Specializations of Masters In Education

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Updated on June 29, 2022

The world needs teachers.

Nearly one in four educators are leaving the field. As a result, thousands of classrooms are waiting for eager new educators with something to offer. The right time to pursue a masters in education degree is now.

A master’s program is ideal for someone who is looking to pivot to a career in education. Experienced teachers looking to move up the pay scale are also excellent candidates. Once enrolled, students collaborate with other mature students and build important career connections.

Many graduates find that they’re qualified for positions that they never considered before!

When a prospective student is ready to apply, they should have a specialization in mind. With so many degree options available, choosing the right program can be the most challenging part of the process.

How do students know which specialization will point them toward their ideal career paths? This guide describes fifteen of the most in-demand specializations in the education market. Read on to learn more about the educational paths that future teachers can pursue right now.

Early Childhood Education

Students enrolled in an early childhood program will learn how to teach a very young child. Some programs qualify candidates to teach early elementary grades as well. These teachers become generalists, capable of teaching a developmentally appropriate general education curriculum.

Early childhood teachers learn to put their knowledge of child development into practice. They create active and appropriate learning environments that stimulate the young child.

Graduates often work in childcare centers, elementary schools, or less traditional educational settings. There has been a push to offer universal prekindergarten across the United States. As these programs roll out, there will be a demand for early childhood specialists.

Education Administration

In an education administration program, students will learn the basics of educational leadership. They might apply this knowledge when running schools, camps, afterschool programs, and more.

The program will focus on management, communication, and leadership. Students will gain strategies that will help them collaborate with diverse communities. They will learn how to advocate for students and teachers alike.

This program is appropriate for experienced teachers looking for more responsibility. Many graduates become important school leaders such as principals or superintendents. It is a way to gain upward mobility in the education setting.

Nursing Education

It takes patience to be a nurse, and profound patience to teach new nurses the skills they need to succeed. A master’s program in nursing education helps students become mentors to new nurses.

Students will gain a solid, practical pedagogical background. They will apply this knowledge to share their experience with brand new professionals in the field. Ultimately, they become proficient in both practical and lecture-based education.

Education Technology

Much of the education world has moved online. Thus, now is an excellent time to learn to use new technology in the classroom setting.

Students in education technology learn to harness the latest innovations in edtech. They use this knowledge to support students and teachers, often in project-based learning.

Often, these graduates go on to support entire school buildings. They are key to integrating the latest technology into school-wide instruction. They become proficient in using tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, projectors, document cameras, and more.

Edtech specialists may also provide teachers with professional development. This is particularly important in schools that have implemented one-to-one technology for students.

Special Education

Special educators work with exceptional students with a wide range of special needs. They learn to understand legal paperwork such as IEPs and 504 plans. They use this expertise to help students who need specialized accommodations to succeed.

Candidates gain experience with adaptive technologies. They learn to craft individualized learning plans and bespoke educational solutions. They learn to instruct students from birth to early adulthood.

Special educators work with students at many levels of functioning. Some may work with students with minor disabilities in a co-teaching environment. Others work in special schools with students diagnosed with severe and profound disabilities.

They may find work in classrooms, or as traveling special education itinerant teachers. There are many special education positions in less traditional settings. These include hospitals, residential schools, day programs, group homes, and more.

Math Education

Teachers specializing in math education will learn to use the latest trends in mathematical pedagogy. There is a focus on teaching students to think flexibly. They become experts at understanding mental models and fluency in mathematics.

Graduates discover ways to make mathematics visible. They use manipulative tools to design hands-on lessons intended to engage all students. Often, there will be a focus on implementing new technological tools.

Higher Education

A degree in higher education is ideal for students who want to work in colleges or universities. These students might become administrators, admissions professionals, or even work in development positions. Occasionally, graduates find roles in on-campus programming, too.

These programs have a major focus on active leadership. They emphasize best practices when working with adult student populations. There will be a huge emphasis on culture and diversity.

Elementary Education

Elementary educators focus on engaging young children in a general education setting. Their studies focus on ways to teach content across the subject areas. This includes strategies for effective whole group and guided small-group instruction.

These professionals learn to strike a balance between deep study and playful experiences. They learn to address the developmental, social, and academic needs of their students. Fundamentally, they teach students how to become learners so they can excel.

Physical Education

In contemporary schools, the physical educator is more than a “gym teacher.” Physical education candidates will also learn state standards in math and reading.

They will learn to create a holistic educational program that addresses the whole student. Graduates will also become experts in fine and gross motor development. They learn to use playful activities to teach, coach, and inspire students as they develop physical skills.

Some physical educators work in non-traditional settings such as fitness centers. Many go on to coach sports inside and outside of schools.

Counselor Education

Counselor education programs are ideal for post-graduate teachers or counselors. It’s a great choice for counselors who wish to pivot to working in an educational setting. It’s also a great option for teachers who want to work in schools in a new capacity.

Counselor education students are experts in social and emotional development. They learn to work in a wide range of therapeutic modalities. There will be a focus on working to better support diverse student populations.

Graduates gain the skills to offer individual or group services to students across grade levels. They can offer other services, such as career counseling or psychological assessment.

Health Education

A program in health education prepares individuals to teach complex health topics. These educators may work directly with students or within the local community.

Many students find positions as health teachers in traditional education settings. Other graduates might find work in prevention programs or community health settings.

The material that health educators teach can be complex and sensitive. They gain the skills they need to communicate this information with compassion.

Medical Education

A program in medical education is ideal for a range of healthcare professionals. Many students have an interest in teaching new doctors or pursuing research in medical education.

Candidates are professionals equally interested in medicine and pedagogy. They are often doctors who wish to inspire the next generation of physicians.

Students interested in instruction might spend their time in practical classroom settings. Those focused on scholarship will engage in research on the latest pedagogical advances.

Music Education

Music education students learn to teach general music to students across grade levels. They may pursue further specialization in the leadership of instrumental or vocal ensembles. These might include bands, orchestras, choirs, or chamber groups.

These individuals are often already superlative musicians. They may be seeking to learn musical pedagogy so they can serve as more effective music teachers. Music educators can work in public or private settings, including cultural institutions.

Art Education

A degree in art education helps educators teach the foundations of visual art. Candidates are often exposed to new mediums in an instructional studio setting. They learn to instruct students in creating original artwork grounded in classical techniques.

These individuals may choose to work in schools or teach private lessons. Many graduates work in the education departments of fine art institutions.

STEM Education

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM educators focus on the intersection of these subject areas. They seek new ways to involve students in design and innovation in the classroom.

In many school buildings, these teachers oversee “maker spaces” or “STEM labs.” There, students have the opportunity to engage in interest-driven explorations. STEM teachers serve as mentors and supplement the general education curriculum.

There is a specific push to help inspire girls to enter STEM fields. As a result, a lot of grant funding has gone toward implementing STEM programs in schools.

As a result, this is an excellent time to pursue this path. Many STEM education positions are brand new. Graduates may have the opportunity to design their own programs and curriculums.

15 Paths to a Masters in Education

This is the perfect time to pursue a masters degree in education. Ultimately, teachers open themselves up to a world of new, exciting career options. Schools and institutions desperately need their passion, talent, and expertise right now.

Visit the rest of the site for more information on Masters in Education programs. You will find more complete details about the fifteen paths described above.

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