Online Adult Education Degrees

Online adult education programs teach individuals how to best instruct adult learners, helping them design training programs and curricula that work well for the unique needs of their adult students. Individuals who enjoy working with older students and who have a desire to work in education may excel in these programs. Students can earn an adult education degree at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral level. Select schools may offer a certificate option.

Graduates of online adult education programs may discover work in a variety of classroom and educational settings, or they may work for businesses and corporations, providing training to employees. Possible careers include vocational teacher, GED teacher, or corporate trainer.

Available Degree Levels

  • 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

Online certificate programs in adult education are often geared towards students who already have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field. Courses may include theories and frameworks for adult learning, cultural diversity and motivation, and planning, assessing, and improving adult learning.

An online associate degree in adult education may feature courses that cover fundamentals of training, educational psychology, and measurements and evaluation. Students often supplement these adult education courses with general education classes, resulting in a well-rounded knowledge base to enter the working world.

A bachelor’s degree program in adult education arms students with the skills they need to excel in professional educational settings. Students may take courses such as adult learning theory, critical thinking and evaluation, and learning assessment and evaluation. Individuals with a desire to teach at the vocational level may benefit from such a degree.

Master’s degree programs in adult learning are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in the field. Students may specialize in areas such as developmental education, training and performance improvement, or online teaching. Courses may focus on trends in adult education and assessments for adult learners.

A doctoral degree in adult education allows students to study and research the teaching and learning of adults. Students may have the opportunity to choose an area of specialty based on their interests, such as international adult education or instructional development. Doctoral-level programs may also include foundational courses, such as effective continuing education for professional groups and curriculum construction in adult education.

Career Options

Graduates of online adult education programs understand the unique needs of adult learners, whether they are learning the English language, participating in corporate training, or working toward their GED. These programs may teach students how to design curricula and implement lessons in a way that is effective for this mature group of students. While many career opportunities for graduates exist within a traditional educational setting, graduates of these programs may also work in the corporate world or nonprofit sector as trainers.

Possible career fields include:

  • Vocational School Teacher
  • English as a Second Language Instructor
  • General Education Development Teacher
  • Corporate Trainer
  • Career Trainer

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