Master of Education (M.Ed): Adult Education Degree Overview

May 03, 2021

Essential Information

A Master of Education in Adult Education program is designed for individuals who want to teach older students in the workplace or community. These programs may also offer tracks in related areas, such as adult literacy, human resource development and technology in educational practices. Many programs require students to develop a work portfolio during their studies, and student-teaching experiences may be required as well.

The minimum admissions requirement is a bachelor's degree. In addition, these programs typically seek applicants with a variety of life experiences and an excellent academic record. Most programs also prefer applicants who have previous experience working with adults.

Master's Degree in Adult Education

M.Ed programs in adult education are designed to provide students with knowledge of adult learning programs, theories and perspectives. The curricula generally focus on research and practice. Students gain insight into adult education history, philosophies and global perspectives. Programs teach students how to foster productive learning environments and how to design and deliver adult education programs. Skills in leadership, facilitation, critical thinking, management and collaboration are nurtured throughout the program. Course topics may include:

  • Program planning
  • Adult development
  • Adult literacy
  • Adult learning
  • Teaching trends
  • Consulting

Popular Career Options

Individuals who earn an M.Ed. in Adult Education are prepared for careers in community education or workplace training. Employment opportunities might exist in educational facilities, healthcare organizations, community-based organizations and human service agencies. Graduates could be qualified for positions as:

  • Learning facilitators
  • Curriculum specialists
  • Adult literacy teachers

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates a 10% decline in employment for adult literacy and General Education Development (GED) teachers over the 2019-2029 decade ( Median annual earnings for this profession were $55,350 in May 2020, reported the BLS.

Continuing Education

Individuals interested in continuing education in the field have a variety of options. Students can pursue doctorate degrees in adult education in order to conduct further research and find careers in administration or education. Individuals may also choose to pursue certificate or licensure programs to add additional credentials to their resume.

By earning an M.Ed. in Adult Education, students develop the adult-specific instructional skills they need to teach GED courses and other classes aimed at adults.

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