Master's in Education Concentrations

  • Administration and Leadership
  • Special and Gifted Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Instructional Technology and Design
  • School Counseling

Students interested in pursuing a Master's degree in Education can choose to focus on a number of key areas of concentration within this field. Deciding on the right educational specialization can help aspiring teachers and administrators to achieve greater success throughout their careers.

Resource: Top 10 Best Online Master's in Education Degree Programs

Here are five of the most popular concentrations for Master's degree programs in Education.

Administration and Leadership

Focusing on administrative and leadership skills can provide students with the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to provide oversight the elementary, secondary and postsecondary school environments. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for qualified administrators is expected to increase significantly in the next eight years, making this concentration a solid choice for students interested in shaping the future of higher education in the U.S. Graduates can find employment as principals and superintendents in local school districts or as administrative staff members for colleges and universities. In some areas, further education may be necessary to achieve greater upward mobility in this career field.

Special and Gifted Education

Students who pursue a Master's degree in the field of special education can help children with disabilities reach their full potential in the academic environment. Graduates from these programs typically also receive instruction on managing curriculum requirements to promote engagement and ensure appropriate challenges for students. Formulating individualized education programs for each student is a key part of the workload for special and gifted education teachers. Some professionals in this field provide educational services for toddlers and preschool-aged students; others perform their duties in public or private schools to support the academic success of children in these environments.

Early Childhood Education

Working with the youngest students and providing a framework for learning in childcare or preschool environments can be a rewarding career with plenty of upward mobility for aspiring educators. Master's degree programs that focus on early childhood education can prepare students for positions as directors or administrators in child development centers. Duties may include designing or selecting a curriculum and implementing it in the classroom setting, setting policies for students, parents and teachers, managing budgets and dealing with human resources issues as they arise. A Master's degree in early childhood development can provide the thorough grounding needed to achieve success in this vital educational field.

Instructional Technology and Design

For students who prefer a hands-on approach to curriculum development and the integration of modern technologies in the classroom setting, a career in instructional technology and design can provide solid compensation and real challenges. According to the experts at the College Board, instructional coordinators are responsible for developing targeted curricula, selecting educational materials and assessing their effectiveness in real-world environments. By staying current with cutting-edge technologies and offering training in the use of new teaching tools, instructional coordinators can have a significant impact on the ability of students to take in and retain knowledge and to achieve mastery of new skills.

School Counseling

School counselors advise students regarding potential career paths and provide support for emotional growth and social development in both the elementary and secondary school environments. Students interested in a career as a school counselor must usually complete an accredited master's degree program and must acquire a certification or license for the state in which they wish to practice. These programs typically include coursework in individual and group counseling theory and practice, developmental psychology and testing methods. Graduates typically work in public or private school settings or as part of a community outreach and rehabilitation program. Some may take on responsibilities in the higher education field as career counselors or educational support staff.

A Master's degree in Education can open doors of opportunity for those interested in working with students and creating a positive environment for learning. By choosing to specialize in one of these concentrations, aspiring teachers and administrators can prepare for a rewarding career in the education field and can pave the way for success in the future.

Related Resource: Top 10 Online Ed.D Programs in Educational Leadership