Master of Arts (MA): Teaching Degree Overview

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs are often designed for those who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-education field and want to become teachers. After completing this degree, students may need to seek additional certification or licensing.

Essential Information

Those who want to pursue careers in teaching may want to consider applying to a master's degree program in the field, a qualification that is generally earned over two to three years. Through didactic courses and hands-on student-teaching experiences, students can gain skills in teaching and learning strategies, individualized learning and teaching in diverse classrooms. Students may be able to specialize in specific subject areas such as science, history and math, as well as specialize by grade level. Programs include an internship that involves student teaching in a real classroom environment.

Prior to graduation from an MAT program, students must typically complete teacher certification exams and requirements for their state. In order to gain application to this program, students will need to possess a bachelor's degree.

Master of Arts in Teaching

Coursework in an MAT program covers individual subjects such as math and history, teaching methodology, technology, research and professionalism. Topics students can expect in an MAT program include:

  • Child development
  • Literacy
  • Student assessment procedures
  • Classroom diversity
  • Educational evaluation

Popular Career Options

Graduates have the instructional knowledge and practical classroom experience to gain careers within public and private schools. Graduates of a MAT program may find secondary school teaching careers in areas such as:

  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Average growth at a rate of six percent is projected for high school teachers over the 2014-2024 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Better prospects were expected for teachers of specific subjects, including science and math. The same agency reported a May 2015 median wage of $57,200 for secondary school teachers who didn't specialize in special education or career/technical education.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is often required in the education field. Teachers and other educators must often complete continuing education to maintain licensing or certification. Some employers may require continuing education to ensure teachers stay current on topics within the education field and technological advances. Some students may also choose to pursue a master's or doctoral degree program in educational leadership in order to qualify for administrative and leadership positions within public schools.

A Master of Arts in Teaching is designed to give individuals the tools to provide their own students with a clear and effective education. Certification or licensing is required for graduates to practice as licensed teachers, and most teachers are required to pursue continuing education throughout their careers.

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