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Online Masters Degree in Early Childhood

In early childhood education, you can help shape how a child perceives the learning experience and set the tone for life-long education. You'll learn how children develop physically, socially and emotionally and how you can have a positive influence on that journey. You could find yourself teaching kids in preschool or supervising the employees of a daycare center.

Exploring master's degrees in early childhood education

Find a graduate program that aligns with your career goals and job requirements. Public school teachers need at least a bachelor's degree and a license, and some schools ask teachers to earn master's degrees within a certain time period after they begin teaching.

Master's degrees in early childhood education offer concentrations in administration or teaching. The administration curriculum is designed for leadership, policy analysis, advocacy, human resources and financial management. Teaching coursework can include these topics:

  1. Early childhood development theories, concepts and trends
  2. Effective methods and strategies
  3. Communication, motivation and discipline in the classroom
  4. Lesson planning and curriculum development
  5. Observation and assessment
  6. Technology in education
  7. Theory and instruction for language development

Some classes may be built around teaching a specific subject. Student teaching is often an important component of the program.

Early childhood education career outlook and salaries

Careers in early childhood education span administration and child care as well as teaching. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts average employment growth between 2010 and 2020 for kindergarten and elementary teachers and administrators. Preschool teachers and program administrators, however, are expected to see faster growth of 25 percent. The BLS lists these 2010 median annual salaries for related careers:

  1. Elementary school principals: $86,970
  2. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers: $51,380
  3. Preschool and child care center directors: $42,960
  4. Preschool teachers: $25,700

School principals usually hold a master's degree, and administrators typically have 1-5 years of experience in the field.

Academic options for early childhood education

You can pursue advanced studies in early childhood education for research, policy making or teaching at the university level. The Ph.D. targets theoretical research, while the Doctor of Education, specializing in ECE, focuses more on practical applications.

Online degree programs in early childhood education allow you to continue working while you earn your degree and apply what you learn every day. Take the opportunity to shape the future by inspiring tomorrow's leaders to value education at an early age.

Featured Online Early Childhood Degree Programs

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An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

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