Differences Between B.S., M.S., & Ph.D. Degrees in Education

Jennie Kroeger

It's commonly known that individuals who possess advanced degrees have more career opportunities and typically retain a higher salary throughout their lives. But how does that break down for those who pursue varying degrees in education?

4-Year Education Degrees

For anyone pursuing a career in education, a bachelor's degree is a necessity to have a meaningful career in education. Most schools will only hire teaching candidates who have at least a 4-year bachelor's degree in Education or a related field, and all public schools in Florida require teachers to hold a Florida Educator's Certificate (which require a minimum of a bachelor's degree).

Career Opportunities for 4-year Degree , .
  • Middle and High School Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Textbook Rep
  • Adult Literacy or GED Teacher
Major Benefits

A 4-year degree is a must for anyone looking to go on to more advanced degrees and careers. Differences Between Degree Levels in Education A 4-year degree in education gives you access to a reliable and sizeable salary, with most elementary or high school teachers making a nationwide median salary of about $55,000.

Master's Degrees in Education

Master's degrees in Education allow people to further and deepen their knowledge of education and policies, and specialize in a field of their choice. Getting a master's degree is typically a two-year process, requiring around 33 additional credit hours to complete. Many schools, including the FSU College of Education, offer a range of master's degrees, many in an online format.

Career Opportunities for a Master's in Education
  • School Principal
  • College Professor
  • Educational Consultant
  • Education Analyst
  • Curriculum Specialist
Major Benefits

Master's degrees give graduates access to additional career opportunities, many of which have the potential to have larger impacts on the education industry both working with institutions as well as other companies involved in education. Notably, there are several advanced master's degrees that specialize in getting students prepared to be active policy directors and influence how the education system works on a bigger scale. Differences Between Degree Levels in Education These higher jobs also give you access to higher salaries. Indeed.com says that the average salary for an education policy director in Washington, D.C. is about $79,000. (source)


Ph.D.s and Ed.D.s in Education

For those looking to dedicate their career to research, high-level teaching, and policy directorships, Ph.D.s and Ed.D.s are available. Beyond what you'll learn as a master's candidate, doctoral students in education research policy and techniques to find ways to have a larger impact on the education industry as a whole.

Career Opportunities for Ph.D.s and Ed.D.s in Education

Differences Between Degree Levels in Education

  • College or University Professor
  • Lead Researcher
  • Educational Policy Director at the Local, State, and Federal Level
Major Benefits

Along with many opportunities that allow for higher income levels, gaining a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Education gives graduates the ability to work as researchers and executive-level policy directors.   Learn More About Our Graduate Programs