2024 Best Online Master’s Degrees for Teachers Who Don’t Want to Teach

By Joy Cromwelle
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on April 14, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
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Exploring the best master’s degree for teachers who don’t want to teach can be a strategic step for educators looking to shift their career trajectory.

Online Master’s Degrees for Teachers Who Don’t Want to Teach

Whether you want to stay within the realm of education or move into a new field altogether, these specialized paths can leverage an educator’s existing skill set in innovative, impactful ways.

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Read on to discover popular online graduate programs that can lead to some of the best jobs for teachers who don’t want to teach.

Online Master’s Degrees for Teachers Who Don’t Want to Teach

If you’re wanting to venture beyond the traditional classroom, you might be interested in the best masters degree for teachers who don’t want to teach. These online graduate programs could help transition your passion for teaching into a diverse array of fulfilling, non-teaching careers.

Select the program that most interests you to jump to that section of the guide:

You may want to explore your options to decide which program is right for you.

Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction

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A masters in curriculum and instruction focuses on designing, assessing, and implementing educational programs. This degree track is especially beneficial for those who want to become curriculum specialists, instructional coordinators, or educational consultants.

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The program typically includes subjects like educational psychology, curriculum development, and instructional technology. You can sharpen your expertise in educational theory and practice, and you can prepare for curriculum and leadership roles in various educational settings beyond the classroom.

Master’s in Early Childhood Education

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A masters in early childhood education can equip educators for roles beyond teaching, such as roles in curriculum development, educational policy, or advocacy for children’s services. It’s strategic for those interested in shaping early childhood education without remaining in the classroom.

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Coursework often covers child development, program administration, and family engagement. You may develop a broad skill set for influencing early learning environments and policies at an organizational or societal level.

Master’s in Educational Counseling

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A master’s in educational counseling helps prepare teachers for supportive roles, like school counselors, educational consultants, or academic advisors. This degree is designed for those wanting to assist students with academic, career, and social development rather than teach in a classroom.

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Core subjects include developmental psychology, counseling techniques, and crisis intervention. Graduates can influence student success through one-on-one support, program development, and collaboration with educators and parents to foster healthier, more effective learning environments.

Master’s in Educational Leadership

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A masters in educational leadership is tailored for educators aspiring to administrative roles, such as principal, district administrator, or policymaker. This path is strategic if you want to influence educational systems and operations rather than direct classroom teaching.

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Subjects studied include organizational management, educational law, and leadership ethics. Graduates are often equipped to lead educational reforms, improve school policies, and manage academic institutions effectively.

Master’s in Higher Education

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A masters in higher education can help prepare you for administrative and leadership positions within colleges and universities. This program is for those who aim to shape postsecondary education policies, student affairs, or academic programs without classroom instruction.

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Key course topics include governance in higher education, student development theories, and finance and budgeting in educational institutions. Potential careers range from academic dean and student services coordinator to higher education consultant, focusing on improving academic environments at the tertiary level.

Master’s in Human Resources

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A master’s in human resources (HR) is well suited for jobs for teachers leaving education and transitioning to corporate roles. It focuses on managing workforce dynamics and organizational behavior, and it’s applicable to careers like HR management, training and development, and employee relations.

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This program covers subjects such as employment law, talent acquisition, and compensation strategies. This degree helps you develop skills to oversee employee performance and play a part in shaping corporate culture and policies.

Master’s in Library Science

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A masters in library science opens pathways into fields like library management, archival science, and information systems. It’s a fit for educators desiring to curate knowledge resources rather than teach in a traditional classroom.

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The curriculum covers digital libraries, cataloging, reference services, and archival management. You can grow your expertise in information management and services. Graduates may pursue careers as librarians, archivists, or information officers in various academic, public, and private sector environments.

Master’s in Psychology

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A master’s in psychology can unlock diverse careers in areas such as counseling, human resources, or research. This degree dives into advanced psychological theories, research methods, and cognitive-behavioral strategies. Course often cover developmental psychology, neuropsychology, and psychopathology.

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Some professionals apply these insights to develop programs, support mental health initiatives, or conduct organizational training. You can bridge your understanding of human behavior with practical applications in various institutional or corporate settings.

Master’s in Social Work

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A masters in social work is geared toward those looking to impact lives through advocacy, counseling, and social policy. It includes studies in human behavior, social welfare policy, and clinical practice.

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Graduates often pursue careers as clinical social workers, case managers, or policy advisors. You could choose to focus on individual support, community development, or societal change across diverse settings like healthcare, government, and non-profits.

Master’s in Special Education

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A masters in special education can help prepare educators for roles that focus on students with diverse learning needs. It can pave the way for positions that influence special education through program design, advocacy, and research, helping improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

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Non-teaching roles related to this degree include educational consultant, program coordinator, and policy developer. The curriculum often includes topics like instructional strategies, disability law, and assessment methods.

Alternative Jobs for Teachers

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Teachers possess a versatile skill set that can be transferred to many non-teaching roles. Here are some alternative careers for teachers:

  • Corporate trainer. Trainers design and deliver training programs that enhance employee skills and knowledge within a corporate setting.
  • Curriculum developer. Curriculum developers work on developing and assessing educational programs, often collaborating with educators and administrators to enhance the quality of educational content.
  • Education policy analyst. Analysts research and analyze educational policies, providing recommendations for improvements and influencing educational systems and reforms.
  • Educational consultant. Consultants advise schools or educational organizations on curriculum design, teaching strategies, and educational technology.
  • Instructional designer. Instructional designers create engaging e-learning courses and educational materials for schools, businesses, or online platforms, applying principles of learning and pedagogy.

Masters in education jobs can capitalize on a teacher’s strengths in communication, organization, and leadership.

Why Do Teachers Quit Teaching?

tired teacher

After earning their teaching degree online or on campus, teachers often quit teaching due to factors like burnout, insufficient pay, high stress levels, and a lack of support. Some feel undervalued, with their extensive workloads and responsibilities extending far beyond the classroom.

The emotional toll of teaching, along with the desire for better work-life balance, drives some educators to seek alternative careers. In non-teaching roles, education professionals can often apply their skills in less demanding environments that offer greater flexibility, recognition, and opportunities for advancement.

Are There Companies That Hire Former Teachers?

Yes, there are companies that hire former teachers and value the transferable skills that they bring to the table. Skills teachers learn from teaching leadership programs like communication, organization, and leadership can make former teachers attractive candidates for roles in training and development, educational consulting, and content creation.

Educational technology firms, publishing companies, and corporate training departments often seek out the unique skill set that teachers possess. These industries tend to appreciate the experience teachers have in presenting complex information, managing diverse groups, and designing curriculum.

Earning Your Master Degree Online

teacher getting her masters degree online

Do you need a masters to be a teacher? A masters degree is not a typical requirement for entry into the teaching profession. If you’re contemplating a career pivot, there’s a range of online masters degrees for teachers that could help open doors to new professional avenues. A number of universities now offer one year masters programs. Within a year, you could be prepared to embark on a new career.

Pursuing advanced education can be both invigorating and transformative, helping you develop the necessary skills and credentials for alternative careers beyond the traditional boundaries of teaching. If your heart no longer lies in the classroom, an online masters program can help you repurpose your teaching skills, reignite your passions, and broaden your career prospects.

The sooner you start exploring accredited universities, the sooner you may find the program that’s right for you.

Ready to start your journey?