Curriculum and Instruction Degrees

Curriculum and instruction is a vital component of the education industry. Essentially, curriculum and instruction describes the relationship between education and society. Professionals who work in the field are often called instructional coordinators, although education administrators, teachers, and other educators also study curriculum and instruction as part of their degree courses. Instructional coordinators are responsible for researching and analyzing the effectiveness of current educational curriculum and designing new areas of study based on their results. Educational policy, along with the subject matter, is largely decided based on an instructional coordinator or consultant’s recommendations.

There are many benefits to earning a degree in curriculum and instruction. The primary benefit is that solid training in curriculum and instruction qualifies a teacher or lower level professional to segue into positions of higher authority, such as supervisor, administrator, principal, and consultant. The demand for education administrators skilled in curriculum and instruction is expected to grow by 8%, with the majority of positions opening up in vocational schools and pre-schools. Compensation is also expected to increase, making curriculum and instruction a promising field for young teachers who wish to supplement their education or entry-level educators who want to assist in designing educational curriculum for future students.

Degrees and Coursework

The typical curriculum and instruction degree candidate is a student who has previous work experience in education, either as a teacher or daycare provider. Though low-level credentials such as certificates and associate’s degrees (2-year programs offered by community and vocational colleges) are offered in curriculum and instruction, many students have already earned a bachelor’s degree in education, early childhood education, or the like. The reason work experience is of chief importance to curriculum and instruction students as first-hand knowledge of current educational methodology and curriculum is a huge factor in the field.

It is currently possible to earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. Bachelor’s degrees can be earned either online or in-class and are the best way to get started in the field. In order to start a career as a education administrator or instructional coordinator, a master’s degree is the preferred credential.

Coursework for curriculum and instruction students will vary from school to school depending on both the credential granted and focus of the program. Many schools offer curriculum and instruction as a standalone class within a broader educational degree program. In general, students will take classes in research design, research, statistics, teaching analysis, evaluation techniques, teacher evaluation methods, educational philosophy, instructional methodology, and curriculum creation.

Individuals who wish to specialize in curriculum and instruction often choose to continue onto master’s degrees after earning a bachelor’s, as graduate education allows them to focus on specific elements of the field. Many instructional coordinators and school administrators are required to continue taking courses throughout their careers in order to stay current with technology and new developments in the rapidly changing educational field.

Required Skills

Potential applicants to curriculum and instruction programs should carefully review the per-requisites for admission before submitting an application. Some schools may ask for solid teaching experience, while others expect State certification. Requirements will vary depending on the program. All curriculum and instruction students should be familiar with computer technology prior to enrollment, as computers are an important tool for research and analysis. Taking courses in educational technology is a good first step

(Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.)

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