Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education: Career Options

Published Aug 31, 2009

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A master's degree in Early Childhood Education prepares graduates for careers educating children aged from birth to about 12 years old. The degree builds on undergraduate coursework in education and covers advanced concepts used by teachers and education administrators. Most Early Childhood Education master's degree programs require students to complete about 42 credit hours of coursework and can be finished in about 2 years.

Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education Career Summary

Job candidates who hold a master's degree in Early Childhood Education often have competitive edge over applicants with only a bachelor's degree. Many states require new teachers, even those with master's degrees, to pass a state teaching competency test before allowing them to work. Some of the most common career options for people with a master's degree in Early Childhood Education are elementary school teaching and school administration.

Elementary School Teachers

Many graduates of master's degree programs in Early Childhood Education become elementary school teachers, instructing students of pre-kindergarten age up to those in 5th grade. Generally, teachers who instruct younger children have the same students all day and cover all subjects. Teachers who work with older elementary-aged children might specialize in a particular subject and teach different students each class period. Some elementary school teachers work with students who require special education.

School Administrators

Many people earn master's degrees in Early Childhood Education in order to become school administrators, including principals or vice principals. Education administrators help manage the daily operations of schools by establishing and enforcing school rules, setting school-wide academic performance goals and helping design class curricula. While some advanced jobs in school administration, like district-wide superintendent positions, are usually only open to people with doctorate degrees, a master's degree qualifies people for most school-level administration careers.

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