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Is an Online Master of Education the Right Fit for You?

October 2, 2023

With ever-increasing frequency, America’s professionals and prospective professionals are pursuing master’s degrees to improve their skills, employability, and earning potential. The data tells the story: Since 2001, the number of people aged 25 and older holding a master’s degree has more than doubled. More than 14 percent of adults currently hold an advanced degree. 

Business and education consistently rank first and second in popularity among graduate study fields, with education representing 18 percent of all master’s degrees conferred in 2020–21. Multiple forces drive the degree’s popularity. A master’s degree is a prerequisite for some leadership roles, such as school principal. Many public school systems award automatic pay increases to educators with advanced degrees. 

Master’s degree programs require a significant commitment, so you want to make sure you choose a program that fits your career objectives, learning style, and lifestyle. This article reviews the factors to consider as you make your choice and explores the question of whether an online Master of Education (MEd), such as the one offered by Tulane University, is right for you. 

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What Will You Learn in an online Master of Education Degree Program? 

Education is a complex profession encompassing teaching, school administration, curriculum design, and public policy. Several degree programs train educators for these varied roles. The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and Master of Science in Teaching (MST) typically prepare aspiring teachers to obtain teaching licenses and launch careers in the classroom or train licensed teachers in the knowledge and skills they need to step into more specialized roles.

MEd degrees apply more broadly. Teachers sometimes pursue the MEd, but more often, this credential offers a gateway to leadership positions in education. Career options for MEd graduates include education leadership roles such as principal, educational director, career counselor, and learning experience designer.

Prospects in all these fields are promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career counselor and community service manager job markets are projected to grow 10 percent and 12 percent between now and 2031, respectively, while the instructional coordinator and designer job market should expand by 7 percent.  

The Tulane School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) MEd curriculum equips students with the skills to be exceptional leaders in the education field. Throughout the program, students develop four key competencies: ethics and professional norms; equity, inclusiveness, and cultural responsiveness; learning and instruction; and building professional capacity. 

Consider the Case for Online Learning

Why earn your MEd online? Here’s an overview of the key benefits you can expect. 

Flexible Courses

Online master’s programs typically offer scheduling flexibility, making them good choices for those who want to study while working full time. Tulane’s Online MEd program includes a mix of asynchronous coursework and synchronous classes. Asynchronous content enables students to fit their studies into their busy schedules, while live online classes facilitate valuable peer and faculty engagement. Students can vary the number of courses they take each semester to better fit their degree to their work schedules.

National Network 

Online students have access to a uniquely diverse learning experience as they connect with peers across the country. Tulane seeks candidates from varied educational and professional backgrounds to ensure that each peer cohort is intentionally diverse. 

Program Affordability 

​​Online master’s programs typically charge the same or similar tuition as their on-campus counterparts, but they do offer financial advantages in some areas. Online learners can continue working while studying, which can reduce or eliminate the need for student loans. They also avoid the relocation, transport, and housing costs associated with in-person education. 

Tulane’s MEd program offers scholarships to eligible online learners, including a 20 percent discount for full-time educators, veterans, and active and retired public safety personnel, among others. Review the list of available scholarships to determine whether you might qualify.

Career Advancement Opportunities

Graduate degrees in education can qualify professionals for leadership positions and roles requiring specialized skills in such areas as special education. Part-time online study is ideal for working educators, who benefit from the opportunity to apply what they learn in a professional setting.

How to Succeed in an Online Classroom

Online learning requires a unique set of skills. Fortunately, most of us in this digital age develop these skills as we work, shop, and socialize online. Students will need a stable internet connection and the technical proficiency to manage online meetings and assignments. They also must be assertive enough to reach out to faculty and peers when they need clarification or support.

An increased emphasis on independent learning means students must be self-motivated to stay on track. They also need good time-management skills. It is worth noting that on-campus programs require these same skills. Online programs offer students multiple support channels, including email, bulletin boards, and technical support, to help them manage program demands.

Ready to Find the Right Degree for Your Goals?

Most universities provide tools and resources to help you choose the right program for your goals and lifestyle. Tulane offers various virtual events where you can discover the career options available upon graduation and learn what to expect from the online student experience. 

You can also schedule a call with an enrollment advisor to find out more about the program and discuss whether it is the right fit for you. If you decide to apply, an enrollment advisor can also answer any questions about the application process and advise you on optimizing every aspect of your application.

The online Master of Education degree program at Tulane University develops leadership skills with a focus on promoting equitability and inclusivity in schooling. The program offers graduate certificates in four specialization areas: equity-centered education leadership; learning experience design; teaching English learners; and special education. Ready to find out more? Contact an enrollment advisor today. 

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