Master's in ESL Education: Career Options for Graduates with a Master's Degree in ESL Education

Published Oct 30, 2009

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Students looking to earn a master's degree in ESL education can work toward a Master of Arts in Bilingual and ESL Education. Career options for graduates with a master's degree in ESL education include teaching and administration, and jobs are available in both public and private sectors.

Master's Degree in ESL Education Career Summary Overview

The term ESL stands for English as a second language; similar acronyms include TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and ESOL (English for speakers of other languages). Individuals interested in obtaining an ESL-related graduate degree can earn a Master of Arts in Bilingual and ESL Education, a Master of Science in Education for TESOL or a Master of Arts in ESOL and Applied Linguistics. Students interested in teaching in public schools, but who do not have teaching certifications, may have to pursue additional licensure courses. ESL graduates can work in schools and business settings as domestic teachers, foreign educators or course administrators.

ESL Educators Career Summary for Master's Degree-Holders

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,, indicates that employment of ESL and remedial teachers is expected to rise 14% between 2006 and 2016; areas with high populations of monolingual Spanish speakers, such as New York, California, Florida and Texas should provide the most opportunities. Graduates of a master's degree program in ESL education can work at home or abroad as teachers in corporate settings or ESL instructors for primary and secondary schools, adult education services and colleges. At times, citizens of other countries come to the U.S. to earn ESL degrees in order to return to their countries to teach others English. Additionally, global companies that want their employees to speak English may hire ESL educators.

ESL Administrator Career Summary for Master's Degree-Holders

ESL education graduates can work in business and academic sectors as curriculum managers or administrators. ESL administrators design and implement ESL programs and are in charge of fiscal matters. Other responsibilities include student retention and training as well as faculty recruitment and professional development, notes the Education Resources Information Center, Educational administration jobs are available in K-12 schools and in adult education. Organizations that handle immigration and citizenship services may also employ ESL program coordinators.

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