Master Programs in Distance Education

Read about programs leading to a Master of Distance Education (MDE) or a Master of Educational Technology (MET). With these degrees, you could help plan and implement online learning programs at universities and organizations. Review the curriculum in these programs, and find out whether you can earn this degree through online study. Get outlook and salary info for jobs in the distance education field. Schools offering Education - Organizational Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Master's Degree Programs in Distance Education Are Offered?

MDE programs are quite rare. You can enroll in an MET program or a master's degree program in instructional or learning technologies, which are more common. Both programs teach similar distance education topics and prepare you for many of the same jobs. Once enrolled in a program, you might be able to specialize in a specific field, like distance education teaching or management.

Available ProgramsMDE programs are rare. MET programs or programs in instructional technologies are more common
CourseworkCurriculum development, distance education models, instructional design and research requirements.
Online ProgramsEntirely online programs are available. You will need a computer, internet and familiarity with online tools to communicate with instructors and classmates.
Possible CareersInstructional coordinator, instructional technologist, educational administrator

What Will I Learn?

Master's degree programs in distance education and educational technology combine instruction in technology and research with classes in education and administrative duties. Leadership skills are emphasized throughout the program, and you'll learn how to train employees to use various distance technology devices.

Programs will teach you how to develop online curricula for individual courses as well as how to package an entire online degree program. Master's degree programs usually end with an exam or a final portfolio, which might involve field research, projects, journal entries and written papers. Common distance education topics that you'll study can include:

  • Online course development
  • Synchronous and asynchronous learning models
  • Distance education technologies
  • E-learning leadership
  • Globalization and distance education
  • Technical writing
  • Instructional design

Are Online Options Available?

You can enroll in an entirely online master's degree program in educational or learning technology. You usually can communicate with your classmates through e-mail, blogs or discussion boards. Some classes might communicate through chat programs or online voice conferences conducted in real time. All exams can usually be taken online.

To complete an online program, you typically need a headset, microphone and speakers. You also might need a Web camera. Most programs recommend that you have a high-speed Internet connection and specific Web browsers.

What Job Fields Can I Enter?

With your master's degree in the field of distance education or instructional technology, you can apply for jobs as an instructional coordinator. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that employment opportunities should be good due to a growing need for curriculum developers (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, instructional coordinators usually must earn either a teaching or education administrator license to work at public schools. Instructional coordinators earned a mean salary of $61,550 per year as of May 2014, reported the BLS.

A distance education degree can also prepare you for work as an instructional technologist at a school, business, government agency or nonprofit organization. PayScale.com reported that instructional technology specialists with 1-4 years of experience earned a mean salary ranging from about $34,000-$70,000 as of January 2016.

Finally, you can become an educational director or administrator with your master's degree. The BLS reported that you typically must receive your education administrator license to work at a public school and usually must also hold prior teaching experience. According to the BLS, elementary and secondary school education administrators made an approximate mean salary of $91,780 as of May 2014, while postsecondary school education administrators earned a mean wage of $101,910 per year as of May 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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