Why teachers choose graduate degrees

What Can I Do With a Master’s in Education in Nebraska?

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April 7, 2020

What Can I Do with a Master’s in Education in Nebraska?

Teachers improve lives every day. Not a lot of other professions can say the same about directly influencing our future generation of leaders and contributors. As an educator, a bachelor’s degree launched your teaching career — and a master’s can take it even further. But while advancing your education is always a good idea, it’s also helpful to research the associated benefits and specifically ask yourself “What can I do with a master’s in education?”If you’ve been considering enrolling in an online Master of Science in Education program, exploring the advantages of earning the degree is a great way to begin your journey to graduate school.

Why Earn Your Master’s in Education?

There are three big reasons to pursue your online master’s in education.

  • Be a better teacher: You’ll learn more fully about your role as an educator, and how the administrative system works. Along with a solid grasp of advanced teaching methods and the theories behind them, you’ll be able to tell which systems are most effective in the classroom and why. You’ll hone your abilities and bring these new tools into your classroom to assist students at all levels. Your students will benefit from your advanced skills and methods, and will see you as a role model who pushed toward higher education. Setting that example is a side benefit that will make a positive impact on your students, family and friends.
  • Advance your career: Earning your master’s carries a lot of weight in the education field, with schools valuing teachers who are passionate about making an impact. Advanced education demonstrates this commitment, and it can help you lead school-wide change and be an even more effective educator. Having your master’s credential will also make you an attractive candidate when exploring new teaching opportunities.
  • Earn a higher salary: Your master’s in education is your ticket to higher compensation — and who doesn’t like higher pay? According to the National Education Association (NEA), in the 2019-2020 school year the average starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree was $45,029, which was $3,866 (or 9.4%) more than the average starting salary of $41,163 for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree.

Online master’s degrees are a great option for teachers who need the flexibility of studying when and where it fits into their busy day. And there are a number of tuition assistance options to help lower the cost of education. Scholarships, financial aid, military education benefits and loan forgiveness programs are a few. Plus, some schools will even pay for your continued education, so be sure to ask your employer if it offers this benefit.

Earning Your Master’s in Education in Nebraska

One thing you can do with a master’s in education in Nebraska is earn a higher salary. According to the Nebraska Department of Education, nearly 24,000 teachers worked in the state’s public schools in the 2019-2020 school year. If you’d like to join the ranks of Nebraska teachers, you might be surprised to know how earning a master’s in education could improve your salary. According to the NEA, for the 2019-2020 school year, average starting salaries in Nebraska were:

  • $35,820 for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree
  • $42,511 for a teacher with a master’s degree

Education Career Opportunities in Nebraska

A host of career opportunities illustrate what you can do with a master’s in education in Nebraska.

Elementary, Middle School or High School Teacher

According to the Nebraska Department of Education, the state is experiencing teacher shortages in several areas. Therefore, a teacher with a master’s degree could have a number of appealing job possibilities. 

To attract teachers to the largest areas in which Nebraska was experiencing teacher shortages in the 2019-2020 school year, the Nebraska Department of Education planned to propose teacher loan forgiveness to the U.S. Department of Education for a total of 17 areas. The top five areas of teacher shortages were in:

  • Special education, with 17.26% of positions unfilled
  • Career education, with 9.19% of positions unfilled
  • Language arts, with 7.26% of positions unfilled
  • Sciences, with 6.22% of positions unfilled
  • Mathematics, with 6.07% of positions unfilled

School Principal

Another option for those who have earned a master’s in education is to become a school principal. The Nebraska State Board of Education has established performance standards for principals that illustrate its expectations for the role. Those standard areas that should be addressed include the following.

  • Vision for learning
  • Continuous improvement
  • Staff support and development
  • Operations and management
  • Culture for learning
  • Professional ethics and advocacy

Administrator at the State Level

If you’re looking for opportunities outside of a school setting, then working at the state level in Nebraska may be a good option. For example, the Nebraska Department of Education hires individuals who have a master’s in education to work in areas such as educator certification or educational assessment.

Private Sector Jobs

The private sector also has a range of jobs well suited to individuals who earn a master’s in education. For example, having a master’s in education could qualify you to work as an educational consultant, the director of a child care center or as a training and development manager.

Education Career Salaries and Job Outlook in Nebraska

Salaries in Nebraska for teachers who earn master’s degrees are almost $7,000 higher than starting salaries for teachers with bachelor’s degrees. Overall, the average salary for all teachers in Nebraska was $55,267 in the 2019-2020 school year, according to the National Education Association. That ranked Nebraska 30th in the nation for teacher pay. According to the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, however, the cost of housing, transportation, health care and utilities in Nebraska is less than the national average.

While your teacher salary is higher with a master’s degree, it’s also important to remember that the higher your salary, the higher your pension will eventually be. The Nebraska School Employees Retirement System Handbook specifies that the formula for calculating the pension of a public school teacher is partially based on the highest salary the individual earned as a Nebraska teacher.

The job outlook for teachers in Nebraska is good. With shortages of teachers across the state, individuals with a passion for teaching should have ample opportunities, especially if they have earned a master’s in education. According to a 2021 report from CBS television affiliate KMTV in Omaha, a teacher shortage existed even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pandemic only exacerbated the shortage.

Earn Your Master’s in Education at Peru State College Online

The range of what you can do with a master’s in education makes earning the degree worthwhile. Working toward your master’s degree in education creates the potential for enhancing your skills, strengthening your credentials, qualifying for new employment opportunities and earning a higher salary. If those things sound appealing, then consider exploring the Peru State College online Master of Science in Education program

With course times designed to fit with teachers’ work schedules, the program offers educators the opportunity to take their careers to a higher level. Begin your journey in graduate education today, with Peru State College.

For information on the Master of Science in Education offered by Peru State College Online, visit peru.edu/graduate/msed.