If you’re in the field of education and looking to grow your career or expand your skill set, you’ve probably considered getting an advanced degree.

A logical next step for someone with a bachelor’s degree is a master’s. But what kind of master’s options are there? Which degree is best for you?

Capella University offers two master’s degrees in education: a Master of Science in Education and a Master of Education. Here’s how the programs are distinct.

Master of Science in Education

A Master of Science in Education delves deep into a particular specialty in education. Students customize their programs by selecting an area of emphasis that meets their educational, personal, professional, or even school site needs. The specialties include: curriculum and instruction, early childhood education, leadership, training, instructional design, and special education, among others. Related job titles include*: P-12 teacher, P-12 lead teacher, academic advisor, financial aid supervisor, residence hall supervisor, and university faculty member in the field of education.

“You can be specialized with a master of science degree,” says Amy Burkman, faculty chair in the School of Education at Capella University. “An MS allows you to dive deep into a particular area that aligns with your career goals.”

Master of Education

A master of education looks at the broader theories that apply to education and is aimed at practitioners who want a knowledge base and skills that can be applied across education. Students learn to digest and interpret research, but are not required to do research or produce a major research project. “Unlike a master of science in education, you have far more choice in the courses you can choose from with an MEd program,” Burkman says.

Individuals with a master in education often assume leadership positions in education. Related job titles include*: K-12 teachers, K-12 lead teachers, instructional coaches, teacher coach/mentors, instructional coordinators, education consultants, and adjunct or part-time faculty in the field of education.

Learn more about Capella University’s online education master’s degree programs.

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.