional coordinators in 2018 was $64,450.
2. School counselor
Counselors at the elementary, middle and high school levels work with students to help them develop vital academic and social skills. Some typical responsibilities include evaluating students’ abilities and interests, identifying issues that could negatively affect classroom performance, helping students overcome social or behavior problems and collaborating with teachers and parents.
High school counselors also help students plan for life after graduation. They may assist students in researching colleges and financial aid or help them apply for jobs and practice interview skills.
To become a school counselor, you typically need to have a master’s degree that focuses on counseling as well as a state-issued credential, such as a license or an endorsement. The median annual salary for school counselors in 2018 was $56,310.
3. School principal
Whether they work at an elementary school, middle school or high school, principals oversee all school operations. They maintain curriculum standards, discipline students when needed, manage school activities, evaluate teachers’ performance and prepare reports related to test scores and other relevant data. Depending on the size of both the school and district, principals may work with a vice principal, instructional coordinators and staff to assist with hiring and other needs.
Principals typically need a master’s degree focused on educational leadership or administration. They also need to obtain the appropriate licensure and pass a background check. The median annual salary for school principals in 2018 was $95,310.
4. School superintendent
Superintendents effectively oversee all the schools and principals in their district. They work closely with the school board to make key decisions about staffing, budgets and programs that can help achieve their collective vision. Some typical duties include ensuring schools meet curriculum standards, evaluating facility needs, writing new policies, maintaining effective school transportation and lobbying on their district’s behalf.
While superintendents rely on many of the same skills other educational leaders need, they also need to be good at managing finances. These administrators need to be able to identify the best ways to use money and recognize when cuts may be necessary.
Most superintendents first spend time as a classroom teacher and have at least a master’s degree. Specific requirements vary by state, though. According to a study from the School Superintendents Association (AASA), the median annual salary for superintendents in medium-sized school districts in 2019 was about $167,000.
5. Postsecondary education administrator
Professors, who typically need a doctoral degree, aren’t the only educational professionals who work at colleges. Postsecondary education administrators oversee activities at their respective departments. Those who work in admissions, for example, determine how many students to admit, meet with prospective students and review applications. Postsecondary administrators who work in student affairs assist with issues related to housing or personal problems, create nonacademic programs for students and schedule different events and services.
You typically need at least a master’s degree to become a postsecondary administrator. The specific requirements will depend on the position. The median annual salary for postsecondary education administrators in 2018 was $94,340.
6. Corporate trainer
If you’d like to leverage your teaching skills in a new way, becoming a corporate trainer might be a good choice. These educators help employees develop their skills and knowledge by assessing training needs, designing course materials, conducting trainings and evaluating the results. Corporate trainers need to be well-versed in different technologies that can support learning.
While a bachelor’s degree is usually sufficient for becoming a corporate trainer, obtaining a master’s degree can make you a more attractive candidate. It can also help you hone the skills that you may not have used as heavily as a classroom teacher. The median annual salary for corporate trainers in 2018 was $60,870.
Continue your pursuit of knowledge
So what can you do with a master’s in education? It truly depends on what you’re passionate about and where you see yourself making a difference. If any of the roles above piqued your interest, pursuing a master’s in education might be a great way to take your passion for education to the next level.
As you begin looking into specific M.Ed. programs, you’ll want to set your sights on ones that meet your needs. The University of St. Thomas offers multiple degree specialties and course formats, including an online program. To learn more about how you can achieve your career goals, visit our Master of Education program page.
Ready to take the next step?
The University of St. Thomas (UST) is Houston’s Catholic University, committed to the religious, ethical and intellectual traditions of Catholic higher education. For more than 70 years, we’ve been graduating students like you into successful careers in medicine, education, business, public administration and more – throughout Houston and across the globe.