Pursuing a career in early childhood education provides an individual with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of hundreds and even thousands of children over the course of their life. While some early childhood educators can make a difference in the lives of children with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, others seek out more advanced career opportunities available to them with a Masters in early childhood education. With an early childhood education Masters degree, educators can increase earning potential and enjoy greater opportunities to make an impact on today’s youth.
Job Opportunities for Those with a Masters Degree
Many who have chosen a career in early childhood education are interested in learning what opportunities they may have as an early childhoodgraduate with a Masters degree. There are numerous opportunities available to those who earn a degree from an accredited educational institution. These include:
• Preschool or early childhood daycare center administrator
• Elementary school teacher or administrator
• Post-secondary teacher at a community college
• Curriculum development professional
Many professionals will also pursue their Masters in early childhood education as a stepping stone towards earning their PhD.
Salary Potential With an Early Education Degree at the Masters Level
Most who pursue a Master’s level teaching degree or childhood education degree do so more for the opportunity to expand their career opportunities and reach their career goals. A Bachelor’s early childhood education degree can present an educator with many opportunities, but a Master’s degree allows a professional to broaden his or her career opportunities significantly. In addition to opening more doors for an educator, a Master’s degree can also boost income potential. The average salary for an educator with a Bachelor’s degree is about $38,000 to $48,000. Those educators with a Masters degree earn on average about $42,000 to $67,000. These figures will vary significantly based on factors such as:
• The geographic location of the job
• The job duties
• The work experience of the educator
Earning a Masters in Early Childhood Education
There are several different paths a student can take to earn a Masters degree as a childhood educator. Many students will earn their degree immediately after graduating with their Bachelor’s degree. The typical Master’s program for early childhood education requires students to complete about thirty to thirty-six semester hours of coursework. While some will continue on with their studies as full-time students and work towards their Masters degree immediately after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, others will enter the workforce with their Bachelor’s degree. It is common for those with a Bachelor’s degree to obtain a teaching certificate and work as a teacher in a public or private school classroom, but other job opportunities are available as well. Many of these working educators will work towards their Masters degree through non-traditional educational opportunities while gaining real-life work experience.
Earning an Online Masters Degree
There are many accredited online schools that allow educators to earn a Masters in early childhood education in a convenient fashion. Through an accredited online Masters program, students can attend classes remotely, logging on and completing course requirements before work, after work, and in the evenings. Online ECE units may be earned at a student’s own pace, which is an ideal learning method for many working adults. Students should ensure that any school they choose to attend is an accredited institution. Some students enrolled in an online Masters program are able to complete coursework within about a year. Others enjoy taking their time with their coursework and will take two or more years to satisfy Masters level graduation requirements.
Some students have defined their educational and career goals early on in their academic careers, and they make the decision to pursue a Masters in early childhood education before they graduate with their Bachelor’s degree. Others spend several years working as an educator with a Bachelor’s degree before making the decision to go back to school and work towards their Masters degree. Once a Masters degree has been earned, educators can enjoy the opportunity to expand their career options and work in higher level teaching positions, administrative positions, and more. These opportunities often allow educators to benefit from more significant earning potential as well.