Take the Lead: Earn Your Education Specialist Degree at Carson-Newman  

Take the Lead: Earn Your Education Specialist Degree at Carson-Newman

Are you ready to give your teaching career a major boost? Maybe it’s time to consider earning your education specialist, or Ed.S. degree. Full-time teachers who are ready to move out of the classroom and into a leadership role in curriculum development or school administration will find the move is easier to make after earning an Ed.S., and Carson-Newman University can help you get there.

What Is an Educational Specialist?

An educational specialist is someone who has an Ed.S. (education specialist) degree. This means they’ve gone beyond a master’s degree in education, are currently working as professionals in the field, and have decided to specialize in an area such as curriculum development or administrative leadership. They’ve committed to learning the newest methodologies and practices within the field of education. There are typically three reasons why a teacher would decide to pursue an Ed.S.:

  1. They want to move up to an administrative position, such as principal or superintendent.
  2. They want to increase their knowledge within their current area of expertise.
  3. They wish to change their area of specialty.

Students who earn their education specialist degree may enjoy additional job benefits such as a faster track to promotion, a larger annual salary, and increased job security. Additionally, they may enjoy the reputation of being a highly educated specialist within their chosen industry.

An Ed.S. degree is also sometimes an attractive alternative to earning your Ph.D. An Ed.S. may give you the added respect and recognition you desire in much less time. While it may require an additional 86 credit hours of work to earn a Ph.D., earning an Ed.S. may require as little as 36.

What Do Educational Specialists Do?

The career overview for educational specialists generally looks something like this. These professionals hold leadership roles within the public or private school system. In this position, you may be responsible for a variety of tasks that include:

  • Observing student and teacher performance
  • Assessing students and teachers
  • Assessing curricula and suggesting improvements
  • Acting as a school administrator
  • Serving as liaison between the school, parents, and the community

Generally, you’ll have more responsibilities than you did in your role as a teacher. You’ll move out of the classroom and into a more supervisory role. You may also spend more time interacting with students and their families, especially those with special needs. You may also be responsible for helping to establish policies and regulations for the school, to ensure it remains compliant with state and federal laws.

How Much Do Educational Specialists Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers salary information for health education specialists, which is an example of the type of job you may find with this degree. The median annual wage for these professionals in 2022 was $59,990, which translates to $28.84 per hour. Additionally, the job outlook for this position is positive, with a 12 percent increase expected through 2031.

How to Become an Educational Specialist

If you’re interested in earning your Ed.S. degree, there’s a series of steps you must follow to reach your goal. You’ll begin with enrolling in college to earn a degree in education or a related field and culminate with earning your education specialist designation. The steps look something like this:

Participate in an Internship/Job Shadowing

Once you’ve found the college you wish to attend and enroll to earn a degree in education, you may want to take the opportunity to apply for internships or part-time jobs in your local area. Acting as a teacher’s aide in the classroom or as an assistant in an early childhood education program is a great way to get a feel for teaching. You’ll learn more about what’s expected of a teacher and how it will feel to be responsible for keeping order in the classroom. You’ll begin to understand the many roles educators play within the school system.


This is also the best time to begin building your network of other education professionals. Talk with your classmates, instructors, and the administration at your college. Attend alumni and other events geared toward teaching professionals. Tap the expertise of the teachers and instructors with whom you work for information, advice, and resources. The contacts you make during your college career are often some of the most important. You’ll find this is especially true when it’s time to begin searching for your dream position.

Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Earning your bachelor’s degree is a necessity. You may decide to enroll in a four-year program in the beginning, or you may choose to earn an associate degree first. Either plan will help get you where you need to go. Generally, you must complete around 120 credit hours to earn your bachelor’s degree. For most students, this translates to a four-year commitment.

Once you’ve earned a bachelor’s degree, you’ll become eligible for many teaching positions within the public school system. At this point, many students choose to find a job in teaching. This will help you gain the classroom experience you’ll need while also supplementing your income as you begin the next leg of your journey.

Earn a Master’s Degree

Earning a master’s degree usually requires the completion of between 30 and 40 credit hours of work. Generally, this breaks down into an additional two years of study beyond your bachelor’s degree. As you work toward earning your master’s, you’ll have the opportunity to begin narrowing your focus of study. For example, you may decide to earn your M.ED. in a single classroom subject, such as science or mathematics, or you may choose a broader option, such as elementary and middle school education, special education, or higher education administration. It all depends on your interests and on the type of job you wish to pursue.

Earn an Educational Specialist Degree

To enroll in the educational specialist degree program, you must be a certified teacher. This means you’ve earned all the necessary degrees and passed the required exams to become certified to teach in your state. After you’ve earned some teaching experience, you may apply to an Ed.S. program to earn your degree.

Begin Applying for Roles

Lastly, you’ll want to put your degree to good use by applying for the positions for which you’re newly qualified. This could lead to a rewarding career in curriculum development, school administration, special education, and more.

Earn Your Degree, Today

When you’re ready to learn more about the many benefits of earning your education specialist degree, we invite you to explore the dynamic programs offered by Carson-Newman University. Carson-Newman University is a Christian liberal arts school that offers a variety of graduate degree options, including an Educational Specialist program. The Ed.S. program at Carson-Newman offers two areas of focus from which to choose — Administrative Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction Leadership. It’s completely online, which gives students more flexibility to earn their degree around work and family responsibilities. Learn more at Carson-Newman University today.

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