You can become a classroom teacher with only a bachelor's degree, so why would you pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)? While it takes additional time, effort, and investment to earn a graduate degree, the arguments in favor of this strategic career move are many. Many consider it the difference between being an adequate educator and becoming an outstanding one. In other words, many of the benefits of a master's degree revolve around personal satisfaction and the opportunity for professional growth.
Why Earn a Master of Arts in Teaching?
It's a question many new teachers ask themselves: "Should I get a master's in teaching?" And while there's no right or wrong answer, there are persuasive arguments in favor of going that extra educational mile. A master’s-level degree in teaching will most likely ensure you earn more money over the lifetime of your career. In fact, holders of master's degrees earn over $1 million more throughout their lives than those who hold high school diplomas, according to the Social Security Administration.
A master's degree will most likely make you more employable, as well. You may begin your career in a mid- or upper-level position, as opposed to an entry-level job. And you may enjoy better job security, too. Perhaps most importantly, you'll be a better teacher because you'll have more skills and tools at your disposal. There are at least 10 great benefits of a master's in teaching that you may want to explore if you're considering a career in education.
1. An MAT Can Help You Grow Your Career
Your master's in teaching gives you additional time to drill down your educational focus. It's a chance for someone with classroom experience to become a specialist in their area of interest. For instance, you can earn your teaching degree in several areas of concentration, including:
- Early childhood education
- Primary education
- Secondary education
- Special education
As a specialist in the field, your career opportunities may expand exponentially. You may become a more marketable and promotable job candidate, which often translates into better job security and a higher salary.
2. A Master of Arts in Teaching Can Inspire You
Teachers often spend six hours in the classroom, followed by additional hours at home and in educational meetings, all to help ensure the success of their students. However, the majority of students who pass through your classroom will never understand the depth of your devotion.
It's easy to become discouraged. This is especially true today, with a national teacher shortage bringing new and greater challenges than ever before. However, taking the opportunity to earn your master’s in teaching could be the match that rekindles your fire for teaching. Gaining new skills and learning new techniques for classroom management is always exciting. And your new teaching degree may give you a dynamic new outlook, too.
3. An MAT May Grow Your Passion for Teaching
Teachers are also lifelong learners. While the goal is to teach every child in your classroom, not every child learns the same way. An MAT will help you develop the skills and knowledge necessary to spot those students who may need additional help. Ideally, it will also equip you with the tools to assist them. Different methods of learning, teaching, and communicating are all topics you'll cover as you work toward your graduate teaching degree. And the first nontraditional student you're able to reach as a result may ignite a passion for teaching unlike any you've experienced before.
4. Your MAT May Help You Develop a Stronger Curriculum
As you earn your master’s in teaching, you'll complete a variety of coursework that's designed to give you better insight into the learning process, including classes that cover:
- Methods and materials
- Instructional curriculum design
- Educational technology
- Methodology of teaching
As a result, you'll gain better insight as to what makes up a successful curriculum, and you'll learn more about the best ways to go about reaching students. You can use this valuable information to help the students in your own classroom or parlay it into a successful career in curriculum development.
5. A Master of Arts in Teaching Can Lead to a Career in Administration
There may come a day when you're ready to transition out of the classroom and into school administration. And a master’s in teaching can help make this happen. If your long-range plans include working as a principal or school superintendent, you'll need a master's degree. Earning your graduate teaching degree is the ideal career path.
6. Your MAT Can Open Up Options for Relocation
Are you ready to expand your horizons? With a master's degree in teaching, you may have more opportunities to relocate for work. With the current teacher shortage, going that extra step and earning your graduate degree makes you a more sought-after candidate to teach in schools throughout the country or even internationally. If you're ready to embark on a new life adventure, a graduate degree is a lot like money in the bank.
7. An MAT Can Better Familiarize You with Classroom Technology
Technology is a sore spot for many educators. And as the world becomes more connected, technology only grows more advanced. When you return to graduate school to earn your teaching degree, you'll learn how to use all the latest tech, including:
- Video conferencing platforms
- Smart video cameras
- Synchronous and asynchronous teaching tools
- Online textbooks
- Virtual reality
- Mobile devices
A master's degree can help to ensure you stay as up to date with the latest technology as your students undoubtedly will, which can be a huge asset in the in-person or virtual classroom.
8. A Master of Arts in Teaching Can Help Support the Life You Desire
Teachers or administrators who hold master's degrees earn more money, which is as it should be. After all, it takes a bigger financial investment to attain your master's in teaching. Therefore, it makes sense that it should pay off better over time. Going for your master's may make it easier to buy a home, invest in real estate, and save for your own children's college, as well as do all those other things of which you've always dreamed, including owning a summer home or taking international vacations.
9. Your Master's Degree Can Help Improve Your Skills in Classroom Management
The additional two years you'll spend earning a master's in teaching gives you the opportunity to hone and polish the teaching skills you already possess, including the way you manage your classroom. Every teacher has those students who are especially difficult to reach, and the more you know, the easier those breakthroughs may become. You'll learn more about:
- Time management
- Behavior modification
- Motivation and discipline
- Management strategies
- Classroom organization
All will help you preside over a more successful classroom. Learning outcomes will improve, and student satisfaction rates and morale will benefit, too.
10. Your MAT Will Help You Push the Limits of Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration
Perhaps the biggest benefit of earning a master’s in teaching is that it makes you a better role model for your students. All the qualities you expect to see in your students can be reflected back by you, including the “four Cs”: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. The more you know about these qualities and can model them yourself, the easier it will be for your students to follow suit. The result can be a dynamic, energetic, and engaging classroom -- the exact type of classroom for which every teacher yearns.
If you're ready to learn more about the Master of Arts in Teaching, we invite you to explore University of the Cumberlands. Our online Master of Arts in Teaching degree may be just what you've been seeking. As an online student at University of the Cumberlands, you'll have more flexibility to pursue your graduate degree around your current commitments.
Reach out today for more information regarding the online master's in teaching program at University of the Cumberlands.