What is a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology?

Whether you have a degree in education, business, technology, or another related field, an MEd in educational technology is a great way to build on your skill set and gain access to new career opportunities. Technology continues to play an increasingly important role in all aspects of our lives and it is transforming the traditional classroom. From K-12 schools to universities and corporate training rooms, different forms of technology are enhancing the learning experience and preparing students for the future. If you have an interest in emerging technology and pedagogy, then a master’s in educational technology may be worth considering.

What is a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology?

An educational technology master’s program will teach you how to integrate new technology into the classroom in order to improve the learning experience. Technology continues to evolve and play a larger role in how we communicate, learn, and operate in the world. The ability to use these tools in the classroom will not only familiarize students with emerging technology, but also enhance the entire learning experience. 

For teachers, a master’s in educational technology provides them with the knowledge they need to effectively use technology in the classroom. Having a proficiency in the latest technology is an invaluable tool when it comes to competing in the job market. These skills can also easily be used outside the classroom and will translate well in the corporate world.  

What Can I Do with a Master of Educational Technology Degree?

Earning a master’s in education technology will not only result in a higher salary, but it also opens the door to a variety of opportunities. While some teachers take their new knowledge into the classroom, others pursue roles as pedagogy specialists and become consultants, curriculum designers, and trainers. Graduates also work with administrators and teachers to help them use technology in schools.

The need for educational instruction around technology goes well beyond the boundaries of the classroom. With a skill set that includes being able to plan and assess projects and integrate technology into a variety of environments, you can work for government agencies, corporations, and nonprofits. There is a practically limitless demand for professionals with a deep understanding of how new technology can be used to facilitate learning and support projects.

With the help of some additional professional certifications, a master’s in educational technology can also lead to positions as a software designer, network manager, or computer systems analyst. Continuing education will only further expand employment possibilities and help you take your degree beyond the field of education.

How Much Do Educational Technology Graduates Make?

Your salary will depend largely on how you use your degree. If you want to stay in education and continue to work in the classroom, you can expect a pay increase. The average salary for a teacher is $59,000 per year. With a master’s in educational technology, you can make upwards of $70,000 depending on your experience.

If you choose to take on more of a consultant role and oversee technology instruction for an entire school and work to train teachers, you can expect to earn a minimum of $80,000 annually. The larger the institution, the higher the salary. For instance, the average salary for a Head of Academic Technology at a college or university is $134,000 but can reach over $350,000. There is practically limitless earning potential with the right position.

Educational Technology Degree Careers and Salaries

One of the main advantages of earning a degree in educational technology is that it provides the opportunity to grow your career. Whether your passion is working in the classroom as a teacher or you want to take on more of a leadership and administrative role, this degree will provide you with valuable skills that will help you navigate your career goals. Here are just a few of the potential positions and their growth outlook.

CareerSalaryProjected Job Growth (2019-2029)About the Position
High School Teacher$61,6604%High school teachers play an important role in preparing students for college and to enter the workforce.
Postsecondary Teacher$79,5409%These instructors work at public and private universities and community colleges.
Middle and High School Principal$96,4004%This position oversees daily operations and manages the staff and facilities. 
Education Administrator$94,390An education administrator can work in schools, government agencies or corporations. 
Source: BLS

Earning a Master’s in Educational Technology

Most master’s in educational technology degrees can be earned online, which is perfect for professionals who want to continue to work while completing their studies. While the exact courses you take may vary slightly depending on your concentration and what field you anticipate going into, most programs will follow a similar curriculum. Programs teach you to assess student and teacher performance based on predetermined objectives and to design and implement technology driven initiatives that enhance the learning experience.  

How Long Does an Educational Technology Graduate Program Take?

Earning a Master’s in Educational Technology requires the completion of 36 credit hours. For many students, it will take 2-3 years to finish all the necessary credit hours. Many programs allow you to work at your own pace and vary the number of credit hours you take each semester. You may also be able to expedite your degree by taking additional classes over the summer.

In addition, some institutions offer accelerated programs, ideal for students who plan to take classes full-time. With this schedule, you could earn a master’s degree in around 12 months. 

Many programs also require a capstone type project as part of the degree. The amount of time spent on this project could also extend the time it takes to complete the program. Fortunately, there are different options available, so you can find a program that will accommodate your lifestyle and help you meet your specific goals. 

Courses in Educational Technology Programs

Every Master’s of Educational Technology program starts with core, foundational classes. Once you successfully complete these courses, you begin to explore other topics that may help you on your career path. You can choose different specializations and engage in advanced studies that will prepare you for your chosen field. Core classes typically include:

  • Foundations of Instructional Technology

As part of this class, students learn about the history of instructional technology, where it stands now and where it may be in the future. Students also begin to explore different professional philosophies and develop their own ideas and approach to instruction.

  • Developing Instructional Materials

In this class, students participate in research and hands-on projects that will help you develop a deeper understanding of instructional best practices. Through individual and group projects, learners create instructional materials and deliver them to the class. This is an especially useful class for anyone who is looking forward to a career as a consultant or trainer. 

  • Instructional Computing

Students learn about new technology, how we interact with it, and how it influences individual experiences and shapes perspectives. The course also explores available mobile tools, virtual spaces and social media platforms, and how technologies can be used in lessons. Additional course content will include theoretical discussions, research and project implementation best practices. The main objective is to better understand the capabilities of technology and education.

  • Managing Educational Projects

This is a fundamental class for anyone who wants to take on a leadership role. Students learn to assess risk, control costs, and set a schedule and budget for educational projects. The course also walks through the process of monitoring a project after it has been implemented and teaches valuable personnel management skills. Be prepared to participate in simulation exercises and examine case studies.

  • Blended Learning Environments

Through discussion and projects, students learn about pedagogical theory and best practices for designing curriculum that blends online and traditional learning environments. This is an essential course, no matter how you plan on utilizing your degree. 

Skills Learned in a Master of Education Program

Throughout the course of your studies, you develop the skills necessary to effectively integrate technology into the learning experience, design coursework, offer computer-based instruction and utilize a variety of digital tools. You also develop your own pedagogical philosophy and framework that will guide your approach to teaching and training others. 

By the time you graduate, you can fully assess students and understand learning objectives so you select and implement the best tools, platforms and technology. 

All of these skills will help you secure positions in your chosen field and/or prepare you for further studies and a more advanced degree. 

Choosing the Best Educational Technology Degree

Choosing the right program for you depends on a variety of factors. Some students want to attend school full-time and in-person while other plans to continue to work and need to attend online courses during the evenings. Applicants should also look out for accreditation. All of these factors should be taken into consideration.

Online Master’s Degree in Educational Technology vs. On Campus Programs

Online programs offer the convenience of being able to take courses while you continue to work. If you aren’t in a hurry to complete your degree and you plan on taking a couple courses at a time, online programs tend to be more flexible. 

In many cases, you can complete practicum requirements at your current employer or at other local organizations. An online degree also means that you can attend practically any college or university. You may also be able to save money since the tuition price may not be based on where you live and you won’t have to worry about paying for campus housing or commuting. 

The main benefit of choosing an on-campus degree is the regular interaction with fellow students and instructors, hands-on experience, various research opportunities, and on-site school resources. In addition, you may be able to complete your degree faster and start your career sooner.  

Master’s in Education Accreditation

Students should look for programs that have received a national or regional accreditation. There are six organizations that can approve this designation, and an accredited program has met and maintained certain educational standards set by these organizations. If you choose an unaccredited program, your degree may be viewed unfavorably by employers and other professionals, and you miss out on valuable networking opportunities. Unaccredited programs also disqualify students from receiving federal financial aid.   

Applying to Educational Technology Degree Programs

Typical graduate-level admission requirements include: 

  • Academic transcripts
  • Test scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal statement

Also, be prepared to submit writing samples that demonstrate your communication skills, command of the English language, and familiarity with academia. As you think about applying, keep in mind that in-person programs usually only accept applications once or twice a year while online programs may have a rolling admissions policy. 

Admissions Requirements for Educational Technology Programs

Most programs will have similar requirements that include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree

Applicants are required to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Ideally, the degree will be in education, business, information technology, or another relevant field. 

  • Minimum GPA

This requirement will vary by program, but keep in mind that a higher GPA will improve your chances if gaining admission to your ideal program and it can influence whether you are eligible for fellowships and other forms of financial aid. In some cases, the minimum GPA may be 2.5, although it is common to require a 3.0 or above. 

  • Professional Experience

Again, this requirement will vary, but having some teaching experience under your belt will improve your chances of entering a master’s program. Be sure to detail your experience and skills on your resume. 

Paying for an Educational Technology Master’s Degree

Investing in a master’s degree can open up more opportunities and increase your earning potential, but affording the tuition can be difficult for some students. Fortunately, there are resources available that can help cover the cost. 

  • Scholarships

Be sure to research and apply for any scholarships that are offered by the school, professional organizations or other sources. 

  • Grants

There are a variety of federal grants available to students. You may also qualify for grants from other organizations. Typically, this type of aid is based on financial need, so you may have to provide financial information by completing the FAFSA.

  • Student Loans

There is a good chance that you will qualify for low-interest student loans. This money can be used towards tuition, books and other essentials.  

  • Full-Time Teaching Job

Many people choose to continue to work full-time to avoid taking on any debt. Fortunately, there are a lot of programs that are designed to accommodate your work schedule. It may take longer to complete your degree, but you won’t have to worry about paying back loans.

How Much Does an Educational Technology Degree Cost?

Keep in mind that costs will vary according to the school. However, average students attending a public school can expect to pay $30,000 in tuition costs per year. Attending a private college or university could increase tuition costs to an average of $40,000 annually. 

In general, online programs tend to be less expensive and you may be able to pay in-state tuition, no matter what your actual location. Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider living expenses and how these may affect your budget. 

Educational Technology Career Resources

American Educational Research Association

This professional society works to advance the field of education by advocating for new government policies, hosting local and national conferences and providing a virtual learning center. Participants will also enjoy access to professional development opportunities and fellowships. 

The eLearning Guild

Education professionals can use this resource to access a research library, networking events, training courses, a job board and various conferences.

Online Learning Consortium

The OLC works to foster collaboration among professionals who are working to improve digital education. You can take advantage of professional development opportunities, workshops, webinars and a variety of other programs. 

FAQ

What can I do with a master’s in learning and technology?

This degree will prepare you for a variety of work environments. While many people continue to work in the classroom, you can use the degree to become a consultant or trainer to schools, nonprofits, government agencies and corporations. Since technology is so pervasive, the skills associated with this degree translate well to a wide range of careers. 

Is it worth getting a masters in education?

Absolutely. If you are looking to acquire new skills and earn a degree that will open new opportunities, investing in a master’s degree is worth the time and cost.

What does an educational technologist do?

An educational technologist designs and implements tools and technology to enhance the learning experience.

Is instructional technology a good field?

Yes, it is a growing field with job opportunities outside of education.