7 Reasons to Pursue an M.A. in Education

Are you a teacher wondering about the next step in your career? A Master of Arts in K-12 education can be a great investment in yourself—and your students. As you learn the latest research and trends, you’ll expand your skills, gain tools for leadership opportunities, and be equipped to have a bigger impact on students.

We talked with Lisa Silmser, program director of Bethel’s M.A. in Education K-12, about some reasons to consider earning an advanced degree:

1. You’ll gain new skills and new opportunities.

Earning a master’s degree in education provides teachers with additional skills in leadership, educational research, assessment practices, school innovation, differentiated instruction, and serving the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse students. And as you improve your teaching skills, you’ll expand your leadership opportunities.

2. You’ll stay up-to-date on recent strategies and trends.

Most educators are passionate about learning and knowing the best strategies and methods for supporting their students. Returning to graduate school is a great way to connect with the newest research. You’ll also discover new evidence-based methods that can bring efficiency, effectiveness, and success into the classroom.

3. A master’s degree usually leads to higher salaries.

Since most school districts want a highly educated workforce, they’ll negotiate higher salaries for teachers with advanced degrees. In most cases, the cost of the degree will be recouped in just a few years through pay raises.

4. It’ll open the door for leadership opportunities.

Educators with a master’s degree are ready to be leaders in their schools and districts. Graduate-level credentials can open doors to be a teaching leader, a curriculum specialist, an instructional coach, or many other educational leadership roles. You’ll dig deeply into self-reflection and topics of leadership. And you’ll take the time to consider your impact as a leader. Whether you plan to pursue an official leadership position or just want to be ready and able when opportunities come your way, an M.A. in Education will not disappoint.

5. Your learning will have a big impact in your classroom.

As teachers explore the research, they’re encouraged to apply it in their work settings. They often find their classrooms become places of exploration and innovation.

When you use educational research as a springboard, the results can be impressive because students achieve new heights, and that achievement fuels teachers and protects them from burnout.

6. A degree offers opportunities to specialize or explore an area of interest.

Many graduate education programs offer concentration areas. That provides opportunities to focus on an area you are passionate about—and reflect it on your resume. One example is a work-based learning certificate, which helps teachers support students’ transition from school to work. Another option is an international baccalaureate concentration for those who want additional credentials for teaching overseas or in an IB school. For those considering a path to serving as a school administrator, an educational leadership concentration—or a principal or superintendent license—can serve as an entry point into an Ed.D. program. Often, you can even pursue a custom concentration that specifically caters to your unique interests, like a literacy concentration.

7. You’ll also gain a network and deep connections.

You’ll build bonds within a cohort of teachers, who are likely coming from around the globe. Those bonds last long after the courses end. And faculty are ready and willing to answer questions and make introductions.

Bethel’s M.A. in Education K-12 program was recently named one of Forbes’ top 10 online education master’s programs. Courses are taught by faculty who work in and alongside K-12 schools on a daily basis. That way, the ideas that are shared in class are ones that are being used right now rather than from decades ago. We are walking the talk and are excited about the powerful transformation that happens over the course of 18-24 months. 

As you improve your teaching skills and expand your leadership opportunities, you’ll work alongside professors who provide real-world solutions based on their own experience. And you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learned immediately in your classroom.