The opportunity to expand your credentials with additional master’s degrees and/or certifications are some of the best ways to become a better teacher and advance your career. The more you know and the more skills you have, the more effective you will be in the classroom and you will become a higher valued teacher.
How a master’s degree pays off for today’s teachers
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 3.6 million full-time equivalent teachers in the U.S. in the fall of 2015. More than half (56 percent) had a master’s degree or higher, although the share was smaller – at only 43 percent – among private school instructors. Teachers with graduate degrees stand to gain numerous benefits from their investments, starting with higher compensation packages:
- A survey by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University found that education majors with an MA/MS made an average of $15,000 more a year in salary than their counterparts who had only a bachelor’s degree.
- That number is in line with the typical premium from graduate education for all majors, although in education the percent increase is actually higher, at 33 percent.
- Statistics from the National Council on Teacher Quality have demonstrated that a master’s degree in education usually becomes more valuable the longer a teacher serves, with some districts awarding bumps in the tens of thousands of dollars at the top of their pay schedules.
A master’s degree program also gives educators the chance to engage with current discourse in the field, and use it to inform their teaching methods. Coursework may provide deep insight into social and political dimensions of education, as well as communication and research skills for practitioners.
“More than half of full-time teachers have a master’s degree.”
Via practica within local schools, graduate students in education can also gain invaluable hands-on experience in applying this classroom knowledge to actual lessons and student-teacher interactions. Master’s students who have yet to work as teachers can also prepare for the eventual transition into the profession by earning their degrees with certifications in specific areas such as English, mathematics or science.
Finding the right master’s degree program for an upgrade
Most of us, with our busy lives, ask ourselves, “Is there really time to begin working on an advanced degree?”
Yes – as long as the program is delivered in an accelerated and/or online format. Students benefit from the option to complete their required classes in condensed seven-week blocks, from the convenience of their homes. The online setup provides the much-needed flexibility to work around any other personal or work-related commitments, ensuring more likely completion of the entire program.
Gwynedd Mercy offers Master of Science in Education (MSED) degrees in multiple specialties, including Special Education (MSSPE), Educational Administration (MSEA) and Counseling (MSC). Available in an accelerated format, the MSED program itself is a 30-credit track that consists of a core set of courses, supplemented by additional credits in a student’s specialization area and a practicum or student teaching experience.
“What I like most about being a GMercyU student is having the flexibility to complete online courses that fulfill the requirements of my degree,” stated MSED student Louren Thomas-Francis. “I don’t think that I could have succeeded in this venture – earning my master’s degree with a certification in elementary education – without this unique and important program structure. My professors have all been wonderful and helpful, too – thank you all!”
With the potential to significantly boost their earnings while also acquiring extensive new knowledge on how to work with students, teachers should consider devoting time to upgrading their credentials. Visit the main MSED page today to view admissions requirements, program structure and available certifications. Also contact us directly if you have any questions or need additional information on your options.