February 04, 2019

Master of Education vs. Doctor of Education in Applied Learning Sciences

Grad Students collaborating

In 2019, education extends far beyond the classroom, and incorporates a much wider range of jobs and professionals besides traditional teachers. Thanks to the internet and new technologies, students today have unprecedented access to information from infinite sources, exposure to new methods of experiential learning such as virtual reality, and expanded options for communication and collaboration with classmates and teachers beyond the classroom.

In answer to the changing faces and needs of modern educators, the University of Miami’s UOnline now offers students anywhere around the world the opportunity to earn a Master of Education (M.S.Ed.) or a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in the Applied Learning Sciences, a relatively new field of study that cuts across multiple disciplines in the study of learning.

UOnline’s Applied Learning Sciences programs will benefit anyone seeking to understand how to design, implement, and evaluate learning environments such as practicing and aspiring teachers at all levels of education; workplace trainers and other individuals in similar roles; and designers of games, exhibits, and other settings where human interaction takes place.

Deciding whether the M.S.Ed. or Ed.D. is right for you depends on your personal and professional goals.

Master of Education

The Master of Education (M.S.Ed.) in Applied Learning Sciences is a 20-month program that provides students with expert knowledge in the design of learning environments and curriculums that can be applied immediately within the workplace. Students who graduate from the M.S.Ed. program can pursue careers in formal education settings such as colleges, universities, and K-12 schools with roles in curriculum development and instructional design.

The modular structure of the program is flexible, allowing students to choose electives to tailor the degree to their interests. Students will complete a cumulative project in place of a thesis.

According to recent data, $72,852 is the median annual salary for teachers in the U.S. with a master’s degree—approximately 56 percent of teachers—compared to a median annual salary of $60,996 for teachers with a bachelor’s degree. Payscale.com reports that salaries for those with M.S.Ed. degrees range from $50,602 for an elementary school teacher to $72,813 for an executive director. Of course, salaries vary depending on experience and geographic location.

Besides classroom teaching, a master’s in education opens the door to many other jobs, such as school principal, school counselor, museum educational director, corporate trainer, educational consultant, and more.

Doctor of Education

Students interested in continuing their education beyond a master’s degree should consider UOnline’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Applied Learning Sciences. The 2.5-year program teaches students how to improve environments conducive to learning, evaluate learning, and implement learning solutions.

While a Ph.D. requires completing a dissertation and is generally pursued by students who plan to teach at the collegiate level, UOnline’s Ed.D. equips graduates with the skills to revise and improve the design of traditional and non-traditional learning environments, often in administrative and leadership positions.

The Applied Learning Sciences doctoral degree culminates in a project rather than a dissertation. The project has practical application and students often use the opportunity to address a local issue in their community.

The Ed.D. prepares graduates for teaching and administrative roles in a range of environments and industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary teachers earned a median salary of $76,000 per year in 2017, while postsecondary education administrators earned an average of $92,360 per year.

Ed.D. graduates can fill a range of positions, including school superintendent, academic dean, director of human resources, and more.

The UOnline difference

Unlike other masters and doctor of education programs, UOnline graduates can move beyond the traditional education sphere and consider roles in professional learning design, training, and organizational development for consultancies and training providers. Entrepreneurial graduates can look at developing learning products or technologies for education technology companies.

UOnline’s Applied Learning Sciences programs are taught by a multilingual and multicultural group of academics and professionals from top-ranked institutions who have a wealth of experience in different areas of education. Faculty members include Associate Professor Ji Shen, Ph.D., whose current work aims to engage elementary age students in robotics and computer science, and Professor Walter G. Secada, Ph.D., current Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Studies of the School of Education and Human Development. Prof. Secada previously served as the Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic Dropout Project. All Applied Learning Sciences faculty are active researchers and published authors, and all UOnline faculty also teach on campus.

To find out more about the M.S.Ed. or Ed.D. in Applied Learning Sciences, speak with an enrollment advisor at 800-411-2290 or visit the site for more information.