Exploring Different Career Paths In Education
Educational Career Paths
A master’s degree can be highly beneficial for current teachers looking to advance their careers by continuing their education, as well as for aspiring teachers who want to enter the profession with a competitive edge over other job applicants.
There are plenty of degree options available to you if you’re looking to become a teacher, and each one places you on a particular professional trajectory. Check out some of the main kinds of master’s degrees for teachers and the career paths they will prepare you for, so that you can figure out which one is right for you:
Master Of Arts In Teaching
A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is a degree for teachers that demonstrates a mastery of the profession and the acquisition of necessary skills and experience to excel at the front of the classroom. If you are looking for hands-on teaching experience and an opportunity to work with students as part of the curriculum, then an MAT may be right for you.
An important component of the MAT is the student-teaching experience. This experience places candidates in the classroom so that they can apply what they’ve learned in a practical setting. MAT curriculum grounds you in pedagogical theory and instructional methods. It also allows you to concentrate in a particular academic discipline that will prepare you to teach a particular subject. There are also MAT programs which offer specialization in particular types of education, such as Early Childhood Education or teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
All in all, you should pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching if you want to work directly with students as a classroom teacher.
Master Of Science In Education
The Master of Science in Education (M.Ed) is preferable if you are looking to expand your impact on education beyond the classroom and become part of the education system itself. The M.Ed focuses on education in a broader sense and includes aspects that go beyond direct teaching. The M.Ed is divided into three categories that are designed to prepare you for different career paths in education:
1. Curriculum and Instruction: Offers you an in-depth understanding of curriculum development the learning methods of students and lesson designs that cater to the needs of students. This degree prepares teachers for leadership, but can also prepare you for a position teaching other educators in a teacher education program or school of education. You could also work developing curricula for school districts.
2. Counselor Education: What you’d pursue if you’re looking to become a school guidance counselor. An M.Ed in Counselor Education teaches you the traditional elements of a degree in education, while also instructing you in child development and preparing you to look after the welfare of students.
3. Educational Administration: If you want to work as a principal or higher level school administrator in the district. These are the positions ideal for those looking to affect change in the education system through policy and legislation. The coursework for this degree is built around educational law, faculty leadership, managerial skills and community issues.
While the Master of Arts in Teaching and the Master of Science in Education are the most common degrees to prepare you for a career in education, there are certain schools that offer variants of these degrees. Sometimes you may also see an advanced teaching degree with another component, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching with Learning Technology.
In this case, you would receive the same preparation as an MAT, but with added emphasis on technology and education, which can prepare you for a job as a technology instructor or even as a school’s technology supervisor.
Before choosing any master’s program, you should have an idea of the career in education you want to pursue. Teaching is just one way you can change the lives of students, and these degrees and focuses can open the door to many different career paths in education.
Remember also that while these degrees can prepare you, they alone do not satisfy all the requirements for becoming a teacher. All public school teachers must be certified to teach in their state. Some programs offer teacher certification as part of the degree, but you may need to pursue your teaching certificate through another agency. Know what your desired program offers. You should also know what the requirements are in your state to become a teacher and what you ultimately hope to accomplish.
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