18 Online Degree Programs Available in Adult Education

Why Pursue an Online Degree in Adult Education?

Do you have a desire to make a difference in the lives of students beyond the high school and collegiate levels? A career in the expansive realm of adult education may be right for you, as individuals working in this field have the opportunity to work alongside adults in a... variety of educational institutions. Whether you prefer teaching at an academic organization, working with a nonprofit or leading those in a business, there are many paths your career in adult education could pursue.

Pursuing an online degree in adult education may be a great way to prepare for one of these occupations, as you will be exposed to myriad topics and courses that could introduce you to developing curriculum for adults. Those along this degree path have an opportunity to learn more about behind-the-scenes work that may influence adult learners, such as administrative or organizational development, or study tactics that may help prepare them for classroom instruction.

A glimpse into the realm of adult education
Adult education comprises an expansive range of learning concepts, from workforce development to English as a second language. As you work toward your online degree in adult education, you may be exposed to occupations and concepts in this field you never knew existed. As you delve further into this educational endeavor, you may learn about different organizations that may sponsor adult education programs, discovering how to best prepare to pursue these roles and research that may be involved in your decision.

Courses along your online degree path may introduce you to hands-on topics that could assist with in-person instruction, such as curriculum development and teaching practicums, or they could integrate more theoretical concepts that would help students better understand the psychology of adult learners, including classes about gender or race. Additionally, after discovering which career choice may be best-suited to meet your occupational aspirations, students could tailor their degree to illustrate their preferences.

Possible salaries for a career in adult education
There are a variety of potential career paths in the field of adult education. From those who work with nonprofit organizations to jobs that allow students to play more of an administrative role in an academic institution, salaries vary by company, experience and education. Consider the following careers, with data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

  • Adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers: 2012 Median annual salary of $48,590 (9 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]

  • Training and development managers: 2012 Median annual salary of $95,400 (11 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]

  • Career and technical education teachers: 2012 Median annual salary of $51,910 (9 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills required for a career in adult education
To work in the field of adult education, students should have a strong passion for assisting others to grow. Individuals employed in these roles may be integral for preparing adults to interact with educational, business or life concepts to which they may not be familiar. Additionally, for those who wish to pursue a higher-level degree in this industry, they must have a strong interest in research and first-hand experience, as they may be required to complete a comprehensive thesis in order to receive their certification.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm
[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm
[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/career-and-technical-education-teachers.htm

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