Educational technology is a growing field of study interested in harnessing and developing cutting-edge media and resources to improve educational systems and programs. At the master’s level, students should expect a research-driven curriculum. Common courses may include topics such as e-learning, instructional design, innovative uses of technology, adaptive learning, instructional media, learning psychology, human development, and educational assessment and evaluation, among others. Students who earn a masters degree in educational technology online may qualify for positions as instructional coordinators or educational consultants with schools, school districts, government agencies, non-profit groups, or private education companies.
Why a Master’s Degree?
While graduates with a bachelor’s degree may be able to find entry-level work in this field, typically, the most desirable positions, like those of instructional coordinators, require a master’s degree or higher. With this in mind, students will gain the research expertise, industry knowledge, and credentials they need to become leaders in educational technology. Students also have to option to continue on to a doctoral program if they are interested in teaching at the college or university level, or would like to pursue careers in advanced research or upper-level leadership.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
At the graduate level, students should expect higher standards for admission, since schools want to make sure candidates will be able to handle the research-intensive curriculum. Please note, each school will have their own requirements, but below are a few common ones to give you an idea of what they are looking for:
- Completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree program
- Minimum GPA (as outlined by the school)
- GRE or GMAT test scores (if required)
- Professional experience (if required)
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Application form and fee
- Personal statement(if required)
- Letters of recommendation (if required)
Inside an Educational Technology Master’s Degree Program
If you are researching online masters degree programs in educational technology, you have likely found a number of flexible options. These programs are designed with the unique needs of working adults and busy parents in mind. Most classes run in an asynchronous format, which means there are no scheduled course times students must adhere too. Rather, you can tailor your learning schedule to whatever times work best for you. In addition, technology such as web conferencing, video chat, and streaming audio and video make collaboration and presentation projects possible.
Common classes that may be included in this type of curriculum are human development, learning psychology, educational assessment and evaluation, distance education, instructional multimedia, adaptive learning, and learning environments, among other topics. Students will also work on their own research interests under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Most master’s programs culminate in the completion of a thesis or capstone research project. Any field work this requires can be completed remotely as a distance learner.
What’s Next for Educational Technology Master’s Degree Holders?
Master’s degree graduates in this field have the skillset and credentials to pursue work as instructional coordinators or educational consultants. This could include positions with public or private schools, school districts, government agencies, private educational companies, or non-profit organizations with an educational focus. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports relatively strong job prospects for instructional coordinators, with 20% growth in demand expected from 2010 to 2020. This is faster than average growth of 14% anticipated for jobs overall during this time frame.
In terms of earning potential, instructional coordinators reported an average annual wage of $62,420 to the BLS in 2012. Most positions were found with elementary and secondary schools, followed by colleges, universities, and professional schools. Please note, these estimates may not reflect actual pay and job openings in your area. Other factors influencing this include level of professional experience, educational background, and the specific position and employer.