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A master’s degree in special education: More jobs in the field

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

For many graduates finishing their master’s program in special education, the future may seem a bit uncertain. With an economy that is still recovering and many school districts still working within tight budgets, graduates may wonder if their degrees can be put to use quickly.

The good news is that the indicators say yes. Across the nation, 98 percent of school districts are reporting that they are short-staffed in special education instructors. Higher education jobs for people with a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education are on the rise as well; 50 to 66 percent of special education educators at the college level are expected to retire in the next few years.

Jobs in the special education field are extremely varied

A special education degree for teachers can open many doors, but master’s programs in special education can unlock not only teaching positions but administrative jobs as well. Those who have completed their master’s programs in special education are eligible for jobs overseeing other special education teachers and ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations regarding special education, overseeing assistive technology programs to help students or working with families of special education children to ensure their needs are met.

For those who prefer teaching rather than administration, there are always openings for teachers specializing in certain kinds of behavior, such as autism.

Universities need special education instructors as well

To fill the needs of school districts, there must be qualified graduates who are prepared by experts in the field. Teaching jobs for people with an M.Ed. in Special Education are on the rise at the college or university level as special education programs for children and even adults grow larger and more complex.

With over 50 percent of faculty teaching in the special education field expected to retire soon, institutions will need to begin hiring to fill those positions. The need is so great that some universities have obtained federal grants for training students to become faculty.

If you are a graduate looking to teach or move into administration, the options you have are numerous. From specialized teaching positions to administrators to shapers of policy, those who have finished their master’s programs in special education should have excellent job prospects in the immediate future.

Learn about University of Texas Rio Grande Valley online M.Ed. in Special Education program.


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