What Are My Options for Specialization in Educational Technology?
As you start to determine your academic path, it’s important to first decide on your career goals. Do you want to work in a K-12 school, at the postsecondary level, or in a corporate setting? Would you prefer a career devoted to practice or focused on research? These questions will help guide you as you plan for your academic and professional future.
The field of educational technology spans a whole range of specializations and concentrations. You’ll want to give this some careful thought before you enroll in a degree program. Doing so ensures that you can tailor your curriculum to your professional interests and gain the skills you’ll need for your ideal career.
Take a look at our rankings for the Best Master's in Educational Technology Degrees and Best Online Master's in Educational Technology Degrees. These rankings can you help determine which of the top schools offer specializations you might be interested in.
Note that for many master’s programs, educational technology itself is a specialization. However, most schools will include numerous instructional technology electives that you can take as part of your program. The topics covered in these electives can provide you with a good idea of the options that are available in the job market.
For example, at Champlain University, master’s degree candidates can choose from one of four niches within ed tech. The available concentrations at Champlain University include:
- Web Development
- Game Design
- Graphic Design
- Audio Production and Visual Storytelling
- Computer Systems
Other schools might define their specialization tracks in other ways. At George Fox University, there are three distinct tracks depending on the career that students plan to pursue:
- Classroom Teacher/Leader: In this concentration, students take classes such as Teaching Using Technology in the P-12 Environment, Foundations of Digital Curriculum Design, and Effective Strategies for Implementing Technology in the Classroom.
- District Technology Leader: This concentration features courses including Implementing Technological Change in Organizations, Evaluation of Educational Technology, and Ethical Considerations for the Technology Educator.
- Online Teacher Leader: Students in this concentration take courses like Tools for Success in Online Teaching, Foundations of Digital Curriculum Design, and Technology Teaching Practicum.
The University of Houston Clear Lake provides another set of specializations. Within their Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology program, students can pick from the following concentrations:
- Game Theory and Design: Courses include Graphic Design, Digital Storytelling, and User-Centered Design.
- Human Resource Management: Courses include Human Behavior in Organizations, Training and Development, and Teamwork and Leadership Skills.
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Courses include Organizational Psychology, Leadership in Organizations, and Change and Organizational Development.
- Information Science: Courses include Librarians Empowering Learners Through Advocacy Leadership, Administration of School Library Services, and Media and Technology Selection and Application.
Each university will have its own slightly different program structure and requirements. If one school doesn’t have the specialization you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to keeping searching. With so many different options available, there’s a good chance you can find the ed tech program that’s perfectly suited to your future career.