Educators are lifelong learners by nature. Therefore, it is not surprising when an exceptional veteran teacher (often someone with five or more years of classroom teaching experience) chooses to expand their professional growth and knowledge. If this is the case, then earning an education specialist degree is an option to consider. An education specialist degree (Ed.S.) is an advanced degree for teachers who want to continue working full time while gaining specialized proficiency in a particular area of interest. The education specialist degree is a post-master’s degree program that helps advance your career and prepare you for more of a leadership role.
The degree can often be completed in one or two years, and is offered at many colleges and universities nationwide. Since the majority of candidates in the Ed.S. program are working full time, higher educational institutions offer online classes, evening classes, or weekend classes. Many school districts have partnered with colleges and universities to implement cohorts for an in-demand position. Educators can often collaborate together in an after-hours program conveniently located in a district building.
Career Opportunities Available With an Ed.S. Degree
There are a variety of education specialist degrees to match the strengths and interests of every educator. Such examples may include administrative leadership, education technology, special education, curriculum and instruction, literacy and assessment, or early childhood. Each advanced degree is a pathway to new and more possible job opportunities, ranging from being a district literacy supervisor to the director of curriculum and instruction. It can also lead to the position as a principal, assistant head of school, or sometimes even a superintendent.
The education specialist degree can take teachers from the classroom to a central office position in less than three years, thus increasing their responsibilities and leadership skills in a specified area of their choice. Empowering teachers in a new role is great way to both value and keep our best educators, especially as the shortage in the profession continues to rise. Schools, districts, and institutions are constantly seeking qualified expert teacher leaders excited about making a positive impact in teaching and learning. Turnover in education is inevitable. This means, there are always positions available, and individuals with an Ed.S. are often the first candidates to be contacted for the job.
Other Advantages Available With an Ed.S.
If an educator is interested in excelling his or her career but does not want a full doctoral degree, the Ed.S. is the ideal choice. An education specialist degree can make a dramatic impact on salary and career trajectory in less time and at a lower cost than it takes to earn a doctoral degree in education. And the career outcomes are endless, especially as schools and districts evolve. No dissertation or thesis is required to earn an Ed.S. Rather, an internship in a desired field or position, portfolio, or report is used as the culminating project for the degree. This experience will often open more doors or place a candidate at the top of the interview pile to fill any vacancy. The education specialist degree will often enhance a teacher’s value as an educational leader while honing in on his or her own expertise.