Reasons to Complete Your M.Ed. Online
- Saving Money
- Program Choice
- Flexible Scheduling
- Individualized Learning
An increasing number of M.Ed online and hybrid degrees are being offered by a wide range of universities. Unlike the M.A., which is a research degree focused on the scholarly study of education, the M.Ed.concentrates on helping educators apply the most recent educational research to their work as teachers or administrators. Teachers invest in the M.ED. to improve their teaching, especially of specialized classes, increase their pay, or prepare to move into leadership roles. A spreadsheet prepared by the National Center for Education Statistics, for example, shows that teachers with a master’s degree have consistently earned an average of approximately ten percent higher annual salaries than those with only a bachelor’s degree. Whatever a teacher’s reason for pursuing the M.Ed., there are several advantages to doing so online.
1. Saving Money
One of the top reasons for choosing an online program is to save money. Often, tuition costs are lower for online classes, but that is not the entire story. Students who take classes on campus incur commuting expenses such as gasoline and parking or public transit fares. Parents may need to pay for childcare. While on campus, students may spend money on coffee or meals which can be prepared more inexpensively at home. As a recent article in U.S. News & and World Report points out, course materials may also be less expensive.
2. Program Choice
With traditional programs, a teacher is limited in choice by geography. With online programs, teachers can select M.Ed. programs that fit their individual interests. Rather than trying to cobble together relevant courses from a local program, a teacher could select a university that offered specialized training in, for example, working with learning-disabled second language students or preparing for administrative roles in rural schools.
3. Flexible Scheduling
Another major benefit of online programs is flexible scheduling. They enable teachers to fit coursework around their extremely busy teaching schedules and work at their own pace. Often they have more flexible completion times as well so that a teacher can balance attending classes and teaching them while still getting adequate sleep and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
4. Individualized Learning
As well as flexible pacing, most online degrees offer individualized learning, with students being able to pursue their own interests and often design their own programs, sometimes obtaining credit by initiating practical projects in their own classrooms. This is especially beneficial for experienced teachers who have very clearly defined goals and bring to their studies extensive classroom experience.
Teachers with families, especially young children or, increasingly, frail elderly parents, often need to be at home to care for or have time with their families. With online programs, rather than taking time to commute to campus and attend classes away from home, teachers can stay home while doing coursework and care for their families. Seeing a parent at home studying also makes an excellent role model for children.
Choosing to complete an M.Ed online enables busy teachers to choose the best programs for their needs, save money, and enjoy flexible scheduling and time with their families. For these reasons, increasing numbers of teachers are choosing to pursue online degrees.