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How to Become an Education Specialist

Why You Should Become an Education Specialist

For those in the education sector, there may come a time when you’re asking, “What next?” For some, the answer may be an advanced degree. Whether you stopped formal education after earning your bachelor’s degree or continued on to pursue a master’s degree program, you may choose to become an education specialist with a specialist degree in education.

Earning Your Specialist in Education

Also known as an S.Ed. or EdS degree, this graduate study program helps you go beyond the master’s degree level—but without having to commit to a full doctoral program (an Ed.D., or Doctor of Education). Usually requiring about 60 credit hours to complete, your EdS program will take around three years to complete. You’ll learn how to evaluate curricula, develop an education philosophy, and engage in strategic planning initiatives at the classroom, building, or district level.

In addition to helping you to advance your knowledge, an EdS program can also help you specialize in your chosen area of focus. Whether you’re particularly interested in a certain subject area (mathematics, for instance) or a certain role in education (such as educational administration), you can home in on topics that are most important to you.

Building an Educational Foundation

Before you jump into your education specialist program, you’ll need a strong foundation under your feet. That begins with a bachelor’s degree—most often, a bachelor’s in education or a related field that would help you get your teacher certification. EdS candidates can come from all sorts of educational backgrounds, from early childhood to elementary to secondary education.

Many EdS programs also require a master’s degree in order to enroll—again, in a relevant field. Some education specialist programs will accept students without a master’s, but you’ll need to be prepared to show plenty of work experience instead.

Gaining Educational Experience

Regardless of your formal education history, students hoping to become education specialists will need to have at least three to five years of education work experience behind them to begin. This requirement varies by program and institution, but you shouldn’t expect to leap right into an EdS program right after you earn your bachelor’s degree.

Most students will have spent several years teaching or working in classroom settings, so they’ll already have their teaching certification and may have already received other advanced certifications or licensures.

Taking It to the Next Level

Earning your education specialist degree can be a fantastic way to prepare for the next leg of your educational career, whether you’ve got your sights set on becoming a principal or administrator, a superintendent or director, or another role.

An EdS degree can also help you become a school psychologist or counselor, a postsecondary instructor, a special education specialist, or even a researcher. (Note that additional certifications or licensing may be required for some of these roles.)

The sky is the limit if you’re willing to put in the work to gain the specialized knowledge only an education specialist program can offer!

Are you ready to get on the path toward becoming an education specialist? Create a free account with the Imagine America Foundation today to be matched with education specialist programs near you!

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