Those who seek out a master's degree in adult education have a myriad of career and specialization options. Some possible career paths include becoming an adult literacy or remedial education teacher, a community college professor or a human resources training specialist.
A master's degree in adult education can include specialization in human resources training, adult literacy, or ESL, and will be looked upon highly in any career involving the teaching of adults, such as community college professors and those in the field of remedial education.
|Career||Adult Literacy/Remedial Education Teacher||Community College Professor||Human Resources Training Specialist and Manager|
|Education Requirements||Master's degree in adult education (preferred)||Master's Degree in subject being taught||Master's Degree in adult education (preferred)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)||7%*||13%*||5%*(human resources specialists), 9%*(human resources managers)|
|Median Salary (2015)||$50,280*||$63,000*(all non-listed post-secondary teaching positions)||$58,350*(human resources specialists), $104,440*(human resources managers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
An adult education master's degree is often a prerequisite for human resources managers, who aid in the execution of job site training and the development of skill-teaching workplace programs. The degree is also often necessary for adult literacy and remedial education teachers, who teach high school-level courses to adults and english language skills to adult immigrants looking to develop their literacy. While not required, an adult education master's is helpful to those seeking employment as a community college professor, who gain enhanced knowledge of adult learning through the degree program.
Adult Literacy and Remedial Education Teacher
These teachers provide instruction to diverse populations in basic academic and language skills required for employment and for further education. They teach GED preparation and high school completion classes to all ages of adults, English as a Second Language (ESL) to immigrants and adult basic education (ABE) to adults who need to develop numeracy and literacy.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), projected job growth for this field between 2014 and 2024 is expected to be seven percent. Job opportunities in adult remedial education and ESL depend on budgetary issues as well as immigration policy and patterns.
Community College Professor
In addition to young adults beginning their college and vocational careers, older adults seeking to change or advance in their fields are attracted to community colleges. Community college instructors must establish expertise in their field and/or have a minimum of a master's degree in the area they teach. Because competition for post-secondary education positions is intense, the additional credentials of a graduate degree in adult education can enhance the applicant's chances of success. Knowledge of adult learning styles and needs in particular is an asset that helps community college instructors compete for positions.
Increased college enrollment is creating job growth for postsecondary instructors, projected by the BLS to be 13 percent from 2014-2024. Because of high competition, however, most of the opportunities are to be found in part-time positions without the possibility of tenure.
Job and Career Opportunities for a Master of Education in Adult Education and Human Resource Development
Although a bachelor's degree is the minimum entry-level requirement for many positions, a master's is often necessary for career advancement. Many adult education graduate programs offer specific programs for those interested in a career in human resources training. Sample core courses for this specialization include adult learning and instruction, the roles of gender and race in the workplace, human resources development and organizational development.
Human Resources Training Specialist and Manager
Human resources specialists and managers are often responsible for organizing, implementing and evaluating jobsite training. Training specialists assess training needs and develop programs that are designed to teach new skills within a job category as well as to provide workers a means of advancing to higher levels of responsibility. Though learning may take place in traditional classrooms, training is increasingly provided through a variety of digital media. Job growth for human resources specialists is expected to be a little faster than average, according to the BLS, with projected growth of five percent between 2014 and 2024. Human resources managers are expected to see a nine percent job increase during that time.
While a master's in adult education is not a requirement for all of the above career paths, it can help make candidates more competitive for available job opportunities or give them the specialized knowledge necessary to be a top performer in their field. For some career paths, such as becoming a human resources specialist, is preferred in most situations. Ultimately, a master's in adult education can open up a lot of doors for interested candidates.