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Master of Arts (MA in Education): Degree Overview

Oct 19, 2019

Master of Arts (MA) in Education programs provide individuals with the teaching and other skills necessary to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing education system.

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Essential Information

The Master of Arts in Education helps licensed educators improve learning environments in their classrooms and may boost their opportunities for career advancement. This degree typically offers several areas of specialization, including elementary or early childhood education, special education, literacy education, technology and learning, mathematics and pedagogy. Students must also complete an internship prior to graduation.

Applicants to the M.A. in Education are required to hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. These programs may also require students to have previous experience as licensed educators. Some programs may offer online study opportunities.


Master of Arts in Education

The curriculum varies by a student's specialization. For example, a program concentrated in pedagogy will focus on advanced teaching and learning techniques, while a program with a literacy education focus explores reading and writing principles. Popular courses include:

  • Multicultural perspectives
  • Organizational development
  • Leadership
  • Methods of evaluation
  • Educational research
  • Literacy

Career Options

Graduates are prepared to teach in a wide range of educational fields. They may find employment in public and private educational institutions. Popular career options include:

  • Reading specialist
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Elementary teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • Community college professor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth from 2018-2028 is projected to be roughly 3% for kindergarten and elementary school teachers. The median salary among elementary-level teachers was $58,230, while median annual earnings among middle-school teachers came to $58,600 as of 2018. High school teachers earned a median of $60,320 per year.

Special education teacher job growth is estimated to be 3% from 2018-2028, with May 2018 median wages being $59,390 for kindergarten and elementary teachers, $60,250 for middle school teachers and $60,600 for secondary school teachers in special education.

Continuing Education Information

Master's degree holders wishing to further their career opportunities can complete a doctorate degree program in education, educational leadership or educational administration. Doctoral programs provide students with the research and leadership skills to qualify for administration positions within schools or teaching and research positions within colleges and universities. Additionally, some master's degree programs will fulfill licensure requirements for students holding bachelor's degrees in fields outside of education.

Experienced teachers who want to advance their knowledge in a particular area of education can benefit from an MA in Education. These programs expand their employment prospects and can also prepare them to pursue a doctorate in education.

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