For many, earning a master’s degree is a great way to increase their earning potential, or a graduate program is their way to get ahead in their careers and move into a supervisory position or one with more and better responsibilities. For those interested in curriculum and instruction jobs, however, earning another degree or certificate has a much bigger impact and not just on their careers. It’s about the difference they can make in the lives of countless children and their communities.
At the William & Mary School of Education, we know there’s plenty to consider when deciding whether now is the right time to earn your master’s degree or certificate in curriculum and instruction. To get started, you should understand how a master’s degree or certificate can impact your career.
“What can I do with a master’s in curriculum and instruction?”
Instructional Coordinator: This person is responsible for developing and designing curriculum. They work to make sure schools meet state standards and requirements, analyze how students perform and work to improve student success through analysis and training. They give guidance to other teachers. This role can also be known as a curriculum specialist. The demand for those who can fill curriculum development jobs is expected to grow in the next decade.
Principal/Administrator: A principal or other type of school administrator oversees school operations in many different forms, which can include building relationships with parents, managing budgets and being the public face of their school. A graduate degree is often required. In addition to managing teachers and staff, administrators have a hand in developing curriculums. They build off of their own experience in the classroom to guide their school and influence how a school meets the needs of its students.
Higher education faculty: While many colleges and universities require a PhD to be an instructor, for many schools, including community colleges, a master’s degree is all that’s required. You’ll be able to bring your own background, methodology and experience teaching in classrooms and impart what you know to new teachers-in-training.
Specialized teacher: There’s a growing need for specialized educators across the country. The number of ESL students is growing and special education is a critical component of today’s schools systems. By earning a master’s degree or certificate in a specialization, you can take on greater responsibility and potentially earn an endorsement in your state if it meets their requirements.
Training and development specialist: This is an opportunity for those who want to transition out of schools or are looking to earn a background in education practices. This role can help in human resources or inside a large corporation. You would be leading presentations, holding training sessions, developing and reviewing manuals and training documents. You’ll need the skills to assess how new and old programs’ effectiveness and success, while also monitoring the costs of running them. Training and development specialists work in healthcare, professional and technical services. This is a role that’s expected to grow in the next decade as well.
Lead teacher: As a lead teacher you can be responsible for the direction your school or department moves in. While still continuing your day-to-day teaching responsibilities, you will also onboard new teachers and work with parents, school boards, and administrators as you make curriculum and planning decisions, and take the lead on training staff on new methods and best practices.
Museum educator: In this position, you’ll develop public education programs at museums, often around the museum’s collection. A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction allows you to get the educational background to qualify or excel in this position. This is a great opportunity for those who want to share their love of a certain field but are less interested in a traditional classroom environment. It also provides the opportunity to work with children and adolescents of many different ages.
International teacher: A master’s degree can be a requirement for many international teaching jobs. It can also help you better understand how to work with the students that you’re working with, especially if you choose a background that allows you to educate students who are English learners or those who have disabilities. This can be an extremely competitive market to break into or stay in if you are choosing to work with the children of expatriates.
Find impactful curriculum and instruction jobs.
Know you’ll be ready to transform the lives of any learner, no matter what career path you choose. While a master’s degree is right for many roles, many educators might find that a certificate is the better option for them.
Our Online Post-Professional Certificates in Curriculum and Instruction are designed for those with a professional license who want the targeted skill sets to create an engaging learning experience for all of their students. Through one of our three certificate specializations—Special Education (K-6), Special Education (6-12) or ESL/Bilingual Education—you can gain the tools to create empathetic and effective programs for English language learners and special education.
If you’re ready to earn a graduate degree, however, our Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction offers the same three specialization opportunities and a deep focus on leading change in schools and communities. Explore our curriculum and instruction programs and start your application today.