Rutgers online Master of Education: A look at two specialties

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You have a passion for learning and a desire to share your knowledge with others. You’re dedicated to applying your skills and interests to the education field. You’re ready to further your knowledge with a Master of Education. The only thing you’re unsure about is which area to focus your studies.

At Rutgers University, we offer two Education Masters programs:  Learning, Cognition and Development and Adult and Continuing Education. To help you choose your area of focus, here’s a comparison of these two degrees:


The same quality education

When you choose to pursue your online Master of Education at Rutgers, you can benefit from everything the Rutgers Graduate School of Education offers, no matter which program you choose. This includes:


  1. The online advantage

You can complete both degrees 100 percent online, which allows you to learn from anywhere, on your own schedule. That means you can balance your studies with other life commitments, including work, family, travel and other important events. Plus, there’s no financial burden from needing to relocate to the university’s campus. Both programs offer full- or part-time attendance, with multiple start dates throughout the year.


  1. University support

No matter which direction you choose, Rutgers is with you all the way. Our trained Enrollment Coaches will guide you through the application process, answering any questions you have about the programs that interest you. Once enrolled, your Executive Coach will offer support as you complete your degree, connecting you with relevant campus resources, as well as helping you define and reach your personal, education and career goals.


  1. Education experts

Whether you’re analyzing research about how the brain develops in teenage years or practicing strategies to reach adult learners, you’ll be learning from professors who are well-respected members of the education field. They bring their own experiences, expertise and passions to the online classroom, providing you with a fulfilling, relevant and spirited learning experience.


  1. The Rutgers network

Small class sizes and interactive online learning allow you to build lasting connections with your peers and professors. Plus, when you graduate from Rutgers, you’ll join a network of over 480,000 members who could be valuable connections as you work toward your career goals.


  1. Focused learning

The adult education program offers four options for further specializations within the degree, which include Human Resources Development, Higher Education, Adult ESL and Literacy Education and Educational Technology. These specializations allow you to deeply focus on the areas of education that interest you. Plus, if you pursue one of these specialized tracks, you can earn your certification in that area. Alternatively, you can opt to enroll in just a certification program, which only requires the completion of 12 relevant credits.


Reaching different interests

While both specialties apply high-level learning to education, they differ in their areas of focus and the careers they help graduates pursue.


Learning, Cognition and Development: The theory behind it all

If you’re interested in the psychology behind learning and how it applies to education, this is the degree program for you. With a variety of psychological, sociological and anthropological concepts, you’ll study how people learn, think and grow in a modern learning environment, with a strong focus on theory and recent research in the field.


Along the way, you’ll work with leading technologies and practice applying modern, cutting-edge learning techniques. Plus, you’ll learn about the most effective collaborative learning and problem-solving strategies to engage and motivate students in your future classrooms.


The Learning, Cognition and Development degree sets teachers up with the cognitive theories to understand how students think, learn and develop in the school environment. This specialty is ideal for teachers who want to pursue careers and leadership positions in settings such as:

  • Grade schools.
  • Higher education academic institutions.
  • Education administration.
  • Special education services.
  • Research.
  • School districts.
  • Education foundations.
  • Government agencies.

With a firm educational foundation, you’ll have the building blocks to continue your studies at the doctoral level. If you decide to begin or advance your career before earning another degree, your master’s may increase your earning potential in a variety of positions.


Most graduates from the Learning, Cognition and Development program are interested in working with younger students in grade school environments as they grow and develop, whereas those who pursue the Adult and Continuing Education degree are more likely to work in the college or university setting or a corporate environment where adults are learning.


Adult and Continuing Education: Preparation for teaching adult learners

If you’re interested in enhancing your teaching skills to meet the complex demands of adult and continuing education, this degree will help you reach those career goals. You’ll learn how to plan and implement classes and programs that resonate with adult learners in various subjects and environments.


The Adult and Continuing Education program offers flexibility to customize the program to fit your needs, interests and career goals. Choose from one of the four optional specializations to focus your learning to the area that most interests you: Human Resources Development, Higher Education, Adult ESL and Literacy Education, and Educational Technology.


As a Rutgers graduate, you’ll have the expertise and leadership skills to work in the adult education field with confidence and establish a reputation as an expert thought leader in the industry. Plus, you’ll be privy to new career opportunities, higher salaries, improved benefits and greater responsibilities.


With a Master of Education in Adult and Continuing education from Rutgers, you may have increased access to career advancement in a community organization, adult literacy education, professional and continuing education and human resources development. You’ll have the skills and knowledge to pursue a variety of high-level roles, such as:


  • Training and Development Manager.
  • Human Resources Training Specialist.
  • Corporate Trainer.
  • Training Coordinator.
  • Adult Literacy and GED Diploma Teacher.
  • Remedial Education Teacher.
  • College or University Dean.
  • Community Education Instructor.
  • Community College Professor.


Even more, your experience with the online Master of Education program at Rutgers can give you the skills and preparation to excel in the workplace immediately after graduation.


Making the decision

If you’re struggling to choose which path is right for you, contact an enrollment coach today to discuss your options in detail. He or she will help you identify the ideal program based on your passions and long-term goals. Once you decide, your coach will help you manage the admissions process and prepare for your Rutgers experience.


Recommended Readings:

Master of Education in Adult and Continuing Education – Student Testimonial

Careers in Adult Education: A Conversation with Ed.M. Student Monica Mustacchio

The Benefits of Online Education: A Conversation with Michael Esposito



Master of Education in Adult and Continuing Education by Rutgers Online

Master of Education in Learning, Cognition and Development by Rutgers Online

Enrollment and Executive Coaching at Rutgers Online by Rutgers Online