Reasons to Earn a Master’s in Educational Technology

  (Updated March 16, 2021)
Clayton Scarborough
Clayton Scarborough
High school principal; M.A. in Education, principal certification
Smiling teacher standing in a classroom filled with students using computers.

What is a Master’s in Educational Technology?

In this space before, we talked about why now is a great time to get a degree in EdTech. With technology changing as rapidly as it is, with teachers and administrators who need to use the technology to reach our students, there is a great need for those who seamlessly make that happen.

A master’s in educational technology takes this further, allowing one to pursue roles as instructional specialists, school consultants, continue working with teachers and administrators, and expand into leadership roles with your experience and education.

In many states, to be a district or campus administrator, a person must hold a certificate from the state, and often a master’s degree is required to obtain the certificate, thus putting one in more of a position of leadership.

This principal’s desire is to grow our people into the professionals they want to be. With a master’s in educational technology, you can now take what you learned as a member of a team and now lead and grow that department, campus, or maybe even a district.

What You’ll Learn in an Educational Technology Program

An educational technology degree will prepare you to leverage technology in the classroom and with administrators to help them teach their staff. These programs will focus on how to integrate technology in the classroom, use technology for professional development, to reach community members and stakeholders, and overall to create more effective and efficient learning experiences.

Another way to say what an EdTech program teaches you is to analyze, design, implement, and evaluate how technology can improve teaching and learning. And, I would like to add, reach more of your community and stakeholders.

Reasons to Earn a Master’s in Educational Technology

The first one has been mentioned a couple of times already, but it is so valuable to find good leaders that it needs to be stated again. A master’s in EdTech opens the door to someone who not only has the instructional prowess of using technology effectively in the classroom, but they have the people skills to empower and grow members of a team at the same time. In short, a master’s degree in EdTech opens doors for you that you might not have opened otherwise.

In my experience, I know three Asst. Superintendents who started out as instructional technologists and worked their way into administration because of their ability to understand teaching, integrate technology, and lead people.

Increased Salary

According to Educational Technology Jobs and Salaries, the mid range for an Instructional Technologist is between $43,000 (starting) and $76,000. About ten percent of those are earning more than $95,000 a year.Other research showed average salaries from in the mid $60,000s all the way up to $105,000 per year.

Needless to say, there is some earning power that comes with a master’s degree in EdTech.

For what it is worth, the higher end of these numbers reflect district and campus leadership salaries that I regularly see in the state in which I have worked for 19 years.

Career Opportunities

Being a principal, I am biased toward the educational impact one can have with a master’s degree in EdTech, but the career opportunities are not limited to a campus or district.

There are many companies that their products are used in classrooms everyday and require those who understand technology and how to integrate technology that train our teachers, sell us their products, and even design the products that will be used in the classroom. These companies need people who can teach and communicate about their product.

Even further removed from the education world, however, are the companies that need great teachers and people who use technology to do their own training of their staff. I worked with an administrator for four years who during the summer was a trainer for a company and their new workers in the summer spent their first week with him because he trained them on how the company operates, how to use the company’s technology and to team build. This takes educational know-how and technology know-how in a non-educational environment.

Things to Consider Before Pursuing a Master’s in EdTech

What are your career goals?

Do you feel like you can teach others how to more effectively teach and have greater student success with the use of technology? Do you feel like you can train others to teach how to integrate technology in their classroom? Do you feel like you can lead a group of people to accomplish the goals of a department, campus, or district? If you answered yes to any of the questions, a career goal of yours may include a master’s in EdTech to help you achieve what you want as a professional.

What necessary experience is needed to get a master’s in EdTech?

The number of years varied between three and four years of relevant work experience. In the State of Texas before you can move into an administrative role, you need three years of experience in the classroom. And of course to earn a master’s degree one needs to hold a bachelors degree first.

How much time and energy will it take to earn this degree?

This largely depends on your situation. Colleges and universities have made online degrees so much easier to obtain. With any program you enter into, I would delve deeply into how much hands-on experience will be needed to obtain the degree. This hands-on experience will be closer to what you need to use in the workplace/classroom. Some universities will allow students to earn their master’s in 12-18 months, most advertised two years, and some talked about three to four years for part-time students.

How quickly you can earn this degree is based on the amount of time you feel like you can soak into your studies and at the same balance work, family, and other events you have going on in your life.

Love technology? Love teaching? Love teaching people how to use technology? Love leading and working with students and adults alike? If you said yes, what are you waiting for? Get a master’s in EdTech!

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