Earning a master’s degree in education can help teachers and other education professionals advance their careers and increase their salary potential. Online education master’s degrees provide the flexibility for working teachers to further their education while still working full time. Here is an overview of some of the top online master’s in education programs.
Why Earn an Online Master’s in Education?
There are several benefits to pursuing an online master’s degree in education:
- Convenience – Online programs allow you to complete coursework on your own schedule, without having to commute to campus. This flexibility is ideal for full-time teachers.
- Career advancement – A master’s degree makes you more qualified for leadership roles like principal, curriculum director, or superintendent. It shows your commitment to the field.
- Salary potential – Teachers with master’s degrees often earn a higher salary. According to the BLS, the median pay for high school teachers with master’s degrees is $62,870 vs. $60,320 for bachelor’s degrees.
- Specialized skills – Master’s programs allow you to focus on a specific area like educational technology, special education, literacy, administration, etc.
- Networking – Online programs still provide opportunities to collaborate with other education professionals.
Top Online Masters in Education Programs
Here are some of the best online master’s in education programs:
1. University of Southern California (USC)
- Degree Options: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in School Counseling, Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- Highlights: USC’s online education programs are the same high-caliber offerings as their on-campus degrees. They provide technology training relevant to 21st century classrooms.
2. Johns Hopkins University
- Degree Options: Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Educational Studies
- Highlights: Johns Hopkins is renowned for excellence in education. Their online masters programs focus on research-based approaches for closing achievement gaps and improving outcomes.
3. Oregon State University
- Degree Options: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, Master of Education in ESOL & Bilingual Education
- Highlights: Oregon State’s online programs provide training in cutting-edge educational technology. They also offer flexible, customizable degree plans.
4. Purdue University Global
- Degree Options: Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Educational Psychology
- Highlights: Purdue Global offers specialized online education degrees focused on college student affairs, career & technical education, instructional design, and more.
5. Arizona State University
- Degree Options: Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision
- Highlights: Arizona State offers more than 30 online education master’s programs, including STEM-focused and ESL degrees. They also have rolling admission cycles.
What to Look for in an Online Master’s in Education Program
When comparing online master’s in education programs, here are some key factors to consider:
- Accreditation – Make sure the program is accredited by a reputable organization like CAEP or TEAC. This ensures quality standards are met.
- Specializations – Look for specialized tracks matching your interests, like educational technology, curriculum development, special education, etc.
- Certification – Some masters programs are designed to help you earn teaching certifications. Look for this if it’s one of your goals.
- Faculty expertise – Research the faculty’s background and expertise. You want professors with experience relevant to their courses.
- Cost – Compare tuition rates and financial aid options across programs. Look for affordable programs that offer discounts for teachers.
- Fieldwork – Many programs integrate fieldwork or student teaching opportunities to gain hands-on experience.
- Convenience – Make sure the online format provides flexibility for busy teachers. Look for asynchronous courses when possible.
FAQs About Online Masters in Education Programs
Do I need a teaching license to get a masters in education?
In most cases you do not need a teaching license. However, some masters programs, especially MATs (Masters of Arts in Teaching), are designed for those pursuing initial teacher licensure. Other masters programs are open to anyone with a bachelor’s degree.
How long does it take to complete an online masters in education?
Online masters degrees typically take 1.5-2.5 years to complete. Accelerated programs may take only 12-18 months. The duration depends on factors like your enrollment status and how many courses you take per term.
Are online education masters degrees respected?
Yes, online masters degrees are just as credible and respected as on-campus degrees, provided they are from an accredited institution. Many top universities now offer online education masters programs. Be sure to look for regional accreditation.
What kinds of jobs can you get with a masters in education?
A masters in education prepares you for roles like principal, administrator, curriculum developer, education supervisor, instructional coordinator, and more. The exact jobs depend on your specialization and certifications. Many teachers pursue a masters to gain a salary increase.
Can you get a masters degree in education 100% online?
Yes, there are numerous accredited masters in education programs that can be completed entirely online through distance learning. Even field experiences may be arranged at local schools. This provides flexibility for working teachers.