Post-grads seeking a flexible online degree that marries curriculum and instruction with computer science could be attracted to Master’s in Educational Technology programs. A Master’s in Educational Technology is a one- to three-year degree generally housed in a university’s College of Education to instruct teachers and non-certified professionals about how technology is integrated into training.

Educational technology is a growing field focused on facilitating improved learning by employing high-tech hardware, such as desktops, laptops, smartboards, iPads, Kindles, and digital microphones, in classrooms. The 21st century is bright with job opportunity considering that 48 states and Washington, D.C., already support virtual K-12 learning. O*NET online projects that the demand for instructional technologists will spike by eight percent for around 25,100 new U.S. jobs by 2024. Here’s everything you should know about Master’s in Educational Technology programs to determine if it’s your degree fit.

Typical Curriculum for a Master’s in Educational Technology

Pursuing a master’s in educational technology is considered the pathway to proficiency in the adaption of computer resources into curriculum to reach today’s tech-savvy learners, according to US News and World Report. Graduates with an accredited bachelor’s can usually pursue this master’s on-campus or online for 30 to 48 credits. The Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of Education (M.Ed.) will sharpen IT skills with access to technology laboratories and virtual classrooms for hands-on practice. Courses will normally include instructional design, Web development, digital video applications, learning theories, educational research methods, and tech-supported learning environments. Many colleges will require educational technology services practicum in K-12 schools for up to 20 hours weekly. Students also create ePortfolios of their work and complete a capstone or thesis project.

Master’s in Educational Technology Career Opportunities

Earning this master’s degree will ensure you pass the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for technology coaches. Around 65 percent of America’s 151,100 instructional designers and technologists hold a graduate degree. Educational technologists primarily work full-time in public or parochial elementary, middle, and high schools to establish school-wide technology. Graduates could also find good prospects at junior colleges, university campuses, educational support services, virtual schools, academic libraries, and IT companies. Some are even employed by the government to work technology into Common Core standards. Completing your Master’s in Educational Technology can add dazzle to their resume with credentials like Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) too.

How to Find a Good Master’s in Educational Technology Degree

One advanced search of the NCES College Navigator database turned up 19 pages of colleges offering master’s degrees in education technology to choose from. Your geographic location could narrow down your options unless you study online. Sorting out the colleges accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) would also reduce the list for the highest-quality options. Use rankings like the U.S. News or NCTQ to determine the strength of teacher preparation offerings. Affordability is another important factor, so contact the financial aid office to ensure you’ll cover enough of tuition for limited loans. Also look into faculty credentials, class size, tech resources, and curriculum prerequisites.

Related Resource: 25 Best Online Master’s in Web Design 2017

Overall, Master’s in Educational Technology programs are specialized, post-bachelor’s degrees where an emphasis is placed on amalgamating modern digital resources into curriculum to maximize students’ content comprehension. Salary.com reports that instructional technology specialists claim a median yearly wage of $56,510, or $27 per hour, according to Salary.com. Master’s in Educational Technology degrees could also be a springboard into doctoral study for becoming a college tech professor where the median pay is $75,430.