Masters in Early Childhood Education

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A Masters in early childhood education is a degree that can lead to greater job opportunities and increased salary.  The prerequisite for this degree is a Bachelor’s degree, and the Masters in early childhood education generally takes 2 years to complete.

Some degree programs are designed for currently licensed or certified teachers who want to enhance and improve their existing teaching skills. Other programs are designed for those who are not currently teaching.  Program offerings vary by institution, as do thesis requirements.  Degrees awarded are often a Master of Education (M. Ed.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M. S).  Some institutions offer a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.).

Masters in Early Childhood Education:  Coursework

Coursework in a Masters in early childhood education program typically covers an in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge of pedagogy appropriate for very young children.  Childhood development is also emphasized.  Other courses may include early childhood education theory, diversity and multiculturalism in education, technology in early childhood education, child psychology, play theory, and courses in analysis and research.

What Skills are Developed in a Masters in Early Childhood Education Program?

For the student whose undergraduate degree is in early childhood education, the Master’s will build on existing classroom and communication skills, allowing the student to learn more about age-appropriate teaching skills in a variety of topics.  A Masters in early childhood education will improve the students’ abilities to communicate with parents and other administrators, to understand the research as it pertains to trends and issues in early childhood education, and to develop curricula for learning in early childhood.

Masters of Early Childhood Education:  Job Outlook

Many who earn a Masters of Early Childhood Education are currently employed in a public school system, and earning this degree can help them advance in their jobs salary-wise or to advance to new and specialized positions within the school system.  Some job titles that may be available are: educational specialist, behavioral therapist, early intervention specialist, or child care consultant.

Others who hold a Masters in early childhood education might find careers as a childcare or preschool administrator, which is a managerial and human resource position, managing the hiring of staff and helping to shape the curriculum within an early childhood education center.  A Masters of early childhood education may also prepare graduates for a career as a post-secondary education instructor, teaching others the theory behind and practical application of early childhood education.

Masters of Early Childhood Education:  Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2010 the mean annual salary for preschool and childcare administrators was $50,410.  This is the national mean, so of course there will be fluctuations in this figure by region.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the May 2010 mean annual salary for post-secondary education teachers was $64,370.  Again, this is the national mean, so expect variations from this figure.

Healthcare benefits, paid vacations, sick leave, and other benefits are not included in these figures, and these benefits are all things to consider when assessing the salary range for any position.  The bottom line is that a Masters in early childhood education will create new job and salary opportunities for those who hold this degree.


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