It was estimated that about 56 percent of public school teachers and 43 percent of private school teachers had a master’s in education or higher degree in the 2011-2012 school year. This figure is according to the National Center for Education Statistics reports. As these percentages continue to climb, it’s natural to wonder why so many teachers are heading back to the classroom to earn an advanced degree. Find out below, where we name some of the top reasons to earn a master’s in education.
A Larger Salary for Master’s in Education Holders
Regardless of their college major, students who earn a master’s degree tend to earn more than those who only earn a bachelor’s. Last year, for example, full-time employees with a master’s degree earned an average of $204 more per week than those with a bachelor’s degree. This adds up to an additional $10,608 per year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. Over the course of a career, that’s a quite an advantage.
When looking into teachers’ salaries specifically, we can see a very similar trend. While salaries vary by location, K-12 teachers with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $40,425 per year, according to PayScale. With a master’s in education degree, this figure jumps to $50,075 per year—an annual difference of $9,650.
More Job Options
On top of a higher salary, many professionals decide to earn a master’s in education to open doors to new career opportunities. As these employees know, a growing number of positions not only prefer candidates with a master’s degree, but actually require it. According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, about 40% of all jobs in the education sector will require a master’s degree or higher by 2018. This number is only expected to increase in the coming years.
Earning a master’s degree is particularly important for professionals who hope to one day land a leadership position. In education, for instance, jobs like school principal, instructional coordinator, and education administrator all tend to prefer candidates with a master’s degree, the BLS reports.
While a higher salary and more job options are two excellent benefits that can come from earning a master’s in education, there are additional benefits. For educators with a desire to improve themselves, earning a master’s helps strengthen current skills and develop new talents. Oftentimes, these programs dive deeper into what it means to be an exceptional teacher or administrator. The curriculum gives students advanced knowledge of the philosophy of education, academic technology, teaching methods, and pedagogy. Graduates of master’s in education programs often go on to become more valuable, knowledgeable teachers and administrators.