Benefits of a Master’s Degree in Education: Career Advancement

If you are like most U.S. workers, professional growth and development are essential to your job satisfaction[1]. For educators, career advancement means improving your skills, acquiring a leadership role, or applying your experience outside of the classroom. It may also include earning a raise. With a master’s in special education, career advancements like these are absolutely attainable. Advanced degrees in education equip teachers with specialized knowledge, new perspectives, and transferable skills. Are you ready for the next step in your career? Read on to learn how a master’s degree in special education can help.

Develop Your Skills

Educators who want to develop their skills will benefit from a master’s degree in education. The degree enables educators to cultivate specialized knowledge, becoming highly qualified in a particular concentration. For example, a master’s in special education can advance your career by better preparing you to support students with certain disabilities.

The University of Redlands’ online M.A. in Learning and Teaching prepares educators to effectively deliver differentiated instruction to K-12 children with mild to moderate disabilities.

Accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), the curriculum guides students through the foundations of special education. It also introduces the newest trends, technologies, and approaches to instruction, intervention, and research. To apply their knowledge and skills, degree candidates participate in supervised teaching experiences. They teach in a public school classroom with a mild to moderate delivery model or setting. With practical and theoretical coursework, the online M.A. in Learning and Teaching can advance your career by providing you with specialized knowledge of special education.

The MALT-EDSP program prepares teacher candidates to:

  • Know and understand various types of disabilities and their causes.
  • Design, adapt and differentiate instruction for students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.
  • Design and implement positive behavior support plans for students’ behavioral challenges.
  • Administer and interpret a wide variety of assessment instruments for referral and progress monitoring of struggling students and students with mild to moderate disabilities.

For educators with a master’s in special education, career paths in leadership are plentiful. These professionals can work as leaders or administrators in various educational and human service organizations. According to the American Management Association[2], effective leaders in any industry provide strategic direction and technical expertise. The benefit of a master’s degree in education is that it equips educators with both.

Students pursuing an online M.A. in Teaching and Learning at the University of Redlands embark on a transformative journey that will allow them to cultivate specialized knowledge as well as new perspectives. The social justice ethos guides the underlying philosophy of the program. Students learn how to recognize social inequities in education. Students are empowered to become advocates for diverse learners. Together in a virtual learning environment, students summarize and critique historical and contemporary perspectives of diversity, special education, and inclusion. With such a broad awareness of these issues, graduates learn how to apply research to practice and are qualified to lead in a variety of settings and guide ethical decision-making aligned with the goals of educational justice.

Gain Career Flexibility

All educators should be proud of their achievements in the classroom. Teachers develop students academically, socially, and emotionally. Another benefit of a master’s degree in education is that it enables teachers to perform equally meaningful work outside of the classroom. The skills and knowledge that educators acquire with a master’s degree position them for wide-ranging success.

Students in Redlands’ online M.A. in Teaching and Learning program graduate with many transferable skills. The program trains educators to become transformational leaders in education and beyond. Students design and implement curricula. They also conduct qualitative and quantitative research and analyze law and industry trends to review ethical standards. In the process, students learn to collaborate with special and general education professionals, families, and colleagues. This critical expertise helps graduates in a K-12 setting provide better student support as teachers, developmental specialists, and administrators. With a master’s in special education, career options for educators also include roles in other fields. They can work in clinical services, education consulting, or research. The flexibility to work in several industries can lead to meaningful career advancements for educators who seek them.

Earn a Salary Increase

Educators typically pursue the profession for a reason other than salary, but pay remains a consideration. Many school districts recognize the intrinsic value of master’s degrees. Teachers who hold additional degrees and credentials, like a master’s in education, often earn a salary increase from their school district. According to the National Center on Teacher Quality[3], 88% of large districts increase the salary for teachers who have earned a master’s degree. On average, educators with a master’s degree make $2,670 more in the first year of teaching compared with a bachelor’s degree. The gap grows as teachers gain more years of experience. At the maximum point of the pay scale, the difference jumps to $7,358.

The perceived value and associated higher salary are further benefits of a master’s degree in education. The online master’s program at the University of Redlands provides educators with an exceptional combination of specialized knowledge, new perspectives, and transferable skills. The payoff is clear. ranks the University of Redlands in the top 15% of the “best universities for salary potential.”

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[1] Gallup

[2] American Management Association

[3] National Council on Teacher Quality

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