Most teachers understand the importance of not only continuing their education, but also finding an interesting way to specialize a Master's in Education degree and differentiate themselves from their fellow educators. In addition to creating at least some kind of competitive advantage, specializing a graduate degree in education can also help to open new doors for teachers as they look for new and additional jobs, more senior roles in the education field, and greater responsibilities within their existing school or school district. There are, thankfully, plenty of ways to add a concentration to M.Ed. programs that will prove promising over the long course of the typical teaching career.
Content Areas Are the Most Common Area of Specialization
Most teachers who pursued an undergraduate degree in education, and later pursue a graduate-level program in the same area, have likely found a teaching position that deals in a specific type of content and curriculum. This might be early childhood education for pre-school teachers, elementary education for those who teach kindergarten through sixth grade, or specific subject areas for secondary education teachers in grades 7 through 12. Pairing an M.Ed. program with a specific content area accomplished a few goals.
First and foremost, teachers learn even more advanced knowledge that can help them provide greater context for their students in a variety of disciplines. All the while, they learn about the structure and nature of the broader educational industry that can help them advance into leadership roles. Studying graduate-level work in a specific content area also opens up an entirely new type of teaching: Adjunct professor jobs and roles at local community colleges or universities. This adds to the versatility of a teaching career and makes the profession even more resilient in the face of budget cuts or other dire developments in the future.
Curriculum and Instructional Focus Opens Up New Avenues
Some teachers might feel that they'd be better served not by focusing on one content area, but by instead focusing on designing the curriculum that's taught in teach classroom. Known as the "curriculum and instruction" concentration, this specialization teaches educators how to evaluate new textbooks, adopt new state standards, and work within the confines of federal testing and teaching regulations. The curriculum and instruction concentration will also give educators they skills they need to coach and inspire their fellow teachers, oversee lesson plan developments, embrace new classroom technologies and teaching styles, and help the school maintain a high level of student achievement even amid challenging funding battles, behavior problems, and evolving content guidelines.
Administration Specialization Helps Prepare Future Leaders
Finally, many teachers might want to consider a concentration in school administration. In some states, such a focus actually permits teachers to work as assistant principals in most schools. This concentration lays a great foundation for administrative certification programs that allow teachers to advance even further, into traditional principal jobs, and into doctoral programs that focus on the skills required of a superintendent. Administration classes will teach even more about the education industry, school boards, curriculum decisions, student discipline, parent relations, budget development, and a series of skills require of today's school leaders.
Specialization is Easy and Recommended for M.Ed. Students
Educators who wish to develop and enhance their skills both inside the classroom and in the educational industry at large, can benefit directly from one of these specializations. According to US News and World Report, when deciding how to specialize a Master's in Education degree, consider the benefits of greater content knowledge, oversight of new curriculum, or leadership of an entire school, and choose accordingly.