A Masters degree education makes a difference
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I don't have to tell you that a Masters degree education can bring you the competitive edge as a teacher. But I can tell you that it has made a huge difference for me, and I'd love to share some excellent resources with you here.
Whether you're already working in education or you're looking to launch your teaching career, an MA, MS, or MAT offers three huge benefits:
1) A graduate degree in education can launch you into better teaching jobs or positions with more responsibility (such as managing curriculum, etc.)
2) A Masters degree education can allow you to transition into an area of teaching or research that interests you, such as the arts, physical education, or secondary education
3) If you're already teaching, many school districts reward your degree with additional salary. Over the course of a 30-year career, this can make a huge difference. (At my school, retirement is calculated based on your salary during the last few years of your career, so extra academic credits yield both better salary and a better retirement. Win-win-win.)
Great. What are my options?
Colleges and universities seem to love to tinker with the names of their Master's degree programs. Don't let this confuse you. Here are some general guidelines:
Master of Arts (MA) -- An MA in Education typically refers to a classroom, practice-focused degree. It may also mean a focus in the arts, such as an MA in Theater Arts, etc., but that's not necessarily the case.
Master of Science (MS) -- Usually, an MS in Education is a degree that focuses on the science of learning, perhaps in psychology, neurology, or some related science area. These degrees may focus more on research and may prepare students for work outside the classroom.
Master of Education (M.Ed.) -- Simply another name for a degree in education. Because the degree name is more general, you'll want to do your homework to find out what the program focus is and make sure it applies to your particular interests.