Online Master of Arts in Teaching Degree


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Midcareer professionals who dream of being a classroom instructor can earn their teacher certification through an online Master of Arts in teaching program, commonly referred to as MAT. This program provides a way for professionals with no prior teaching experience to enter the field of education in as little as 18 months.

The online degree program focuses on the fundamentals of teaching, including teaching methods and curriculum instruction. Students can also complete additional course work in their chosen subject area.

An online Master of Arts in teaching program differs from the similarly named Master of Education degree, which is designed for individuals already in the teaching profession.

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Course Work

Example courses
Tests and measurements
Teaching methods
Language and literacy
Adolescent development and learning needs
Behavior management
Introduction to special education
Advanced educational psychology

Students are required to have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in an online Master of Arts in teaching program. They must also choose a concentration, such as elementary, secondary or special education, among others.

Course work varies largely based on concentration. A student on the secondary education track, for example, may complete course work in curriculum development and his or her chosen subject area, such as history, while a student on the elementary education track may complete courses in basic math, science, language and reading.

A Master of Arts in teaching cannot be completed entirely online as students are required to have a student teaching experience.

Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Kindergarten and elementary school teacher $51,000
Middle school teacher $52,000
Special education teacher $53,220
High school teacher $53,230

*per the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook

Due to a surplus of qualified teachers, finding work as a teacher can be challenging. Employment of high school teachers, for instance, is only expected to grow 7 percent by 2020, slower than the national average of 14 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment may be easier to find for those who seek opportunities in critical need areas, such as math, science and special education, or who are willing to relocate to regions where teachers are needed, according to the BLS.

Median salaries range from about $51,000 for kindergarten and elementary school teachers to more than $53,000 for high school teachers, according to the BLS.

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