Overview: A Master’s in Early Childhood Education/Development

For those who are already practicing educators with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in early childhood education and development could be an option if one wishes to pursue program administration or just simply want to enrich their learning and professional practice as an educator.

Typical Course-outline

Because the general education requirements are completed at the bachelor’s degree level, it usually takes a shorter amount of time to finish a master’s degree. One will usually receive their master’s upon completion of 12-16 courses. These courses may vary depending on the specification each student wish to pursue; for example, one could get a master’s in early childhood education with an emphasis on pre-literacy skills and how children typically develop language and communication skills.

For those who wish to pursue program administration, law and finance are often part of the courses one would need to complete in their master’s degree. This is because administrators must understand and follow all funding and equal access laws regarding education.

Acquired Skills and Knowledge

Advanced degrees are usually designed to improve professional practice, thus most skills gained through a master’s degree are less hands-on and more theoretical and analytical. For example, implementing play experiences for children is what makes up the management of early childhood classrooms, and an advanced study of how to build an effective play-based classroom is typical in the study of a master’s in early childhood education.

For those who aim to go into program administration, knowledge of funding and equal access laws are typically acquired. As well, some programs will include skills developing data management and analysis.

Employment Opportunities

While a bachelor’s in early childhood education can usually allow one to gain employment, having a master’s degree do make early childhood teachers more desirable hires to some employers. However, this typically only occur in areas where funding is not a problem. Along with teaching at a kindergarten/elementary level, a master’s degree can also lead to university instructor positions or jobs in teacher preparation.

Besides teaching, a master’s allows for one to pursue educational administration.

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