What makes a degree popular? In many cases, the answer is demand. Today education looks different than ever before and many educators consider their master’s degree to be the essential point in their education trajectory that changed their career. After undergraduate studies and a couple of years in the field you know that it is absolutely essential to return for a master’s degree. We examined schools across the nation that offered online master’s degrees in the field of education and recognized that best schools with the most robust offerings were likely to include one of these program. Below is our list of the 10 most popular graduate education degrees.

1.) Master’s in Education Leadership

A master’s degree is a must-have for anyone who is looking to systematically improve educational outcomes. With a master’s degree in educational leadership you will learn how to harness your natural ability to lead teams in your school or organization. During your Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership you will learn how to hone your curriculum and instruction skills, mentor and lead teams of educators, and gain up-to-date insight on contemporary issues facing education. Educational leadership degrees often have a strong emphasis on policy and research. As often is the case upon completion of this degree, you will be the agents of positive change in your classrooms, schools, and in your community. If you are ready to lead the charge in education, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership is the way forward.

2.) Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction

Designing curriculum is the cornerstone of education. Educators who have taken a year or two in the field will swiftly recognize that curricular design is not at all cookie-cutter. In the 21st century, your classrooms are filled with multicultural, diverse thinkers, gifted talented and creative, and exceptional minds. A master’s in curriculum and instruction is the degree that will help you differentiate your curriculum to meet the needs of all your students. You will learn about different theories for instruction, how to design curricula to meet the needs of exceptional learners, and how to manage the curriculum as you progress through the year. If you are ever faced with the conundrum: how do I teach to everyone in the room?- it’s time to go back for a master’s in curriculum and instruction.

3.) Master’s in Instructional Technology

In Disruptive Classroom Technologies Sonny Magana explains how technology can help to revolutionize educational experiences. As 21st century educators, you know that now is the time to embrace technology in the classroom. Your digital natives will be speaking in their native tongue! A Master’s in Educational Technology will help you learn how teaching, learning, and technology overlap. You will understand web-based technologies as they apply to your classroom, and even discover how mobile devices may be integrated into your learning community. Computers are no longer a distraction, and with a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology you will finally be able to engage with technology and how it augments mental function in your classroom.

4.) Master’s in Early Childhood Education

The early years are essential growth moments where we learn to communicate, socialize, interact with cause and effect, and even become governors of social justice. Today’s Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education focus on current best-practices for educating infants to grade 5. Though each master’s is slightly different, in an early childhood education degree masters you will learn about child development in early childhood, current issues in early childhood education and inclusive education, and in many cases methodologies or classroom design for young learners. All programs are bases in research and many have curriculum and instruction components. If you are ready to reach young learners with the latest best practices in early childhood, a master’s degree in early childhood education is the way to go.

5.) Master’s in Higher Education and Teaching

It’s 2017 and we have just seen some very powerful changes in higher education. Now is the time to make a difference in the lives of adults. With a master’s degree in higher education you can make those changes. These degrees are versatile as well and prepares you for careers in the university setting, as an adult trainer, nonprofit management, head of student affairs, and more. A master’s degree in higher education usually focuses on issues in higher education such as access, financial aid, and state and federal policy. You may also learn about gender issues, college and student affairs, community college leadership and higher education law as well as finance. With such a diverse degree, there are myriad of careers available upon graduation.

6.) Master’s in School Counselor Education

As a school counselor, a Master’s Degree is considered to be the minimum qualification. This degree is the jumping off program for a career as a school counselor. Programs will vary often depending upon the student’s area of interest, but the general curriculum for a Master’s in School Counselling counseling theory and practice, foundations of school counseling, and evaluation. These online master’s degrees often require about 15 credit hours more than other online master’s degrees in education. In addition, expect to fulfill a practicum experience and your certification in school counselling. If you are ready to make a valuable impact in the lives of children and youth, a master’s degree in school counseling is a great place to start.

7.) Master’s in Special Education and Teaching

It takes a unique person to enter into the field of special education. There are a number of models of education that aid exceptional learners. A master’s in special education is essential for any individual who is looking to improve the quality of education for people with differences. Special Education encompasses quite a wide-range of needs including emotionally disturbed students, students with intellectual delays, gifted, talented and creative students, and students with autism. Special educators have quite a job ensuring that their curriculum is relevant to everyone in their classroom or school setting. Though degree programs may vary depending on area of emphasis most special education programs will examine curriculum and instruction, classroom management methods, research, ethics and law, and behavioral modification protocol. Specialty areas often include mild to moderate, severe, autism, and gifted and talented. If you are that unique person who is looking to advance their career, a master’s degree in special education is the way to go.

8.) Master’s in Elementary Education

Elementary school is a fun and unique time for learning and development. It is during these years that, along with parents and administration, that educators shape the lives of young learners. There are a wide range of programs that focus on elementary education and mixed pedagogy that really emphasize fun for the children. The Montessori Method is one fantastic pedagogical approach to teaching learners in elementary school. Many programs will differ depending on pedagogical approach, but all programs will have components that focus on curriculum and instruction in the STEM subjects, classroom management, theories and practices for education elementary school learners, ethics, inclusive settings and strategies, and literacy. Additional degree types that are particularly suitable to elementary education include master’s in early childhood education, and masters in childhood development. If you are ready to make your elementary classroom the best environment for your young learners a master’s in elementary education is a great place to start.

9.) Master’s in English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language (ESL) is a popular degree for many reasons including the wide-range of career opportunities available. You will find job opportunities from primary school all the way through adult learning facilities. In ESL or TESOL degrees, the curriculum is designed so that you walk away with a comprehensive understanding of the English language and best-practices for teaching it to a wide-range of ages. You will learn about phonology, syntax, semantics, and more to support your English language learners. In addition, you will learn how individuals acquire second/additional languages and put that theory into practice with a practicum experience. The need for quality ESL/TESOL educators is huge. If you are ready to bridge the gap, a Master’s Degree in EST/TESOL is a great place to start.

10.) Master’s in Adult and Continuing Education

Adult Education is popular in higher education and in the workplace. We have just begun to realize the different requirements for educating adults. With a Master’s in Adult and Continuing Education you will learn how to unpack the various methodologies for teaching adult learners. And with more ESL adults entering the workforce, expect to find part of the curriculum to focus on this specific population. This fast-growing field tackles a very real need: educated adults in the workplace. Adult and continuing education also often includes a distance learning component as well as adult education theory, adult learning across the lifespan, and planning and development for adult education. If you are ready to jump on board this growing field in adult education, a Master’s Degree in Adult Education is essential.

Related Resource: The 10 Best Online Master’s in Autism Spectrum Disorder Education