Master’s in English Education Degrees & Schools Guide

Master's Degree in English Education Career Options & Salary

Why Earn a Master’s in English Education?


Are you considering a career in English education? If you enjoy reading and writing, and have an aptitude for relaying information to others, a master’s degree in English education may be a good fit for you. Depending on the degree earned, graduates will qualify for teaching positions at public and private schools for middle and high school grade students. Additionally, colleges hire professionals with master’s degrees to teach at the postsecondary level.

While a master’s degree in English education is specifically intended for individuals interested in teaching English subject matter, other employment options may also become available.

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Education Degrees & Career Paths


All states require that public school educators have a teaching license or certification. It is impossible to attain the appropriate credentials without, at minimum, earning an undergraduate degree. While many educators find work in the field without a master’s degree, there are many reasons to consider enrolling in a graduate program. This course of action is not, however, for everyone. Keep the following advantages and disadvantages in mind.

PROS

There are several significant reasons people choose to pursue a master’s degree in English education. One of the most alluring benefits is the potential for a higher salary. According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many occupations pay employees more when they have a graduate degree.

Not only do educators with a master’s degree make more money each year, but they also become more marketable. Employers tend to give preference to these professionals when hiring new teachers. They are also more likely to be qualified and considered for administration positions as they become available, whereas individuals with only a bachelor’s degree are not.

Additionally, earning a master’s degree in English education provides an alternative means of becoming certified. If you have already completed an undergraduate degree program unrelated to education, it can be difficult to obtain a teaching license. Many graduate programs offer licensure as part of the degree, however, which ensures you have the resources and guidance you need to qualify for employment immediately after graduation.

For professionals who have been teaching for many years, a master’s in English education serves as a means to update their knowledge of and training in relevant teaching practices. Because progress is made all the time in educational methods and technologies, more effective methods of instructing students in English may be available. Going back to school can provide a greater range of resources to help teachers meet the needs of their students.

Further, a master’s degree is often required in order to pursue a doctorate. Those who plan to become college English professors or administrators should earn one.

CONS

While there are numerous reasons to consider pursuing a master’s degree in English education, there are some drawbacks you should be aware of as well. One major disadvantage is that earning a graduate degree requires more time in school. Most full-time graduate students need at least two years to complete the coursework and other graduation requirements. Those planning to enroll part-time may need even longer.

More years earning a master’s degree also means more debt. Students will be responsible for paying for at least four more semesters of tuition, fees, books, and housing costs. Because teaching positions are attainable without a graduate degree, some argue that completing a master’s program is not worth this added expense. Individuals with undergraduate degrees may not earn as much money per year as people graduate degrees, but they will begin receiving a regular salary earlier and will not acquire more debt.

Overview of a Master's in English Education


What English Education Master’s Degrees are Available?


There are many different types of English education master’s degrees available. Specific program titles will vary from institution to institution, but most colleges and universities offer Master of Education (MEd), Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed), Master of Science in Education (MS Ed), and Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree options. While all of these programs help to prepare graduates for employment in the field, there are several important differences you should be aware of.

  • Master of Education (MEd)
    A Master of Education (MEd) is often preferred by experienced, certified professionals who want to enhance their knowledge and teaching skills within a certain concentration (i.e. language arts). Students usually take courses on research methodologies, instructional material development, and educational material effectiveness. Many MEd graduates also seek to become certified as a reading specialists.
  • Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed)
    A Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed) is a very flexible degree option with numerous concentrations and specializations available. These will vary and much of the coursework will relate to the specific area of study. Many programs also include classes in education philosophy, child psychology, educational ethics, and education research methods. MA Ed degrees are ideal for professionals who want to advance their careers inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Master of Science in Education (MS Ed)
    A Master of Science in Education (MS Ed) is a good option for individuals who already have an undergraduate degree and are certified to teach. Most of these degree programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for advanced positions in education. Graduates often apply for jobs as principals, academic directors, and school district leaders. There are very few MS Ed degrees available with concentrations in English.
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
    A Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is ideal for people interested in entering the field of education. In most cases, students have an undergraduate degree but no background in teaching. These programs are available for almost every academic field and usually include licensure. MATs are also appropriate for current educators seeking to change concentrations.

Admission Requirements


Most colleges and universities have requirements that potential graduate students must complete before they can enroll.

While every institution is a little different, some of the most common requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education or a relevant field
  • Minimum overall academic grade point average
  • Passing GMAT or GRE scores
  • Professional/academic resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Depending on your intended degree type, you may or may not be required to have a teaching license. Programs that do not include certification as part of their curriculum expect candidates to have it already. They may also stipulate that candidates have so many years of professional experience before enrolling.

How long does it take to earn a English Education Master’s?


Generally speaking, most master’s degrees take approximately two years for full-time students to complete. Programs usually consist of 60 credit hours of coursework, but this can vary. Some colleges and universities offer accelerated master’s degree programs and accept graduate-level transfer credits, which can shorten this time frame.

It is important to realize, however, that students enrolled part-time are unlikely to graduate on time. Those who take only a few classes per semester often graduate within five to eight years.

Potential Careers in English Education with a Master’s


There are numerous employment opportunities available to individuals who have graduated from a master’s degree program in English education. Some of the most popular job options include high school English teacher, reading specialist, curriculum specialist, corporate trainer, and school principal.

  • High School English Teacher
    High school English teachers are responsible for instructing students in language arts via lectures, discussions, and demonstrations. They also create, administer, and grade assignments and tests specifically designed to measure student progress. These professionals must also maintain accurate student records and enforce school policy.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a high school English teacher is $49,000.
  • Reading Specialist
    Reading specialists are responsible for determining literacy training needs and developing courses that utilize both traditional and non-traditional methods for students. They must also be able to research and assess literacy needs to improve curriculums. These professionals often advocate for and support early literacy knowledge and skills development programs.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a reading specialist is $51,200.
  • Curriculum Specialist
    Curriculum specialists analyze the effectiveness of class frameworks and help to design initiatives to improve instruction. They often develop and refine tests, scoring guides, and curriculum, as well as respond to test feedback and questions. These professionals also provide courses intended to fill academic gaps and meet known needs.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a curriculum specialist is $55,300.
  • Corporate Trainer
    Corporate trainers are responsible for developing, revising, and delivering training to company or organization employees. They may perform instruction in classrooms or online. These professionals must also organize training rooms and materials, as well as track attendance, class satisfaction, and training success.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a corporate trainer is $55,300.
  • School Principal
    School principals typically oversee school administration, curriculum, programming, services, and academic resources. They are responsible for creating, achieving, and communicating school goals and maintaining productive relations with parents, community members, and the school board. These professionals also establish academic and behavioral standards, as well as administer discipline to students who do not uphold them.
    According to PayScale, the average salary for a principal or headmaster is $85,000.

Options to Advance


Individuals with a master’s degree in English education often choose to continue teaching language arts. They may, however, seek higher profile positions as college professors at private institutions. In some cases, graduates decide to pursue administrative positions within a school district. It is not uncommon for those with graduate degrees to become principals, education directors, or school district leaders.

Best Master of Science in English Education Programs


There are many institutions that offer traditional master’s degrees in English education. Students enrolled in these programs must take the required classes on campus.

Some of the most prominent colleges and universities with this type of program include:

  • Ohio State University
    Columbus, Ohio

    Ohio State University offers several master’s degree programs with English-related concentrations. These accommodate students seeking to earn their initial licenses, as well as those who want in-depth practice within a defined specialization. There is also an option for individuals preparing to further their education with a doctorate degree. Students can choose from specializations in Adolescent, Post-Secondary and Community Literacies (APCL), Reading and Literacy in Early and Middle Childhood (RLEMC), Literature for Children and Young Adults (LCYA), among others.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Education Specialist (EdS)
    • Master of Arts (MA)
    • Master of Education (M Ed)
  • University of Washington
    Seattle, Washington

    The University of Washington offers an MEd degree with a focus in language, literacy, and culture. The program provides advanced preparation in understanding and applying language arts notions. While students can choose between a specialization in literacies or in multilingualism, the tracks include coursework relevant to both topics.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Education (M Ed)
  • Marquette University
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Marquette University offers an MA Ed degree in both elementary education and secondary education. These programs are designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and wish to earn an initial teaching license. The curriculum focuses on the social, cultural, philosophical, and historical contexts of education.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Education (MA Ed)
  • Pepperdine University
    Los Angeles, California

    Pepperdine University offers an MAT degree for individuals interested in pursuing a career as an elementary or high school teacher, as well as a principal or department chair. The program is cohort-based and provides a solid foundation in education. Coursework is hands-on and rigorous, with a capstone experience requirement instead of a thesis.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Washington State University
    Pullman, Washington

    Washington State University offers both an MA Ed and MEd in language, literacy, and technology. The MEd is a non-thesis program designed to help current educators further develop their knowledge and skills. The MA Ed is research-based and intended to prepare students for the pursuit of a doctoral degree.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts (MA Ed)
    • Master of Education (M Ed)

Traditional Schools Offering an MS in English Education


There are many institutions that offer distance learning master’s degrees in English education. Students enrolled in these programs have the option to take classes online from anywhere in the world.

Some of the most prominent colleges and universities with this type of program include:

  • New York University Steinhardt
    New York, New York

    New York University at Steinhardt offers one online MAT degree and several English-related MA degrees. Students can choose between programs that include an initial teaching certification for middle school and high school grades or programs without certification. There is also a non-certification program for individuals interested in teaching English language and literature at the college level.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Teaching (MAT)
    • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Clemson University
    Clemson, South Carolina

    Clemson University offers two online MEd degrees, one in literacy and another in teaching and learning. Both degrees offer graduates the opportunity to advance their professional standing and to personalize their academic experiences. The literacy program allows students to choose between three options: literacy coaching, secondary, and English as a second language.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Education (MEd)
  • University of Saint Francis
    Fort Wayne, Indiana

    The University of Saint Francis offers an online MAT degree that strengthens students’ ability to teach and train in and outside of the classroom. The program is designed to provide graduates with initial licensure at the middle school and high school levels. Students who already have a license can refresh their proficiencies and prepare for future career advancement.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Mayville State University
    Mayville, North Dakota

    Mayville State University offers an online MAT degree designed for individuals who have a bachelor’s degree but not a teaching license. This program is flexible, affordable, and completely online. Mayville State University was designated one of the most affordable online colleges by the Sr. Education Group in 2018.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Kansas State University
    Manhattan, Kansas

    Kansas State University offers an online MAT degree for both elementary and secondary grade levels. The program is designed for people with a non-education bachelor’s degree who want to become teachers. Graduates are eligible to apply for an initial teaching license, which can often be transferred to another state.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
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