If you’re an undergraduate student majoring in education, you may be wondering if you should go to graduate school and get a master’s degree. Maybe you’ve heard that a master’s degree actually makes it harder to get a job. Maybe you’re worried about the workload. With concerns like these in mind, here are our top 5 reasons why going to graduate school is worth it for education majors.
5 Reasons Why Education Majors Should Go to Grad School:
1. Be more marketable
While some schools will hire teachers and pay for their graduate education after a couple of years, others prefer to hire teachers with master’s degrees because this means that they won’t have to fund your education. In this case, having a master’s degree will make you more marketable, not less. A good way to determine whether you should pursue a master’s degree is to research the school districts or schools you are interested in. If you know of any teachers employed by those districts and schools, ask them if their schools tend to hire those with or without master’s degrees and whether the school has a benefits program that covers graduate tuition.
2. Earn a higher salary
In most cases, a person with a master’s degree is paid a higher salary than someone with comparable experience who doesn’t have a master’s degree. A state-by-state analysis by the Center for American Progress revealed that teachers with a master’s degree earn anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 more per year than teachers with only a bachelor’s degree. While the length of time it takes to pay off the cost of the degree will differ in every circumstance, with time you’ll earn back more than the cost you put towards your master’s degree.
3. Stay up to date on educational research
Most graduate education programs study the current trends in educational research in a way your undergraduate experience may not have. Once teachers get a job and are busy teaching students in a classroom, it’s difficult to current. A master’s degree will help you to stay up-to-date. In fact, current research is a critical part of what you will learn. You will be more knowledgeable about the kinds of practices and techniques that are successful, which in turn will help you become a more effective teacher.
4. Expand your worldview
A master’s degree will make you more intentional and reflective about the way you teach. Some schools offer programs that have a particular worldview or educational philosophy. If you’re a Christian interested in teaching at a Christian school, it could be incredibly helpful to attend a Christian university with an integrated approach to learning. Even if you want to teach at a public school, a Christian graduate education will help you teach in a way consistent with your worldview and develop character as a servant of Christ.
5. Be a master
In some ways, a master’s degree is self-explanatory. The very name describes what it does; it makes you a master of what you do. A master’s degree hones your craft, covering topics such as curriculum theory, instructional design, and educational research in an in-depth, concentrated way. You can also take electives that allow you to specialize in specific areas, such as international education, special education, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and others. A master’s degree will further develop your skills, which further increases your marketability. There are many reasons why education majors should consider going on to earn their master’s degree in education. But ultimately, a master’s degree makes you better at what you do—and who doesn’t want that? If you’re a high school student who is considering majoring in education, check out Cairn’s dual-level programs, which enable you to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in as few as five years. If you’re a teacher considering of going back to school, Cairn offers on-campus and online programs geared towards the working professional. Learn more about our graduate programs here.
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