What are the Different Types of Masters Degrees in Education?

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Updated August 4, 2020

Depending on one's career goals and professional interests, there are a few different types of master's degrees in education from which to choose. The field of education has a constant demand for qualified professionals who use their skills both in and outside of traditional classrooms. Since many advanced degree programs offer courses that are geared toward specialized instruction or administrative competence it is important to conduct thorough research before diving right in to a degree program. Here are just a few of the advanced degree programs in education for new teachers, teachers who want qualifications for niche educational categories and those education professionals who want to eventually take the lead as principals.

Advanced Education Degree for Special Concentration Areas

One of the most common advanced degree programs for certified teachers who want to enhance their skills and prepare for careers in specialized areas is the Master of Education degree. This general degree which provides students with theoretical knowledge of subjects like curriculum development, school reform and education policy is enhanced by concentration choices like mathematics, science and language arts. A Master of Arts in Education degree is very similar to the Master of Education program with its array of teaching specialty options. This degree program notably emphasizes subjects like education psychology, ethics and philosophy. Both the Master of Education and the Master of Arts in Education can be used within other education professions besides teaching, and some of these positions include academic advisors and school guidance counselors.

The Masters Degree in Education to Gain Entrance into the Career Field

Some people learn later in their careers that they have gifts for teaching and mentoring. However, their undergraduate degrees might not have adequately prepared them for life in the classroom. They have the opportunity to gain an advanced degree in education that will teach them the skills needed to make a smooth career change into the education field. According to Teach, upon completion of a Master of Arts in Teaching degree program, students can apply for their teaching licenses for the state in which they plan to teach. This degree is also used by experienced teachers who want to gain certifications in specialized instruction areas like gifted education or foreign language instruction.

The Degree Option for Aspiring Administrative Leaders

Certified teachers who possess several years of classroom experience often consider using their education talents in school administration. The common career path for school administrators is assistant principal, principal and superintendent. Although these positions require that education professionals possess certain inherent leadership and organizational abilities, many of the job skills are learned through a combination of classroom study and experience. The Master of Science in Education is a degree that prepares would be school administrators for the challenges that they will inevitably face. This degree program also allows teaching professionals to concentrate in areas like curriculum development and studies, educational leadership and instructional technology.

Related Resources:
Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership
Top 10 Best Online Master's in Education Degree Programs
Master's in English


Today's education professionals have numerous opportunities available to them at home and abroad. With the proliferation of information technology products and services, they even have the ability to teach and tutor remotely through distance learning programs. Possessing the right credentials is one thing that stays the same in the field of education, and the different types of master's degrees in education help these professionals achieve their goals.

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