Jobs for a Master’s Degree in Curriculum & Instruction
A master’s degree prepares educators for leadership roles.
Educators or people working in the education field sometimes seek a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction to advance their careers. Coursework for this degree generally consists of graduate-level research courses; learning, curriculum and instructional theory; curriculum design and assessment; and learning strategies. Many universities offer various concentrations that align with career goals, including teacher leadership, English to speakers of other languages, children’s literature or math.
K-12 Lead Teacher
People already working as teachers sometimes earn a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction to advance their teaching skills and knowledge. Many states pay teachers more when they earn a master’s degree, and this program makes sense for anyone wanting to remain or advance in the classroom. This degree, particularly the teacher leadership concentration, is excellent preparation for becoming a lead teacher. Lead teachers work directly with school administrators to support the school’s mission and may take on assignments to improve student achievement, develop staff, implement the use of instructional technology and assess school curriculum.
Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator
School districts need curriculum coordinators to make sure the districts’ curricula align with state learning standards and regulations. These professionals gather and evaluate school and student achievement data, select textbooks, mentor and coach teachers and oversee the school district’s curriculum. This position involves many of the duties of the lead teacher, only at the district level, and is a full-time administrative position.
A master’s degree is generally the minimum requirement to teach at a junior or community college. Experienced teachers wishing to train new teachers may find employment as an instructor or professor in the teacher education department. Any of the concentrations can lead to this job, depending on preferences a college has for the particular position. Professors at these types of colleges spend most of their time teaching and generally have little, if any, pressure to publish research.
A master’s degree is required to become a school principal. While most states will accept any master’s degree in education, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in educational leadership should also fulfill the administrative internship requirement. Principals must have an administrator license in their state; the state’s department of education provides current requirements for obtaining the license. Generally, this includes several years of teaching experience, a master’s degree in education and a 1,000-hour administrative internship.
Teachers wishing to specialize in a teaching area such as TESOL or sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics can benefit from a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with the corresponding emphasis. In many states, graduates will qualify for endorsements in these specialty areas or will be more likely to be hired for such a position than those teachers with only a bachelor’s degree.
About the Author
Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.