5 Top Master’s Degree in Education Concentrations

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Concentrations for Master's in Education Degrees

  • Educational Leadership or Administration
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Teaching English Language Learners
  • School Counseling
  • Educational Technology

Earning a master's degree in education is often the next step for individuals who already have a bachelor's degree and teaching certification and who wish to advance their pay or positions, according to Certification Map. However, there are also people who have a degree in a specific field, such as a mathematics degree, who decide to study for the master's degree in education in order to earn a teaching license. Because there are various reasons for obtaining a Master's in Education, the degree also offers specializations designed to enhance the many different aspects of professional educators.

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Here are 5 of the top concentrations for master's degrees in education:

1. Educational Leadership or Administration

Designed to prepare advanced degree students to become school administrators, such as principals or superintendents, this master's degree is a natural step for currently employed teachers who want to take a stronger leadership role in their schools. With courses detailing the necessary organizational, clerical and leadership roles necessitated by the demanding position of building or district administrator, this concentration incurs different certification requirements according to each state. Most states require a certification exam at the completion of the degree, and many involve an administrative internship.

2. Curriculum and Instruction

Professionals who are interested in choosing or developing curriculum for a building, grade level or even district may be best served by this master's degree concentration. Candidates are typically required to gather and evaluate current curricula, determining aspects that can be improved or replaced. This study can include the application of current educational research, available technology and trends in theory and assessments. Most degree students are able to choose an applicable specialization within the concentration, such as curricula at the elementary or high school level.

3. Teaching English Language Learners

Teachers or educational professionals that regularly deal with students for whom English is not their native language may be interested in pursuing this concentration that focuses on expanding the English Language Learners (ELL) curricula in the classroom. Some recipients of this master's degree in education find themselves focused on consulting or working as a teacher who pulls students from their regular education environments for further tutoring or assistance. Others who have completed this concentration may be interested in working abroad as English teachers in other countries, but these individuals are often fluent in a foreign language as well.

4. School Counseling

Applicable to both educational and social situations, those individuals who complete this master's degree program go on to become in-school and out-of-school counselors. The program typically prepares candidates for all students, ranging in age from kindergarten through twelfth grade. In addition, candidates are focused on a variety of counseling approaches throughout students' growth and lifespans with courses such as crisis counseling, problematic student behaviors and exceptional student needs. Master's degree recipients are typically able to service students through school guidance counseling, consultations or private counseling sessions.

5. Educational Technology

Business teachers or those interested in the continually applicable and expanding use of technology in schools and in the classroom may be interested in this concentration that will prepare recipients to become technology coordinators for buildings, schools or entire districts. Candidates of this specialization are instructed in preparing appropriate STEM programs, choosing applicable technology to match their districts and leading group training sessions for teachers and other administrators. Because the technology field is always changing, a master's degree in this concentration is a commitment to ongoing educational and professional development.

Related Resource: 50 Best Online Masters Degree Programs

Earning a Masters degree is the next educational step for many instructors, and the wide variety of concentrations available allows them to choose the program that will best fit their professional goals. Whether educators want to stay in the classroom or progress into an administrative role, the right master's degree is necessary.