5 Most Popular Master’s Degrees for Teachers


Key Takeaways:

  • Curriculum and Instruction focuses on developing skills in curriculum design, learning theories, and instructional strategies, leading to roles like instructional coordinator.
  • Early Childhood Education emphasizes child psychology and classroom management, preparing graduates for positions such as family education center director.
  • Educational Leadership trains students in resource management and leadership, qualifying them for roles like principal or instructional supervisor, with salaries around $92,000 annually.

If you’re a teacher who would like to move up to more demanding and rewarding positions in your career, earning your master’s degree in education is a logical step. You can choose from a variety of specializations, or concentrations.

Familiarize yourself with the most popular types of master’s degrees for educators to more easily select one that suits your long-term career objectives. If you want to earn your master’s fast there are accelerated masters in education programs you can complete online.

Featured Programs

1. Curriculum and Instruction


With a master’s of education specializing in curriculum and instruction, you will be able to increase your curriculum development skills and advance your career. This type of program touches upon a variety of topics, including learning theories, instructional theories, curriculum design and evaluation and educational psychology. Upon completing the program, you will know how to perform and use educational research to develop, implement and evaluate learning, teaching and performance pursuits in educational settings. This credential will qualify you for a number of administration and leadership roles. Many who earn this degree go on to become instructional coordinators, which is a field that commands an average annual salary of $64,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2. Early Childhood Education

Assume a more influential role in the lives and educations of young children with a master’s degree in education specializing in early childhood education. While completing this program, you will become well-versed regarding topics like early childhood learning environments, classroom management and child psychology. You will come away with the skills needed to develop age-appropriate curricula and will be qualified for many positions, including family education center director and facility licensor.

3. Higher Education

If you aspire to be a leader at a college or university, a master’s in education degree with a concentration in higher education should be right up your alley. This type of program prepares students for leadership roles in higher education and exposes them to the latest educational administration theories. By completing this program, you will enhance your leadership skills and learn about crucial administration topics like budget management and funding. Ultimately, this credential will make you eligible to assume a role as a higher education administrator. The typical salary for such a professional in 2014 was $88,390 per year.

4. Educational Leadership

Whether you teach in pre-K, K-12 or in a post-secondary setting, this specialization is suitable if you would like to eventually assume a leadership or administration role in your organization. This type of program teaches students how to manage resources, lead others and develop and promote positive learning environments. You’ll study topics ranging from research in education to school finance and will be qualified for roles as principal, director, instructional supervisor and many others. Elementary and secondary professionals with this degree earn around $92,000 per year while post-secondary professionals with this degree earn around $102,000 per year.

5. Adult Education

Enhance your career in adult ed with a master’s of education with a concentration in adult education. This specialization is ideal for those who work in remedial education, at community colleges and as human resources managers. Human resources managers are often required to obtain this degree in order to serve employees across all walks of life. Adult education teachers with this degree earn around $53,000 per year. Community college professors with this degree earn around $65,000 per year, and human resources managers with this degree earn around $114,000 per year.

To figure out which master’s degree for teachers is right for you, consider where you’d like to be 10 years from now. Chances are that one or more of the options highlighted above will help you get there.

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