Do I Have to Have Teaching Experience to Get my Masters in Education?

The world of education is oftentimes more difficult to navigate due to all of the rules and regulations associated with the discipline. Because of those rules, those wishing to enter this career field must be careful about which degrees they choose to earn. In general, a Master’s degree in Education can be a beneficial tool, but earning that degree can be just as complex. Having experience working in the field of education can be beneficial to those who seek the degree, but the real world experience is not always a requirement.

Teaching Experience

Not every graduate degree in education requires teaching experience, even if the end result is for the student to become a teacher. Many people who choose to pursue such a degree will often have some sort of work experience relating to education. These positions can include teaching, but potential students also have experience in administration, advising, counseling, or even no prior educational experience. However, teaching experience can be beneficial.

Many graduate level degrees have been developed within the last decade in order to offer students to earn a graduate degree as well as a teaching license or certification without having to earn an additional undergraduate degree. People fitting into this category are less likely to have teaching experience than those pursuing a graduate degree for other reasons.

Much of any education program will deal with educational theory and history, and there is a small advantage in having prior teaching experience. Experienced teachers will be able to study the theories and apply real world scenarios to those theories. However, this does not mean that those without that prior experience cannot successfully understand or utilize those theories. In fact, most education students will have interacted with the age group they plan on teaching, and can often observe behaviors that either comply with or completely break away from the theories being presented. Additionally, many students of education understand that education policy and theory can change on a regular basis, so the critical studies you learn about during your studies may change or be completely dismissed as educational needs and technology change.

How Concentrations Make a Difference

Not every graduate degree in the field of education is developed to enhance teachers. While teachers make up a large and important part of education, there are other fields in education that can be enhanced by a graduate degree. Administration, librarians, counselors, and media specialists all work within education, and a graduate degree can increase their career options, pay grade, or understanding of their subject area. Admittedly, those who pursue that particular field should note that some time in a classroom will assist them in pursuing higher positions, but the actual degree does not require that commitment.

There are some education fields that do not require as much interaction with students, like technology design and other positions that deal with aiding teachers or administrators with appropriate teaching tools. The New Teacher Project provides information on those programs by explaining what is available and required in each state.

Is Teaching Important?

Those interested in earning a Master’s degree in education should strive to look for a program that requires observation or internships in teaching if they do not have prior experience. Experience can enhance the graduate program so that those without experience can draw on their observations. However, those interested in pursuing education degrees should not let a lack of experience deter them.

Here is a look at the “Top 5 Places to Work as a Teacher“.