Online Education Degree Programs

Online education programs provide students with the training to work in academia in a variety of settings and capacities, including as post-secondary, middle, or elementary school teachers, or as administrators and counselors. Education programs are broad-based, allowing students to tailor their experience to meet their educational and career goals. These programs may be ideal for organized and driven individuals who wish to make a difference in the lives of others. Education degree programs are available online at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels, and select schools may offer a diploma or certificate option.

Those who graduate with a certificate or degree in education may seek employment in schools, district offices, and post-secondary institutions. Programs may provide students with the skills needed to pursue employment as a teacher, principal, counselor, school administrator, or college professor.

Available Degree Levels

  • Career Diploma: Varies
  • Certificate: One to two years to complete
  • Associate Degree: Two years to complete
  • Bachelor’s Degree: Four years to complete
  • Master’s Degree: One to two years to complete
  • Doctoral Degree: Three to five years to complete

Career diploma programs in education typically focus on preparing students for positions as a teacher’s aide. Students may be introduced to the basic principles of teaching, including learning theory, classroom management, student supervision, curriculum content, and educational technology. Additionally, these programs may provide students the tools needed to assist teachers with special needs students or those who do not speak English. Program coursework may cover child development and human behavior, enhancing self-esteem, and technology in the classroom.

An online certificate in education may provide an introduction to the methods and theories of education. These programs may provide individuals who plan to pursue a higher degree in education a comprehensive view and solid foundation in the field. Additionally, certificate programs may develop students’ critical thinking and assessment skills, allowing them to look at educational institutions and practices analytically. Coursework may include research methods, developmental psychology, and sociology in education.

Online associate-level education programs are designed to arm students with a basic understanding of the teaching profession, current education trends, methods needed to become a qualified educator, and foundational principles of education. These programs may serve as a stepping stone to gaining licensure or an advanced degree in education or a more specified field. Coursework may include English composition, educational philosophy, classroom management, and principles of education.

Baccalaureate-level programs in education oftentimes prepare students for state licensing in a specialization of their choice, including elementary teacher, music teacher, or special education. Bachelor’s degree programs may provide the skills needed to teach children using the latest and most innovative teaching methods. Coursework may include curriculum and instruction, literacy methods, and classroom management.

Online master’s-level programs in education are designed for individuals who would like to gain in-depth training in a particular area of specialization, or advance to an administrative position. These programs may provide the opportunity to specialize in many fields, including special education, educational leadership, and curriculum and instruction. Coursework may include teaching and learning in diverse classrooms, educational research and curriculum, and instructional theories and trends.

Doctoral-level education programs are geared towards those who would like to become leaders and innovative educators. These research-centric programs allow students to study and develop educational theory in a particular area of interest, preparing them for academic positions at post-secondary institutions or at the state level. Students may focus their studies on special education, counselor education, or 21st century education. Coursework may include educational policy studies, reform and transformation in education, and child-centered education.

Career Options

Online education programs may provide students with the training and knowledge to work in academia, either as teachers of a specific subject or grade level, or as school counselors or educational leaders. Many educators choose to remain in the classroom, while others pursue a higher degree in order to advance to an administrative role within the school system. Those who obtain an education certificate or degree may have the skills to properly educate others using up-to-date and innovative teaching methods, as well as create and implement classroom curriculum and maintain classroom management.

Possible career fields include:

  • Classroom Teacher
  • Principal
  • Counselor
  • School Administrator
  • College Professor

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