Experienced and qualified teachers may decide to pursue a master's degree in curriculum and instruction. This degree will prepare them to develop school curriculum, and oversee curriculum implementation as a teacher or an administrator. They can focus on developing curriculum for a particular grade level or subject.
A master's degree program in curriculum and instruction is designed for those who are already teachers and wish to learn how to guide the development of a school's curriculum, manage its implementation and evaluate its effectiveness. The master's degree in curriculum and instruction can be modified to correspond with a specific subject, a career ambition or an age group. Those who wish to earn this master's degree should check out the requirements for certification and licensure as they differ from state to state.
|Other Requirements||May need state teacher or administrator licensure and certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7%|
|Mean Salary (2015)*||$64,870 (instructional coordinators)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Enhancement for a Teaching Position
A master's degree in curriculum and instruction is the choice of many teachers who wish to stay in their current positions and enhance their teaching abilities. This graduate program will often fulfill the graduate degree requirements set by some school districts for job security or higher earning potential. Illinois State University stated that the degree is particularly useful to current teachers who want to become master teachers.
Specializations are also possible within this graduate program. Northern Illinois University, for example, offers a secondary education focus for teachers who want to increase their knowledge of important issues for modern-day educators. Emphasis is placed on becoming a master teacher who is able to more effectively teach students. It also helps educators to have an enhanced knowledge of how curricula are selected and evaluated so that they may use it more effectively within their own classrooms.
Administrative or Leadership Positions
A master's degree program in curriculum and instruction can prepare graduates for positions that are on the administrative side of the educational system as opposed to having direct contact with students. The University of Iowa stated that its M.A. in Curriculum and Supervision program can lead to positions such as coordinators of curriculum development. At Northern Illinois University's College of Education, a curriculum leadership focus area teaches students how to effectively evaluate curriculum and take supervisory roles in curriculum development.
In some states, a master's degree in curriculum may help qualify a graduate to be a principal or assistant principal. This degree program might even lead away from the school system. For example, the University of Albany says that its M.S. in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology program that can be a step toward a leadership position in a government or corporate setting or in curriculum design.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elementary school teachers earned a yearly mean salary of $57,730 as of May 2015, while secondary school teachers made a mean yearly salary of $60,440. Elementary and secondary school administrators, including principals, assistant principals and school administrators, earned a yearly average of $92,940, while instructional coordinators made $64,870 on average.
Instructional coordinators develop, implement and assess educational curriculum. A career in this field requires a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and a teacher's license or certification may be needed. This degree can also lead to career opportunities in government or for corporations. The BLS predicts job growth in this field will be 7% from 2014-2024, which is as fast as average when compared to all occupations, and the average salary in 2015 was almost $65,000.