Earning a Master’s in Early Childhood Education Online

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October 21, 2021

Should I Pursue a Master's in Early Childhood Education Online?

Individuals who enjoy working with children make excellent candidates for a master's in early childhood education online. If you possess enthusiasm and a willingness to help students learn, you can excel in this field. Creative, patient, and dedicated individuals possess the traits to succeed when pursuing an early childhood education master's online.

Obtaining an early childhood education degree online gives students flexibility. They don't need to commute to campus and can complete assignments on their own schedule. They can also study at home, allowing them to save on expenses for room and board.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Early Childhood Education Graduates

Master's in Early Childhood Education Salary

Graduates with an online ECE degree enjoy robust job prospects. Entry-level to late-career positions in locations across the United States offer opportunities for graduates to work as education administrators, at preschool and childcare centers, and as childcare center directors. Demand continues to grow for early childhood educators. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10% job growth rate through 2026 for preschool teachers. This growth provides ample opportunity for students seeking an early childhood education degree online.

Top-Paying States for Education Administrators, Preschools, or Childcare Centers

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
New York 4,480 $70,350
Illinois 2,220 $65,860
New Jersey 1,740 $63,520
Connecticut 730 $61,870
Rhode Island 150 $61,340
United States 49,130 $53,550

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Childcare Center Directors

Source: PayScale

Master's in Early Childhood Education Careers

The number of children enrolling in preschool continues to grow, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. An early childhood education degree online from a top program prepares students for careers in public and private education. Graduates can work as teachers in preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school and also find positions in special education and grant writing. Job seekers with an online early childhood education degree qualify for jobs as directors or administrators. Below are a few positions available for early childhood educators.

Preschool Teacher

Annual Median Salary: $28,980

Projected Growth Rate: 10%

Instructors teach young children basic skills and socialization techniques. They use storytelling and games to strengthen vocabulary and write curriculum that helps child development. Candidates with an online master's degree in early childhood education enjoy additional job opportunities and higher salaries.

Preschool or Childcare Center Director

Annual Median Salary: $46,890

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Directors hire and supervise preschool and childcare center staff. Directors prepare budgets and approve spending. They develop and implement policies and ensure the center meets all regulations. Some states require advanced credentials and degrees, making an online early childhood education master's valuable.

Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher

Annual Median Salary: $56,900

Projected Growth Rate: 7%

These educators help students develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. They create lesson plans and meet with parents to discuss student progress. Teachers must hold a bachelor's degree, although some states require a master's degree to apply for teacher certification.

Special Education Teacher (Preschool)

Annual Median Salary: $58,980

Projected Growth Rate: 8%

These professionals teach students with emotional and physical handicaps. They assess skills, develop individual lesson plans, and monitor student progress. Special education teachers who wish to work as administrators or principals may find an online ECE degree beneficial.

Instructional Coordinator

Annual Median Salary: $63,750

Projected Growth Rate: 11%

Coordinators develop and implement curriculum, oversee teacher training, and ensure the school meets all regulations. They analyze test data, review textbooks, and monitor new educational technologies. These administrators often hold a master's degree from a top accredited college or university.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statstics / PayScale

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Early Childhood Education Program?

Courses at top accredited colleges and universities vary depending on concentration. Programs focus on presentation and evaluation skills, research, and curriculum development and implementation. Courses emphasize strategies to help students learn. These online master's in early childhood education programs represent a sample of available offerings.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Learning Theory for Individuals with Disabilities

In this class, students in a special education concentration review how cognitive theory impacts student evaluation and curriculum design. The course covers issues in leadership through advocacy, ethics and the rights of students and families, and collaborating with internal and external sources.

Early Childhood Development

This course examines how children develop physically, linguistically, emotionally, and socially. Learners study the cultural influences that affect development and factors that interfere with development. Courses address typical and atypical behaviors and how families play an important role in a child's environment.

Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Development

Coursework in this class examines the latest trends that affect development. Learners evaluate school success metrics, achievement gaps, and demographic changes. Students network to understand how real world issues impact development and share these perspectives with other professionals.

Play in Early Childhood Education

This course highlights how activities promote learning and help children understand their surroundings. Students devise plans for activities that correlate to curriculum and support leaning while at play.

Diversity, Development, and Learning

Individuals explore diversity from language, disability, and cultural viewpoints and examine how family poverty, violence, and stress impact learning. Students examine their biases to understand how families influence children. The class explores research to improve developmental outcomes.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Early Childhood Education Prepares For

Each state sets its own rules for obtaining a teaching license. Some states require early childhood educators to hold a master's degree. Other organizations offer voluntary certifications that attest to the teacher's expertise.

Professional Organizations and Resources

Professional organizations offer credentialing, networking, and business opportunities. Networking events connect professionals who exchange ideas. Seminars keep members current with the latest research and theories. National conventions present speakers at the top of the education profession. Job boards help members find their next advancement opportunities. These organizations help advocate for teachers in early childhood education.

These resources are helpful for recent online early childhood education degree graduates.

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