Is an M.A. in Education for Me? Five Reasons it Could Be

By Ellie Walburg on November 20, 2019

When you think back to your experience in elementary, middle or high school years, can you recall a teacher or two who had a significant and positive influence in your life and in your learning? Perhaps it was a word of encouragement, extra time spent in ensuring you understood a concept or the opportunity to share about your life outside of school. Their approach and mentality in their work as educator made a positive difference in your life, an important responsibility in the job of a teacher.

Your role of educator is an important one. Whether sharing essential knowledge and skills with your sweet and expressive first graders, instilling positive work habits for your high school juniors or helping to navigate the inner-classroom drama of your middle schoolers, your influence matters. Alongside your teaching degree, you may be looking for additional ways to elevate your experience and role as an educator in your school or area.

A Master of Arts in Education can provide you that opportunity to grow in your ability to relate to students and lead your school in equipping your students to thrive. Are you wondering if a master's is the right move for you? Here we share five reasons why pursuing a Master of Arts in Education, with your choice of one of two concentrations, can be your next step as an educator.

Serve Your Students and School

Young girl filling out worksheet with pencil

Students can tell if you're engaged with your work or not. Serve your students and school community well as you acquire key practical skills you can bring right into your workplace.

Demonstrate your commitment to their learning by advancing in yours. Gain a foundation in theory to translate into practice with an advanced degree in education. With courses in community building and leadership, issues in education, reading diagnostics and a practical master's capstone project, you'll get to engage in real issues you see at work and develop strategies and experience in addressing them to empower your students and school. You'll develop new and improved ways to relate to your students and making sure they're set on a path to academic flourishing.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I passionate about seeing students and my school environment thrive?
  • Do courses in community building and practical applications to my work intrigue me?
  • Am I committed to furthering my commitment to students in helping empower them for their next steps?

Advance Your Career as an Educator

As a teacher or aspiring administrator, you recognize the value and importance of continuously learning and acquiring new skills. Whether as part of professional certification or for your own individual growth, you have opportunities to continue to enhance and develop your practical knowledge and skills. These continuing education standards benefit both your school and your own personal confidence and success. With this experience, you can also explore new career opportunities within the education field such as principals, administrators and specialized teaching positions.

In addition to engaging in continued education to meet the needs of your teaching requirements, you'll also be able to advance your role with increased pay and career opportunities. Many schools offer impressive incentives in earning an advanced degree and compensate you for your achievement. While pay increases vary greatly due to location, school district, seniority, grade level and other factors, teachers with a master's degree tend to make between 10-20% more than their equivalent peers. For example, the median pay for a high school teacher with a master's degree is about $9,000 more than a high school teacher with only a bachelor's degree. That difference in pay can really add up over time, making earning your master's a wise financial decision in growing your pay.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in growing my career to reach a new position or status?
  • Am I looking to increase my pay while staying in the field of education?
  • Am I interested in ways I can account for my continuing education requirements with an advanced degree program?

Network With a Community of Educators

There are some things in life that only educators understand. Getting students to listen. The constant paperwork. Helicopter parents. Late-night grading.

Relate to other educators who know what it's like in elementary, middle and high school classrooms as you continue your education. At PGS, you'll learn alongside a cohort of peers who are often pursuing similar goals and aspirations as you.

This network of educators is vital for several reasons. It elevates your classroom discussions with comments made by those experiencing similar issues. You can learn new practices and strategies from other teachers who may have overcome a challenge you are experiencing. Savor the camaraderie of understanding the difficulties yet overwhelming rewards of being a teacher in today's world. Education, whether in elementary school or in a graduate program, isn't meant to be a lonely journey. Network with those who know what it's like and learn from the successes of not just your educational journey, but of your peers as well.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I enjoy learning from and engaging with fellow educators?
  • Am I interested in a learning environment where I'll be supported by my peers?
  • Does the ability to learn from others' experiences intrigue me?

Be Equipped in a Changing Classroom

Game pieces that spell teach

As an educator, you know the classroom is far from the same as what it was decades ago. With the increased use of technology and new teaching techniques, the world of education is dynamic. By advancing your education through a master's degree, you can gain essential and practical knowledge you can utilize in a changing school environment. Gain theories and strategies that can be applied today and five years from now.

With core courses such as technology and research, you can learn and grow in today's top trends in education and bring that knowledge and experience into your classroom or aspired role. Today's classrooms aren't staying the same, so neither should you.

Is it for me? Here's what you should know:

  • Am I interested in learning more about today's educational trends?
  • Does the opportunity to apply what I learn in the classroom to my work situation motivate me?
  • Am I determined to keep up with changing classroom trends?

Fuel Your Unique Teaching Passion

Each educator is unique. Your pursuit of goals looks different than the teacher in the classroom next to yours. With an advanced degree in education, you can cater to your aspirations with a degree program. PGS offers two concentrations within the Master of Arts in Education degree program to ensure you can directly connect your education to where you want to go.

Curriculum and Instruction

  • Designed for current educators to advance your classroom instruction with theories, practices and strategies to empower your students to thrive in their learning.
  • Course topics in this concentration include student motivation and behavior, diverse classrooms, learning disabilities and assessments.

Educational Leadership

  • Designed to empower aspiring administrators and leaders with skills and experience in leading the school environment in a positive direction and equipping you to pursue new career goals. This also leads you to certification with the State of Michigan as a building-level administrator.
  • Course topics included in this concentration include those such as organizational leadership, supervision and evaluation, finance and law and ethics.

Each concentration is rooted in a core set of courses that are designed to provide you with a solid foundation in understanding theory and practices you can utilize in your everyday work in supporting students.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do the concentrations of leadership or curriculum and instruction interest me?
  • Am I interested in gaining a practical foundation in growing my experience through core curriculum?
  • Do I see myself committed to achieving those goals I've set for myself in my career?

Learn and Teach with an M.A. in Education

As an educator, you have a unique opportunity to influence and make a difference in the lives of your students. With a Master of Arts in Education, you can grow in your knowledge, skills and experience in equipping your students to thrive in their learning journey. At PGS, you can earn your master's in a convenient format all online, taking just one class at a time. Learn more about taking your next step by connecting with our enrollment team!

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Category: Why College