Why Pursue an Educational Technology Degree Online

Educational technology professionals blend the world of computer science and education to create better outcomes for students and develop more advanced ways of teaching the next generation using the most cutting-edge technology to their advantage. As more industries enter the modern age by taking their services online or using more advanced digital technologies, students must be prepared to work with these technologies quickly and efficiently. That's where the educational technology professional comes into play.

While some choose to use their advanced computer background to develop software, work in IT or join a relevant consultancy firm, there are others who choose to use their expertise in the classroom to cultivate the skills of the world's up-and-coming tech professionals. If you have an affinity for computers and teaching, an online degree in educational technology may be the perfect way to jump-start your journey of becoming an educator and a computer professional.

Some individuals choose to pursue this area of study to the highest level, and choose to get a Masters in Education Technology or even further to an online Doctorate in Education Technology.

A glimpse into the realm of educational technology

While many educational instructional technology professionals aspire to lead in the classroom of a university or public or private school, the profession does not stop there. Some professionals take their expertise online to teach courses on the Web. Others use their skills to teach other teachers how to incorporate technology into their curriculum and use particular programs to enhance their lessons. While the exact workplace varies, the common thread running through almost all educational instructional technology professions is a close work relationship with computers. Some particular occupations may involve teaching students how to master one particular program. Others may delve into a more general area of computers to teach tech literacy on a broader level.

Possible salaries for a career in educational technology

Your salary as a computer professional depends largely on what career path you take, your education and your specific job responsibilities. Individuals with more expertise in one facet of computer technology - programming, Web development, IT, software engineering and other skills - may earn a very different amount depending on their level of skill. However, many of these tech professionals focus on the benefits of working in a classroom. Many professions in computer technology may pay a higher amount than teaching. Nonetheless, educational instructional technology professionals choose to bring their skills to the classroom because they like work, not because of the paycheck. Consider the following careers, with statistics compiled by the BLS in 2012.

  • Career and technical education teachers: 2012 Median annual salary of $51,910 (9 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]
  • Computer support specialists: 2012 Median annual salary of $48,900 (17 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Postsecondary teachers: 2012 Median annual salary of $68,970 (19 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills important for a career in educational technology

These professionals are expected to be on the cutting edge of the industry to provide students with the most effective and up-to-date information about technology and computers. Because the industry innovates at such a fast pace, this can be difficult. While you may be charged with creating lesson plans, extra studying about your field is a must to be a truly effective teacher.

[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/career-and-technical-education-teachers.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-support-specialists.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm