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6 Great Reasons to Earn an EdS in Special Education

Looking to expand your professional educator credentials beyond your master’s degree? Learn how an EdS in Special Education can boost your career.

As an educator, it’s more than likely that you love learning—and consider yourself a lifelong learner. If your niche is special education, it’s also important to further your credentials in the field. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2017–2018, 58% of teachers in U.S. public schools possessed a post-baccalaureate degree, which includes master’s degrees, education specialist degrees, and doctoral degrees, compared to 47% in 1999–2000.1 With more educators earning advanced credentials, it’s more important than ever to stand out by advancing your skills.


But trying to decide among the options for furthering your education—even with a master’s degree—can be overwhelming. We’re here to provide clarity on the education specialist degree (EdS), an advanced degree suited for current teachers who already hold a master’s degree.1 Here are six reasons why earning an EdS in Special Education is advantageous.

  1. Benefit your students and your school
    According to the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services, 98% of the nation’s schools report a shortage of qualified special education teachers.2 The knowledge you gain from an EdS degree can greatly benefit your students and your institution. The more you learn, the more you can pass on.
  2. Obtain a leadership role
    As an experienced teacher, you’ve likely considered progressing to a leadership role—evaluating special education programs and teachers, for example. Whether you desire to work as a department chair or a special education coordinator, earning an EdS can prepare you for this next step, and higher educational attainment is often linked to a boost in salary.3
  3. Expand your expertise and reap the benefits
    You became a teacher because you get satisfaction from helping others learn. But expanding your expertise through an EdS degree will benefit not only your students but also your career. By earning an EdS in Special Education, you can update your skills, learn the latest research and policy, and gain a deeper understanding of the students you will be teaching.
  4. Make yourself more marketable
    More than 7 million K–12 students in the U.S. receive special education services.4 If you’re searching for a new position, an EdS in Special Education can give you the edge you need to stand out among other highly educated candidates.
  5. Use your expertise in other settings
    Working in special education doesn’t mean you are limited to a K–12 school or district. Earning an EdS in Special Education can give you the knowledge and skills to succeed in other settings, including colleges and universities, community organizations, and even corporate settings.
  6. Further your credentials with less commitment
    Many educators have a goal of one day obtaining their doctorate. However, earning an EdS degree is an excellent option to give your career a boost at a lower cost than an EdD or PhD. There is no dissertation to complete, and your EdS degree can even be used toward a doctoral program in the future.

Explore an EdS in Special Education From Walden University

A non-licensure program, Walden’s EdS in Special Education offers a curriculum informed by the Council for Exceptional Children’s Professional Preparation Standards. Walden’s online EdS in Special Education (Non-Licensure) consists of 45 quarter credits, and coursework can be completed from anywhere with an internet connection—at a time that works with your schedule.

With Walden’s EdS in Special Education, you can gain strategies based on the latest research and take part in a real-world final project impacting today’s classrooms, personalized to fit your specific interests and your school’s needs.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an EdS in Special Education (Non-Licensure) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Note on educator licensure or certification: This program does not lead to educator licensure or certification. Educators are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Prospective Alabama students: State authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P–12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate. Applicants who complete an educator preparation program at a non-Alabama institution must apply for an Alabama professional educator or professional leadership certificate through the Alabama Certificate Reciprocity Approach. Current requirements may be found at

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,