No matter your chosen subject or the age group of the students that you teach, a career in education can be very rewarding and satisfying. Teaching is a career option that has plenty of growth and progression opportunities. Whether you are recently qualified as a teacher, have gained some teaching experience, or have several years behind you as a seasoned professional in the educational industry, there are various graduate degree programs in education available to help you take the next step in your career.
Today, you have access to more graduate programs than ever before including online programs that are designed to be fit around your teaching career to help you achieve your ultimate goals. A graduate degree in education will help you prepare for a wide range of different career options. Some positions that you may want to consider if you want to further your teaching career include:
Principal or Headteacher
If you are a natural leader and enjoy the idea of a career where you can inspire others, the role of principal or headteacher could be an ideal goal for you to work towards and get to the top in your teaching career. The role of the headteacher or principal is to oversee the management of the school. While most people working in this role no longer deliver classroom lessons to students, you will be responsible for making important decisions on behalf of the school including choosing new teachers for employment in the school and having the final say on key policies. Principals and headteachers are also responsible for liaising with shareholders, students’ parents, and other key figures within the school. Extensive experience in education, along with an advanced degree is usually required to work in these roles.
One of the main roles of a teacher is to build relationships with students and get to know them as individuals to help guide them towards future success. If this has been the part of your job that you have enjoyed the most so far while working as a teacher, then you may want to consider getting into a future career as a school counselor. With the knowledge that you have gained so far of the education system as a teacher, you will be in a good position to start working directly with students to help them with their academic goals and their mental and emotional wellbeing. School counselors are responsible for keeping students safe and often spend their time observing and checking in with students, getting to know them, and building relationships to encourage students to come to them if something is wrong or when help and support are needed. A school counseling masters from St Bonaventure University can help to prepare you for this role.
Educational psychologists have an important role in helping individuals, groups, and organizations develop and achieve goals through the use of psychological principles. If you are interested in psychology and like learning more about human behavior and what makes people tick, getting into a career as an educational psychologist might be a natural next step up for you as a teacher. In this role, you can play a key part in helping students develop their learning skills to achieve their educational and academic goals and their future career goals. To work in this role, you will usually be required to have a background in either education or psychology, and an advanced degree such as a master’s degree in educational psychology or similar.
Head of Department
If you are passionate about the subject that you teach and the department that you are in as a teacher, it may make sense for you to choose an advanced educational role that involves work that is closely related to your subject. A department head will usually take on both teaching responsibilities alongside management and leadership. You will usually be responsible for managing the department that you work for within the school, and the role can be an ideal stepping stone for teachers who are aspiring to become a principal in the future.
Choosing the Right Advanced Degree
As a teacher, choosing the right advanced degree for you is important when going after your future career goals. If you want to take your career as an educator to the next level, there are various master’s degree programs to consider depending on your future goals and the type of career that you want to get into. Whether you want to get into management or leadership or work in a role where you have more contact with students and more opportunities to make an impact on their lives, here are some of the main things to consider to help you narrow down your options and choose the right advanced degree for you.
Future Career Goals
Your future career goals are likely going to be the main factor to consider when choosing the right advanced degree program for you. Master’s degrees in education come with a range of options to consider including general degree programs that will prepare you for a wide range of different roles, or more specialist degree programs that have a heavier focus on a certain subject, which may be preferable if you have a certain career in mind for the future.
Your Ideal Work Role
When it comes to choosing the right education master’s degree program for you, you may also want to consider what an ideal role at work looks like for you. Take some time to think about what you enjoy the most about your job as a teacher and anything that you wouldn’t want to do more of in a future role. Perhaps you really enjoy the opportunity to get to know your students and support them, or maybe the leadership and management side of teaching is what you like the most about the role.
How you are going to study for your master’s degree is another important consideration to make as a teacher. If you need to continue working in your teaching job full-time while you are getting your advanced degree, then a traditional, campus-based master’s program might be difficult for you. More and more teachers are turning to online learning when getting a master’s degree since these programs offer a greater range of flexibility making it possible for you to study from home, during the evenings and weekends rather than in regular school hours so that you can get the education that you need without skipping a beat in your career.
Choosing a School
Finding the right school to enroll in as a student and complete your master’s degree in education is an important factor to consider. This is especially important if you have decided that online study is the best option for you since there are plenty of online schools that are not accredited and might be a complete waste of time and money. Before enrolling in a program, it’s important to put in plenty of research to ensure that you are getting an accredited program from an accredited, reputable school. As online degree programs become more and more popular, it is also worth looking for a school that is experienced in delivering online and distance learning to ensure that you will get a high-quality experience and level of support.
Speak to Your Employer
If you’re planning to get an advanced degree in education, then this is likely to benefit your employer as well as yourself. It’s worth having a conversation with your employer about your plans to see if they are able to offer you any support. Some schools have tuition assistance programs in place to help teachers and other staff advance in their careers. You may also be able to get more assistance staff to help with your duties to reduce your workload and stress while you improve your qualifications alongside your teaching career.
Planning Your Study Schedule
Finally, it’s important to bear in mind that if you are going to be working full-time as a teacher while studying for your advanced degree, there is going to be a lot of work involved. While online degree programs can be worked around your job by studying from home at times that suit you best, it requires a lot of self-motivation and sticking to a schedule to make it work for you. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you have a solid plan in place, including a study schedule that you can fit around work and is easy to get into the habit of. Teachers will often have more free time to study during the school breaks, so it’s worth sitting down and planning your own studies around this, while making sure that you also get some time off.
Working as a teacher can be rewarding in many different ways, including the many opportunities for career progression. If you have reached a point where you want to take your career to the next level, there are several different career options that you can choose from once you have a relevant advanced degree.