Master’s degree helps advance careers

When Matt Cziske, assistant director of admissions at CWU, isn’t on the road connecting with students, he meets with them in his office and takes them on walks through campus. (Central Washington University)

Emphasis on understanding organization leadership and management theory gives job applicants an edge.

Jon McGough, assistant director of disability resources at the University of Washington, says his lack of a graduate education had been holding him back from promotions and being considered for other jobs for years. He decided to do something about it and enrolled in an online master’s of education program.

Gaining expertise in management theory, research methods, data analysis, and organizational leadership and development can help open doors to new opportunities.

A master’s of education provides increased opportunities for career advancement and helps make an instructor a better teacher because of the emphasis on understanding best teaching methods, educational technology, pedagogy and philosophy of education. McGough saw quick results.

“I received a promotion within two months of completing my degree,” he says. “And before I even received my diploma in the mail, I was an applicant and finalist for a job that would have nearly doubled my salary.”

McGough wanted to continue working full time while he pursued his advanced degree, so an online program was a practical solution. “I chose Central Washington University’s master of education in higher education program because I wanted a program that offered all the advantages of a brick-and-mortar institution, such as quality faculty and name recognition, while also allowing me to work full time,” he says.

His story is echoed by Matt Cziske, assistant director of admissions at CWU, who says he applied for the program as soon as it was created. Cziske also was looking for a program with the flexibility to fit into his demanding work schedule. But for Cziske, location was the challenge.

Cziske’s job requires him to travel through the Western U.S., recruiting students to CWU, so having remote access to courses was key to finding a program that fit his needs.

“It was a little like ‘Where’s Waldo,’ but with Matt,” he says with a laugh. “I would log in from a different city each session.”

Ian Loverro, chair of the department of curriculum, supervision, and educational leadership in CWU’s School of Education.

Ian Loverro, CWU’s chair of the department of curriculum, supervision, and educational leadership, notes that the online MEd in higher education was specifically created to allow a working professional to earn a degree in as little as two years.

Of course, part of the value in obtaining a master’s degree is career advancement. The program’s curriculum also includes data analysis, research methods and organizational development; skills needed for those looking at management positions within civic organizations, nonprofits and government agencies..

Each year Central Washington University graduates thousands of well-educated citizens who are ready for high-demand careers in the workforce: construction management, accounting, engineering technology, teacher education, craft brewing, paramedicine, aviation and more.

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