What is a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)?

What is a Master of Arts in Education (MAEd)?

A Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) is a graduate degree for educators interested in career growth and advancement. Unlike a Master of Education or a Master of Arts in Teaching, an MAEd can provide continuing training for teachers and can also serve as the best option for those interested in education careers outside of the classroom. 

Why Choose an MAEd? 

An MAEd balances academic theory with teaching practice, which makes it an attractive choice for those who want to make an impact on policies and procedures within education and make a career out of this mission. This degree can help educators improve their teaching skills by giving them an opportunity to better understand their students, diversify their curriculum, and manage the classroom. An MAEd achieves this by offering coursework that is both academically rigorous and career-oriented.

At the graduate level, teachers improve their abilities through training and gain confidence in their leadership skills, increasing their relevance in the national conversation on education. As educators develop their teaching strategies, classroom management techniques, and understanding of the educational landscape as a whole, their voice starts carrying more impact. 

Though higher education requirements differ from state to state, many districts require teachers to have an advanced degree in order to progress their careers. Within the field of education, salaries are frequently tied to the highest level of education teachers receive. 

An MAEd can help an educator stand out, keep them competitive, and secure one of the better-paying positions in the field, in or outside the classroom. With a Master of Arts in Education, career paths may include moving into roles such as college professor, educational director, psychologist, or researcher, as well as school administrator, counselor, or principal. 

Who Should Pursue a Master of Arts in Education? 

A Master of Arts in Education is beneficial to teachers and anyone passionate about teaching. This degree prepares educators for professional success, offering the time and knowledge dedicated to professional development. Students can customize their master’s degree according to their goals and use it to take their skills and education to the next level. 

This degree is ideal for: 

  • Current teachers looking to build their knowledge and skills, or who are interested in transitioning into another facet of education. 
  • Seasoned teachers ready to move into leadership roles, including principal or superintendent positions, and increase their income. 
  • Substitute teachers who may need additional credentials to move into a full-time teaching position. 
  • People passionate about education who want to build their career within the field but beyond the classroom. 
  • Long-time teachers looking to make a tangible difference in education policies and procedures. 
  • Educators who want to diversify and improve their skills with the flexibility of a degree that still lets them practice their teaching or tend to other responsibilities. 

How Can an MA in Education Help Teachers Specialize? 

A crucial benefit of an MAEd program is that this degree allows students to build on their prior experience and specialize their education. A Master of Arts in Education program takes the foundation teachers have established during their undergraduate degree and expands on it, appealing to their passion, drive, and area of expertise. An MAEd provides educators the opportunity to embrace and excel in a unique specialty, offering more growth potential within their district. 

Many MAEd programs offer a variety of specializations, such as specific secondary education subjects, Curriculum and Instruction, Early Education, Educational Leadership, Gifted Education, Leadership in Technology, Literacy, Special Education, and Student Diversity. 

What Qualifications Do I Need to Apply for a Master of Arts in Education Program? 

Candidates often wonder whether they need an undergraduate degree in education or teaching to get an MAEd. The reality is that there are a variety of pathways to earning this advanced degree. Master of Arts in Education programs can be tied to initial licensure, can provide specialization for those with several years of classroom experience, or even be part of a career transition for those looking to turn their undergraduate education into a teaching career.