What Can You Do with an MA in Curriculum and Instruction

What Can You Do with an MA in Curriculum and Instruction

Before enrolling, most students often ask themselves, “What can you do with an MA in Curriculum and Instruction?” We know this because we get this question all the time. One thing you should know is there are plenty of great options for building a rewarding career with this degree. Let’s explore these roles, their growth potential, and financial outlook.

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What Can You Do with an MA in Curriculum and Instruction?

A master’s in curriculum and instruction is a lesser-known degree in education. Yet, it is a field full of opportunities. This program offers the know-how to shape educational curricula and enhance learning strategies for students. In addition, it also teaches you to take on leadership roles.

Career OptionAverage SalaryProjected Increase In Jobs
Curriculum Developer$78,1386% from 2022 to 2032
Instructional Coordinator$75,4702% from 2022 to 2032
Education Specialist$61,1698% from 2018 to 2028
K-12 Lead Teacher$39,12915% from 2018 to 2028
Academic Coach$48,9159% from 2022 to 2032
Textbook Writer$54,7294% from 2022 to 2032
ESL or ESOL Teacher$67,8174% from 2018 to 2028
School Principal$111,4301% from 2020 to 2030

Curriculum Developer

  • Average salary: $78,138 

As a curriculum developer, you will design educational programs and materials. Your primary job function will be to create lessons that can be used in traditional classrooms or shared online.

A professor teaching in front

Curriculum developers with expertise in technical areas typically work for established organizations. The BLS projects a faster-than-average 6% increase in demand for training and development specialists from 2022 to 2032.

This role also involves analyzing student performance data to enhance curriculum effectiveness. As a curriculum developer, you will assist educators by evaluating how various resources work. You will also be making necessary improvements to existing curricula and guide educators in implementing these changes.

Instructional Coordinator

  • Average salary: $75,470 

An instructional coordinator oversees teaching standards and school curricula. You would collaborate with teachers to implement educational programs and improve teaching techniques.

Additional responsibilities in this job role include creating and coordinating educational content. Instructional coordinators also incorporate technology into lessons and develop instructional materials. By doing this, you will be able to help teachers and professors with course design and delivery.

The BLS projects a 2% increase in demand for instructional coordinators from 2022 to 2032.

Education Specialist

  • Average salary: $61,169

Education specialists improve school programs through teacher training and curriculum development. This role also includes planning, reviewing, and changing the content of courses.

They can work in educational leadership, instructional technology, or educational psychology. Employment for education and training specialists is expected to expand by 8% between 2018 and 2028.

Education specialists often collaborate with teachers and school officials to manage classrooms effectively. They also provide classroom progress reports from instructors to parents and vice versa.

K-12 Lead Teacher

  • Average salary: $39,129

K-12 lead teachers are employed by private schools and school districts. Between 2018 and 2028, the number of jobs for early childhood teachers is expected to increase by 15%.

As a K-12 lead teacher, you’ll deliver lessons to students and mentor other educators. A lead teacher’s responsibilities include organizing and implementing instructional programs and curricula. They collaborate with their colleagues to make sure students are getting quality education.

Academic Coach

  • Average salary: $48,915

An academic coach works with students one-on-one to help them with professional development and skills enhancement. As a coach, you’ll identify strengths and areas for improvement. These improvements could be in terms of learning styles, study habits, and obstacles to academic achievement.

Tutoring is one component of academic coaching. Additional responsibilities include helping students manage their studies by developing efficient study habits and decision-making abilities. Also, another important responsibility in this role is assisting high school students with college applications.

Textbook Writer

  • Average salary: $54,729

The role of a textbook writer involves creating engaging and accurate educational content. This content is for students and educators across various subjects and grade levels. As a textbook writer, your responsibility includes developing and editing curriculum parts, making sure they are up-to-date, accurate, and meet the set standards.

In this role, having experience in technical writing or instructional design makes collaborating with textbook publishers much easier. Additionally, familiarity with tools such as Adobe Suite and Microsoft Office may be necessary. You may also need skills in internal publishing applications.

A professor teaching in front of a big room with small class

ESL or ESOL Teacher

  • Average salary: $67,817 

As an English as a Second Language (ESL) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher, you will teach English to non-native English speakers. ESL teachers instruct beginners in nations where English is an official language, while ESOL teachers work with students who speak other languages. ESL and ESOL professionals can also qualify for either TESOL or TEFL.

The acronyms TESOL and TEFL refer to “Teaching English to Students of Other Languages” and “Teaching English as a Foreign Language.” This job is expected to grow at a rate of 4% from 2018 to 2028.Possessing one of these credentials opens doors for you to teach and travel the globe.

You should get a TEFL certification if you want to teach ESL overseas. If you want to teach English in your native country, you can get a TESOL certification instead.

School Principal

  • Average salary: $111,430 

As a school principal, you’ll lead a school community. You’ll manage day-to-day school activities, oversee staff, and assure a safe and effective learning environment. 

Principals are responsible for ensuring the classroom is a safe place for students to learn and that the curriculum is well-managed. Throughout the year, principals play a supporting role in assisting teachers to prepare for class. They also assure their objectives align with the district’s curriculum.

The BLS predicts an average 1% increase in employment for elementary, middle, and high school principals from 2020 to 2030.

What Is a Curriculum and Instruction Program?

A curriculum and instruction program is a graduate-level program that prepares you to become an expert in designing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs. It’s an ideal path if you’re passionate about enhancing the learning experience for diverse groups of students.

In this program, you’ll explore the intricacies of curriculum development. This involves learning how to create educational content that’s both academically rigorous and culturally relevant and responsive to the needs of different learners. The focal point of these programs is a commitment to diversity and social justice.

Instructional design forms the core of this program, emphasizing the creation of effective and efficient instruction. You learn to apply educational theory and research to real-world teaching. In the process, you’ll utilize technology and innovative educational practices, improving student outcomes.

Why Should You Get a Curriculum and Instruction Degree?

Your educational career could take a 180-degree turn as you earn your master’s in curriculum and instruction. You will enhance your professional qualifications and position yourself to make lasting changes in the field of education. Here are some other reasons why you should consider this degree:

Lead Educational Improvement

A master’s degree in curriculum and instruction makes sure you can effectively contribute to academic improvement in various educational settings.

With this degree you’re able to integrate valuable components like STEM and the arts or specialize in areas like TESOL or English language learning. This enables you to innovate in your field, potentially influencing how subjects are taught in diverse classrooms.

Increase Salary Potential

A master’s degree can significantly raise your earning prospects compared to holding only a bachelor’s degree. Your advanced knowledge allows you to negotiate better salaries and benefits.

Expand Your Skill Set

The degree allows you to expand your skill set greatly. You master the art of tailoring educational experiences to accommodate varied learning styles.

What Does a Curriculum and Instruction Degree Teach Students?

Curriculum and instruction master’s degree programs often cover topics such as lesson planning, delivery, and evaluation of educational programs and units. You will review present practices and see how they compare to the best in the country and worldwide.

The curriculum of a master’s degree program will also take into consideration the relevant current events and adhere to national and state requirements. It will prepare you for leadership roles in education.

A professor talking to a student virtually

In addition to providing training in cutting-edge technology that may promote student learning, obtaining a master’s of education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction will help refresh your knowledge. Here’s a breakdown of key learnings:

  • Curriculum design & development: You’ll explore the science behind creating impactful curricula tailored to meet educational standards and student needs.
  • Instructional strategies: You’ll understand a range of teaching methods. This will enhance learning outcomes across different age groups and subjects.
  • Assessment techniques: You’ll learn to design and implement assessment tools. These tools will help you accurately measure student progress and curriculum effectiveness.
  • Educational technology: You’ll adopt digital tools and technologies. They facilitate innovative teaching and a more engaging learning experience.

Top 4 Curriculum and Instruction Programs

Choosing the best curriculum and instruction program is vital if you’re aiming to boost your career growth. Let’s walk you through the top 4 curriculum and instruction programs that will prepare you for a dynamic career in education.

UniversityLocationTuition FeeEnrollmentCareer Path
Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing, MI$900 per credit1019Curriculum specialists, instructional coordinators, education researchers
University of WisconsinMadison, WI$10,728 per year1129Leadership roles in academic institutions, educational consulting
University of MichiganAnn Arbor, MI$27,714 per year480Expert educators, policymakers, roles in educational technology firms
Columbia University Teachers CollegeNew York, NY$1,970 per credit4369Public and private education careers, teaching, high-level administration

Michigan State University

East Lansing , MI
Other Rankings

Career Outlook for degree at Michigan State University

Cost of Degree: $16,617
Expenses: $15,618
Starting Salary: $63,200
Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Michigan State University

Michigan State University’s curriculum and instruction program is backed by cutting-edge research. It also offers a long-standing commitment to teaching excellence. The program equips you with the knowledge to develop engaging curriculums. You’ll gain the expertise to implement effective education strategies.

Graduates often pursue careers as curriculum specialists, instructional coordinators, and education researchers.

Other Rankings

Career Outlook for degree at University of Wisconsin–Madison

Cost of Degree: $10,796
Expenses: $17,198
Starting Salary: $68,000
Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

University of Wisconsin

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Tuition Fee: $10,728 per year (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 1129
  • Rank: 2nd in Curriculum and Instruction

The University of Wisconsin program highlights inclusive teaching and learning methods. The coursework covers various pedagogical theories and the application of technology in education.

Career paths after this program typically include leadership roles. These will be in academic institutions and educational consulting.

Other Rankings

Career Outlook for degree at University of Michigan

Cost of Degree: $17,786
Expenses: $16,820
Starting Salary: $79,000
Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

University of Michigan

  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tuition Fee: $27,714 per year (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 480
  • Rank: 3rd in Curriculum and Instruction

The University of Michigan is known for its innovative teaching practices and forward-thinking curriculum. This institution prepares you to understand educational challenges. It also teaches you to tailor your teaching to meet diverse learner needs.

After graduating, students become expert educators or policymakers and take up roles in educational technology firms.

A woman having a cup of coffee while studying online

Related Questions

What is Meant by Curriculum?

The curriculum refers to a structured set of learning experiences for student’s learning. It’s like a map for your teaching experience, ensuring each student’s academic success. The timing of courses, financial aid opportunities, and costs impact on the development and implementation of an effective curriculum.

Who Is a Curriculum Specialist?

Curriculum specialists are tasked with refining educational programs to enhance teacher performance and student outcomes. They are responsible for aligning teaching strategies with best educational practices.

What is the Purpose of the Curriculum?

The curriculum aims to lay out a comprehensive framework that educators can follow to assure equitable, high-quality education. It is about setting clear goals and choosing the right content. Also, it helps adopt effective learning strategies that cater to the diverse needs of students.


A master’s in curriculum and instruction equips you with a diverse skill set to serve as an educational leader. You can contribute to the quality of education in various roles, including developing curricula that incorporate diversity and conducting educational research that informs teaching practices.

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