There are many reasons why current and aspiring teachers pursue a master’s degree in education. The most common goals of graduate education students range from enhancing salaries to making career switches and from maintaining a teaching certification to indulging a lifelong love of learning. If you’re wondering if graduate school is the right choice for you, consider whether the following benefits of earning a master’s degree in education match your goals.

Increase Your Earning Potential

In many states, unfortunately, teachers’ salaries don’t reflect the importance of the work they do. Going to graduate school is one way to boost your compensation. In many states, a master’s degree factors into teachers’ salaries automatically, creating what the Center for American Progress called the “master’s bump.” That “bump” is pretty substantial – often between $2,000 and $10,000 per year, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Advance into New Roles

Have you ever thought about working in school administration? What about school counseling? To move into certain roles in the field of education – including high-level roles like school principal and highly-educated roles like school counselor – a graduate degree isn’t just nice to have; it’s mandatory.

Aspiring school administrators earn their degrees in educational leadership or administration, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. Candidates for counseling roles should look for a Master of Education in School Counseling degree program.

Become Fully Certified

In many states, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient education to attain your teaching license or certification. However, a number of states either require a master’s degree from the start or make earning your graduate degree a condition of maintaining your certification. If you live or work in one such state, going back to school might not be optional if you want to continue teaching.

Develop a Specialization

Are you interested in special education? Would you like to develop your skills to teach math or science more effectively? Some Master of Education students aren’t just pursuing a degree, but are also cultivating expertise in a specialized area of study. Many online Master of Education programs offer concentration options such as English as a Second Language, Mathematics Education, Literacy and Science Education for various grade levels.

Learn New Instructional Methods and Technologies

If you entered the teaching profession because you personally have a love of learning, then you might be interested in a graduate education simply because you want the chance to keep learning. Master of Education programs often include foundational courses in subjects like historical and current perspectives on education and evolving classroom technologies, which make earning your degree a great way to refresh your teaching skills.

Of course, attaining a Master of Education degree isn’t an instant way of achieving these goals. Graduate school requires a big investment of time, money and hard work. However, if you’re willing to make this investment, you could get a lot of benefit out of earning your degree.

Also see:

Top 10 Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Education