The master of reading is an advanced degree offered by an increasing number of education schools in the United States. It may be titled a master of education in reading, or in reading education, or in reading and literacy, but all are essentially the same advanced degree for education professionals. The degree prepares students for several different career opportunities teaching reading, instructing college students and education professionals in how to teach reading, and conducting research.
Elementary and Secondary Education
Reading is a crucial life skill, yet the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that nearly 15 percent of American adults lack basic literacy skills. With a master’s degree in reading, you can be a reading specialist at an elementary, middle or high school, helping students who are having difficulty mastering this skill. You also could become the director of a reading program, supervising other teachers.
You can join the faculty of an education school and teach others how to teach reading. Research colleges and universities also expect their faculty to conduct independent research into issues of importance to the academic community and educators in general. In addition, as you gain experience, you may be expected to supervise others and mentor other students seeking advanced degrees.
Adult Literacy Teacher
Many different organizations employ adult literacy teachers, including public school systems, community colleges, as well as various governments and nonprofit organizations. Some of these jobs are offered by organizations that help new immigrants to acclimate to American language and culture. Teaching reading to adults is in many ways very different from teaching it to children, and adult reading teachers often must evaluate each of their students’ functional level and needs.
Publishing and Other Industries
The publishers of reading textbooks frequently employ reading and literacy specialists to evaluate and help develop their offerings and help them coordinate those offerings with the standards, strategies and programs developed by school districts and boards of education. These positions frequently can involve marketing and other business disciplines. In addition, several literacy-oriented nonprofit organizations offer literacy consulting and instruction to schools and other organizations.