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General Education Major

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General Education

19,988 Master's Degrees Annually
2,514 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#8 in Popularity (Master's)
$73,680 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Education Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general education graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 19,995
Doctor’s Degree 2,518
Graduate Certificate 1,224

What General Education Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, education majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Education Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in education should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Education Majors

A major in education prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.

Abilities for Education Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a education student include the following:

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  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

What Can You Do With a General Education Major?

People with a education degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Education Professors 10.3% $64,780

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in General Education?

19,995 Master's Degrees Annually
79% Percent Women
30% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is one of the most frequently chosen graduate majors. It is the 8th most popular in the country with 19,988 students graduating with a master’s in education in 2019. The major attracts more women than men. About 79% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of education majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Education Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 896
Black or African American 1,668
Hispanic or Latino 2,811
White 11,832
International Students 650
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,138

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Education, too. About 3.3% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Canada
  • Taiwan

How Much Do General Education Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that general education students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $48,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $43,000 (25th percentile) and $54,600 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in education, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Education majors often go into careers with median salaries of $73,680. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a General Education Major  73,680
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with education may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to education have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 0.6%
Master’s Degree 9.4%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 89.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 0.1%

Online General Education Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 823 schools offered some type of general education program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 27 4
Certificate (1-2 years) 21 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 169 19
Bachelor’s Degree 85 22
Post-Baccalaureate 27 4
Master’s Degree 411 137
Post-Master’s 60 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 93 16
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 7 1
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 3 1

Is a Degree in General Education Worth It?

The median salary for a education grad is $73,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 85% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $675,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to education.

Major Number of Grads
Teacher Education Grade Specific 100,925
Educational Administration 44,381
Teacher Education Subject Specific 43,516
Special Education 30,639
Curriculum & Instruction 18,767
Student Counseling 13,679
Instructional Media Design 7,063
Other Education 5,503
Teaching English or French 5,407
Multilingual Education 1,636
Teaching Assistants 1,591
Educational Assessment 1,532
Education Philosophy 634
International Education 400

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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