Many teachers are reluctant to go back to school for additional education, mostly because of the added expense on an already small salary and the added workload. While it’s important to avoid getting overwhelmed or stretching yourself too thin, a Master’s of Education can be incredibly useful to anybody planning on staying in the teaching profession for a number of years.
The most immediate improvement that comes with a new degree is often an increase in salary. While every school district is different, most have incentive programs that increase your salary if you get additional credits and degrees. This means that the expense of the degree will be quickly overshadowed by the increase in pay, and you get to continue collecting additional money each month long after you’ve finished paying to get your MEd.
If your school district has professional development requirements, you must get additional credits during a specific timeframe in order to keep teaching with them. Instead of taking random professional development courses, it’s much better to focus your learning towards a useful degree. A course of study gets you the credits you need to meet all of your license requirements while also getting you to a new level of higher education, which will be much more helpful to you in the future than a few scattered credits.
If you are considering moving to a different school district, a Master’s degree could give you the edge you need to get into the area you want without hassle. Anything you can do to set yourself above and apart from the crowd is incredibly useful, especially if you are moving into an area that doesn’t need many teachers. It’s also imperative if you want to move into teaching in areas of higher education, such as the local college. While you may need a doctorate for a prestigious university, many colleges need people with teaching experience and Master’s degrees to teach education classes. With the extra padding on your resume, you will have more doors open to you.
Another key area where an MEd is especially useful is teaching abroad. If you think you may ever want to live and work outside of the US, having that degree will give you an edge over the competition and set you up to demand more. Qualified teachers moving into high-demand countries, especially those in Asia, often get several perks beyond just a competitive salary; they are given moving and travel expenses, and often even get their housing completely paid for.
Essentially, an MEd gives you options you wouldn’t have otherwise. You can stand to pick and choose where others have to take what’s given to them. You can expect a higher salary, you can choose to teach in the area you want, and you can push for what’s important to you. If you want to move into a different aspect of education, the degree could be very useful when applying to jobs outside of just teaching. Whatever you choose to do, a higher degree can help you stand out.
While a Master’s of Education isn’t necessary, it certainly is very useful. If you are a teacher, it’s a good idea to take some time to research the costs and benefits of a degree, and assess what your goals are. If you plan on continuing in the educational field, it could help you more than you expect.
Tasha Newton writes for education blogs where you can read more about getting a masters in education.