More and more teachers are choosing to pursue their master’s degrees through online learning. Online education offers the student many options that would not otherwise be possible. Get some important facts here regarding earning a master’s in early childhood education online.

What Online Learning Entails

Online or distance learning is a method of obtaining education over the Internet. More and more students are utilizing online education as a way to earn a degree without having to quit their job and sacrifice family and other commitments. The student does most, if not all, coursework at home at his or her convenience. Online programs are typically taught by the same instructors they’d have at a brick-and-mortar college. Learning materials are delivered through various methods, including e-mails, streaming media, DVDs, chat rooms, podcasts, and online lectures, among others.

Ranking: Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Early Childhood Education Degrees Online

What is an Early Childhood Education Teacher?

An early childhood teacher is a teacher who works with children from infancy through the third grade. They help children work on their social, emotional and cognitive development. Early childhood teachers work in various settings, including preschools; child development and childcare centers, public and private schools, preschools, early intervention programs, Head Start programs and similar settings. The training and education children get at this young age often helps shape a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

Advantages of an Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

There are several advantages to earning a master’s in early education degree online.

• Higher wage – According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, preschool through kindergarten grade teachers with a master’s in early childhood education earn about $13,000 more annually than those with a bachelor’s degree. This comes to about a 43 percent wage increase.

• More job potential – There is better job potential for teachers holding a master’s degree. An online master’s in early childhood education can lead to positions like elementary school teacher, curriculum developer, program developer or early childhood education administrator to name just a few.

• Can continue to work – Because online students don’t have to attend classes for several hours every day, they can continue to work at their regular job. Master’s students who are currently teaching can obtain additional experience that may be necessary to complete internship or practicum requirements.

• Flexible and Convenient – Online education offers students the flexibility to “attend classes” when it’s convenient for them, so they can continue to meet other obligations. Even working at their own paces, most students complete the degree in one to three years.

What About Cost?

The cost to get a master’s in early childhood education can vary from school to school. The cost can be affected by different factors. State residency requirements are one factor. Some online schools charge the same fees for out-of-state students as they do for in-state students, but others charge a higher rate for out-of-state students.

Some online schools charge a flat rate for online students. Online students may be charged technology fees that wouldn’t apply to on-campus students. The U.S. News & World Report states that online students in an early childhood master’s degree program can expect to pay total tuition amounts of $11,000 to $24,000.

Teaching is a field that will always be around, and students will always have the need for dedicated teachers. Earning a master’s degree can be a teacher’s way to demonstrate a commitment to providing students with the best possible education. Often this can only be made possible by earning a master’s in early childhood education online.