Students graduating with a master’s degree in special education have several career opportunities available to them. In the growing and demanding field of special education, having a master’s degree sets one apart from other potential job candidates. It is a degree that is highly desirable and provides the holder of the degree with a great amount of opportunities and flexibility for career advancement.
Many students who hold a master’s degree in special education enter the workforce as special education classroom teachers. A masters’ degree, along with proper state certifications, allows the graduate to teach early childhood students through the high school level. Teachers may choose to work within a traditional public or private school, or in a school where the entire student body is comprised of students with special needs.
There are many different kinds of opportunities for special education teachers in the public and private school communities. Teachers may work as a resource room teacher or in class support teacher, providing support to children who are able to be typically involved in school with such support. Special education teachers may work in a self contained classroom that serves students with more severe emotional or physical needs. Teachers who possess a master’s degree may also see the opportunity for advancement within the school system in a position such as a director of special services.
A master’s degree provides the opportunity to work as an adjunct professor at the college level in their education department. Most community colleges and many private colleges and universities hire adjunct professors to teach a wide variety of courses. Part time adjunct professor positions provide a rewarding and interesting experience teaching the teachers of the future.
Having real-life classroom experience along with a master’s degree in special education is looked at favorably because it allows the students to learn from the adjunct professor’s real-life experiences. Many adjunct professors in the special education field are also full-time special education teachers. It is possible to have a full time teaching job and supplement that position with an adjunct position in the evenings, on weekends, or even online.
A master’s degree in special education opens the door to a career in many clinical settings working with the special needs community. Group homes, day centers, hospitals and the like hire professionals with a master’s degree in special education to coordinate and provide services for the children and adults with special needs that they serve. There are a wide variety of employment opportunities available outside of the traditional school setting.
Individuals with a master’s degree in special education may find employment as a developmental specialist, case supervisor or program head in any of the above settings.
Graduates of a master’s program in special education are in demand. US News reports that a master’s degree in special education is one of “most marketable fields available.” The amount of special education services in schools and in the clinical sector are increasing, and qualified professionals are needed to fill these positions. Without a doubt, completing a master’s degree in special education opens doors to a variety of career paths. There is surely the perfect fit out there for every master’s degree holder in the field of special education.