Professionals in the education field who wish to advance their careers in education need to pursue a graduate-level degree. Some states require education majors to complete a graduate-level degree before they can become classroom teachers. The dilemma these individuals face is whether to pursue a master of arts in education degree or a master of education degree. Both degrees possess value in the education profession, but each degree is specific to the student's career or educational goal.

Master of Arts in Education Degree

The master of arts in education degree is a research degree designed for students who wish to conduct research studies in the field of education. The degree also prepares students to pursue doctoral-level studies in education. It is the better choice for students who wish to pursue teaching and administrative careers in higher education.

Master of Arts in Education Degree Requirement

To earn a master of arts in education, the student must complete a master's thesis. The master's thesis project is commonly viewed as a prerequisite for doctoral-level study. The completion of a master's thesis prepares students for the level of thought, writing, and analysis needed to fulfill doctoral-level course requirements and a dissertation.

Master of Education Degree

The master of education degree is a practitioner degree. The focus of this degree is applying higher levels of practical knowledge and learning in the field. The degree is designed for students who wish advance to leadership positions, such as curriculum specialists, principals, or superintendents. For some states, this practitioner degree is a requirement for entry-year teachers seeking a teaching license.

Master of Education Degree Requirement

The master of education degree often does not require the completion of a master's thesis. However, depending upon the institution, a student may be required to complete a graduate capstone, portfolio or comprehensive examination.