California is said to have it all - gorgeous sandy beaches, the scenic Pacific Coast highway, majestic mountains and a diverse population - but what it does not have enough of is teachers to keep up with the growing population as more and more people flock to this beautiful state. As of 2017, the official statistics noted that across the nation, teacher supply was much lower than the demand of schools to fill their educator roles, but nowhere so critically as in California.

According to the California Teachers’ Association, the state is ranked last in terms of student to teacher ratios, and in order to meet the national average, would need over 100,000 more teachers just to hit that mark, not including the shortages expected as of 2018. This is expected to increase dramatically as over 44% of California’s teachers as of the 2017 statistics were aged 50 or older and projected to retire within 5-10 years.

Although teacher shortages are severe in California, principals and district-level administrators are also experiencing shortages, especially in districts with predominantly low-income students and minority students. Of note is that high school administrators in particular are in strong demand. Education across the board is in dire need of good professionals to fill those empty roles.

If you plan to go into teaching or are already a teacher, in the hopes to make a difference in at least one person’s life, California gives you ample opportunity to do so.

Why teach in California?

To help combat this shortage, California has recently passed bills to exempt teachers from state income taxes in the hopes that this stimulus would make more people in the state consider teaching as their career and motivate more current teachers from other states to move to California to teach.

In addition, the new Golden State Teacher Grant program was proposed in which teachers are offered financial incentives to teach in underserved communities. They would also receive grants to teach subjects that are generally difficult to find enough educators for.

The annual mean wage, according to the State of California Employment Development Department, was $76,009 as of 2017 for teachers in California, much higher than the average teacher’s salary in many other states. Salaries vary in each city or town and can be higher based on your education level and how many years of experience you have, so furthering your education with a master’s degree or higher pays off exponentially.

In other words, it is a great time to go back to school and further your education in the field of teaching in California.

What can you do with a Master’s in Education in California?

At a minimum, teachers in California are required to have a bachelor’s degree. However, those with a Master’s Degree in Education are considered to be better candidates for teaching as their further education gives them more expertise in subject areas, increases their critical instruction skills, and helps them to engage students with better lessons, resulting in better learning results.

Additionally, getting your Master’s in Education in California puts you on track to working in the administrative side further down the road, as those with master’s degrees tend to become strong administrators. This experience and education helps you to understand what really goes on in the classroom, gives you time to hone your leadership skills, and increases your experience and expertise with parent, student and other teacher communications.

No worries about finding a job, either, as teacher employment is projected to rise six percent from 2014 to 2024, with job potential for those with master’s degrees expected to be even better as specialty fields become more and more in demand. This means that over 100,000 new teaching posts are projected to be necessary over the next decade in California alone.

Advanced degrees also allow you to have access to positions with greater responsibilities - and greater pay - such as Lead Teacher, as well as jobs outside of the classroom and school. Many teachers earn their Master’s in Education and then proceed to transition into jobs in the corporate sector becoming education consultants, working with textbook companies, or aiding nonprofit organizations.

Campus programs offering Master’s Degrees in Education

With all of the benefits and the dire need for teachers with advanced degrees in California, deciding to further your education is easy. Choosing where to do this can be the hard part when you want to know what options are available if you pursue a Master’s in Education in California. To help, we have put together a compilation of some of the accredited on-the-ground Master’s in Education programs where you can further your learning and widen your professional career opportunities.

Fresno State

At Fresno State University, they offer a campus program through the Kremen School of Education and Human Development in which you can receive your Master of Arts in Education in the specialty fields of Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education, Educational Leadership and Administration, Multilingual Multicultural Education, and Reading/Language Arts.

Cal Lutheran

Cal Lutheran offers a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership, where you will be guided to learn what is necessary to become a strong assistant principal, principal, director, assistant superintendent, or superintendent. Additional positions requiring this degree include teacher leadership, higher education, and nonprofit administration.

Cal State LA

At Cal State LA, you can receive your M.A. in Educational Administration & Preliminary Administrative Service Credential Program in a campus environment on a convenient schedule. This is a 48 week program that meets twice a week, after which time you will have your required credentialing necessary for all administrative and supervisory positions from PK-12 and Adult Education in California public schools.

Cal Long Beach

Cal Long Beach offers three options for teachers looking for continued education: the master’s degree only route, in which you will need 30-33 units of study to receive your Master of Arts in Education with an option for your Educational Administration degree; the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential only, should you already have a graduate degree and need this required credential to teach in a California public school; or the combination Master’s Degree and Credential, in which you will receive your Master of Arts in Education with the option in Educational Administration as well as the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential with 33-36 units of study required. All of these requirements are met in a campus setting.

San Jose State

At San Jose State, you can earn your M.A. in Educational Administration and additionally receive your necessary credentialing by taking three extra research courses. This program also includes a Master’s Research Project, which can all be completed in 4 semesters and 54 units of study completed in a hybrid of in-person and online courses.

St Mary’s

St. Mary’s offers a short, one-year program where you can receive your Master of Arts in Educational Administration after completing the courses and presenting your Action Research project in May. This program offers cohort style learning through Saturday classes with technology-infused instruction. You must have already completed the 24 unit Preliminary Administrative Services program and have passed the Writing Proficiency Exam.

UC San Diego

At the UC San Diego, experienced educators can receive their Master’s of Education to learn how to design quality education and enhance their current skills. You must have at least two years of teaching experience in a wide variety of settings to enroll in this program, considered necessary to bring a diverse background of experiences to the cohort in order to enhance peer learning.

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara offers a Master’s of Education in Teaching to those who are in any of their teaching credential programs and who are actively pursuing a California teaching credential. This campus style program is aimed to help students become “teacher leaders with a deep, responsible, creative vision of students and their learning.”


At UCLA, multiple Masters of Education are available in a campus environment. These include a M. Ed. in Student Affairs, M.Ed. and Preliminary Administrative Credential at the Principal Leadership Institute, M.Ed. and Preliminary Teaching Credential at the Teacher Education Program, and the Ed.D. in the Educational Leadership Program.

UC Davis

UC Davis offers the unique opportunity to receive your Master’s of Education through the CANDEL program, where leaders from K-12 schools or higher can develop their learning and use it to make changes in their schools and educational systems to improve achievement and promote equity.

Opportunities to obtain your Master’s in Education online

If campus learning is not your style, or attending courses in person is difficult because of time constraints, flexible learning to achieve your Master’s of Education in California is also available through online courses.

Online Master’s in Education programs available to students in California include the following options.

Brandman Universtity

Brandman offers a choice of hybrid learning or online courses to obtain a Preliminary Early Childhood Education Specialist Credential for those teachers who work with infants, toddlers and preschool aged students who have disabilities. This graduate degree will help you as a teacher provide developmentally appropriate lessons and learn how to support your students.

Mills College School of Education

Mills offers multiple program selections where you can complete the majority of your instructional courses online. These can be obtained in the areas of receiving your MA in Educational Leadership with sub-specializations in Early Childhood Leadership or Independent School Leadership, a Joint MBA/MA in Educational Leadership, a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a Focus on Community College Leadership, or an Administrative Services Credential.

There has never been a better time to teach in California

There is no hiding it as It is all over the news - there is a crisis of teacher shortages in California. The students there are in dire need of good teachers. Because of the shortage, teachers are in great demand in California, and getting your Master’s Degree in Education will increase your chances of landing your ideal job..

Teachers in California amake above the average median salary for educators in the nation. They appreciate the knowledge you bring with a master’s degree and pay you accordingly. In California, your education and your years of experience make a difference.

Go where you will be appreciated for your hard work. Get your Master’s in Education and find a teaching job in California where you can impact many students’ lives and make a difference in the world.

Works cited

California Teachers’ Association: Teacher Shortage. (n.d). Retrieved June 6, 2018 from

Learning Policy Institute: California Teacher Shortages. November 30, 2016. Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Fresno State. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Cal Lutheran. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Cal State. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Cal Longbeach. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

San Jose State. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

St Mary’s. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

UC San Dieg. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

UC Santa Barbara. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

UCLA. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

UC Davis. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Bradman University. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Mills College School of Education. (n.d.) Retrieved on June 6, 2018 from

Noodle Editorial Staff

Noodle Education is an online resource for anyone seeking accurate information on the subject of teaching or becoming a teacher. From tests, applications, and licensing to financing your journey, Noodle has you covered. With a special focus on the Washington D.C. area, we will help aspiring teachers of all ages and experience levels find the information they need during every step of the process. Noodle was founded in 2010 by John Katzman, the former CEO and founder of the esteemed Princeton Review. With Noodle, he set out on a mission to solve the information retrieval and distribution problem that is prevalent in the multiple on line and In Real Life systems that aspiring teachers must navigate. Our first stop: graduate schools of teaching. The information reported here is not just collected from Google hits. Our team is comprised of topic experts. We employ veteran authors and reporters on education, former teachers, professional researchers, and people who have spent their careers mastering college and graduate admissions. Our content is the product of countless hours of deep dives by specialists who spend their days on research projects, calling and verification, and untangling red tape so that our customers don’t have to. We can ensure that when you come to us the information you leave with will be solid. We find the holes in the data and fill it by manually going to the sources such teachers, administrators and beaurou employees and retrieve it ourselves. Noodle prides itself on following the most rigorous and ethical standards for our consumers because we believe that finding the right education starts with having the right information.