What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Online Teaching?
For those who enjoy helping others, including children and adults, learn and develop knowledge and skills, an online master’s in online teaching opens up a variety of career opportunities. It’s an ideal career choice for those who enjoy working in a dynamic environment.
An online master’s program also offers a more convenient format than traditional on-campus, in-person classes. Students can complete courses at their own pace and decide whether to study on a part-time or full-time basis. When searching for an online master’s program in online teaching, it’s important to find a program that coincides with your short- and long-term career goals.
Concentrations Offered for an Online Master’s in Online Teaching
A master’s degree in online teaching offers numerous options for area specialization and concentrations. Some of the most common ones are listed below, but they are available in virtually any subject area.
|CONCENTRATION||DESCRIPTION||POTENTIAL CAREERS FOR THIS CONCENTRATION|
|Curriculum Design||Students learn to design curricula for online teaching programs based on state and national standards.||Curriculum designer for online teaching programs|
|Instructional Leadership||Prepares students to be leaders in their area of specialty and how to help other online teachers become better instructors.||Instructional leaders for online teaching programs|
Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Online Teaching
Master’s programs in online teaching have many courses in common, but details and specific classes you take vary widely depending on the school, program and your chosen area of concentration. Here are some examples of courses you can expect to take regardless of your concentration.
|Educational Technology||Introduces students to the wide variety of educational technologies available and how they can be incorporated into diverse digital classrooms. Topics may include uses of the internet, relevant software and how to incorporate communication technologies such as forums, webinars and teleconference tools.|
|Global eLearning||Provides a global perspective of learning and usually covers common topics within international education realms. Future online teachers in this course gain tools they can use to serve students unfamiliar with the American school system.|
|Instructional and Curriculum Design||Students learn to plan lessons that meet performance assessment requirements and develop effective teaching strategies for reaching diverse student communities.|
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s in Online Teaching?
Many factors affect the overall length of an online master’s degree in online teaching program. These include whether you take courses at a self-paced rate or through cohort learning, your chosen concentration area and whether your program is offered full-time or part-time.
Most online master’s in online teaching programs can be completed in 12 months, but things like prerequisites, part-time learning and student teaching experience can extend a program as long as two years.
Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Online Teaching Prepares For
Every state in the United States requires teachers, both traditional and online, to obtain licensure from their state’s Board of Education. Different states have different requirements, so students should keep this in mind when they investigate programs. Online college teachers aren’t required to be licensed; however, they do typically require a master’s or doctoral degree in their area of expertise to be qualified for employment.
Outside of required licensure, many online teachers of primary and secondary students complete additional certificates to build their skills and experience. Some of these may include:
|Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Credential||This certification allows teaching professionals to work with non-native English speakers in a variety of educational settings, including a traditional school system, online classroom or international language learning institute.|
|Special Education||Online teachers who want to work with exceptional students can complete additional certifications in special education. Learning outcomes for this concentration involve knowing how to perform diagnostic assessments and ways to serve students with social, emotional, cognitive or behavioral disorders.|
Accreditation for Online Master’s in Online Teaching
Accreditation determines whether a school or specific program is serving students as it should academically and financially. Regional and national accreditation are the standard assessments, and field-specific accreditation focuses on individual degrees or departments within an institution.
Regional accreditation is generally considered to be more prestigious because the process is more rigorous compared to national accreditation. Accreditation is important for employment purposes as well — many employers require job applicants to have completed their education at an accredited school or program.
Teaching has numerous accreditation agencies for the field, including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) maintains a searchable database of accredited institutions and programs, so you can check and see if a program you’re interested in is accredited.
Employment Outlook for Master’s in Online Teaching Graduates
Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s
Because online teaching is a fairly new field, data on online teaching positions is quite scarce compared to other professions. However, data about student growth within online education suggests that more teachers are needed for online learning platforms to meet this increased demand.
Below are some median annual salaries for common teaching positions. If you’re solely teaching online, this annual salary goes further because you’re not spending money on commuting, travel or work clothing.
Geographical location also affects employment and salary levels. While online teaching allows teachers to teach students from all over the country and the world, the following metropolitan areas are some of the highest-employing locations for secondary school teachers.
An advanced master’s degree in secondary education lets secondary teachers focus on the instruction of a specific subject, such as science, history, English or math, or pursue a variety of leadership roles at a school or district-wide level. Listed below are some of the most common career opportunities available to graduates with an online master’s degree in secondary education.
|JOB TITLE||JOB DESCRIPTION||MEDIAN SALARY||PROJECTED GROWTH RATE|
|Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher||Working with younger students, these teachers typically teach all main subjects within one classroom rather than teaching a single subject. While online formats are less common in kindergarten and elementary school, some teachers may teach English to young students in another country, for example.||$56,900 per year||7%|
|Middle School Teachers||Middle school teachers typically work with students in sixth to eighth grades. They help students build on the fundamentals they learned in elementary school to prepare them for high school learning.||$57,720 per year||8%|
|High School Teacher||Sometimes also called secondary school teachers, high school teachers provide students in grades 9-12 with academic instruction. They may teach a single subject, such as science or math, with additional certificates or credentials, or they may teach multiple subjects. They’re responsible for planning lessons, communicating with families and incorporating state-standardized testing into their curriculum.||$59,170 per year||8%|
|Postsecondary Teachers||Postsecondary teachers work in public and private colleges and universities or in junior or community colleges. They teach a wide variety of academic and technical subjects beyond the high school level, and some of their courses may be administered online.||$76,000 per year||15%|
For teachers, whether they teach classes online or in person, professional organizations provide valuable resources, support, advocacy and sometimes liability protection. Many of these professional organizations also host annual conferences and networking opportunities.
National Education Association: The NEA is the largest professional employee organization in the country. They are committed to advancing the cause of public education and provide advocacy resources, lesson plan tools and classroom management ideas to help teachers in their classrooms.
International Literacy Association: A global advocacy and membership organization of more than 300,000 literacy educators across 86 countries, the ILA tries to empower teachers, students and leaders with the appropriate resources to make literacy accessible for all.
Financing Your Online Master’s in Online Teaching
While obtaining an online master’s degree is less expensive than traditional on-campus classes, many students still need financial aid to help them pay for tuition for their degree. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a logical first step for any aspiring graduate student because it provides you with information related to grants, loans and scholarships available to you through the federal government.
Be sure to also investigate what forms of financial aid may be available to you through programs you’re interested in enrolling — many schools provide scholarships and grants.
|Financial Aid for Graduate Students|
|Knowing Your Options|
|Federal Financial Aid for Teachers|
|TEACH Grant||Award: $4,000
Eligibility: In exchange for a four-year teaching commitment at a low-income school upon graduation, the TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) grant provides aspiring teachers with up to $4,000 annually to finance their educational pursuits.
|Teacher.org Inspire Our Future Scholarship||Award: $500
Eligibility: Open to current teachers trying to advance their careers or to brand new teachers just beginning the process. Scholarship applicants should have a 3.5 GPA.
|STEM Teacher Graduate Scholarship||Award: $2,500
Eligibility: For graduate students who plan to teach in a STEM field at a U.S. school in grades K-12 upon graduation.