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Northcentral University
Adult Learning & Workforce Educaton MSEd
Leadership in Higher Education - MSEd
Higher Education Leadership EdD
Leadership in Higher Education - PhD

Walden University
Adult Learning/Developmental Education MS
Adult Learning/General MS
Higher Education/College Teaching & Learning MS
Higher Education/General MS
Higher Education/Enrollment Mgt & Institutional Mgt MS
Higher Education/Global Higher Education MS
Higher Education/Leadership for Student Success MS
Higher Education/Online & Distance Learning MS


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Adult Education, Adult Learning

Adult Education & Adult Learning
Overview and Degrees

The number of adult learners is expected to increase by nearly 20 percent in the coming years, according to the Center for National Education Statistics.*

Professionals specializing in adult education may teach in a variety of settings including corporate training programs, adult high schools, GED preparation programs, or in remedial core content classes such as reading and writing. Today's technological work force also requires training professionals to be competent with many different presentation tools, including online delivery formats.

Educators working in adult high schools, corporate settings, and correctional facilities often need only a bachelor's degree. Some private sector employers prefer candidates with graduate level certifications or degrees. Colleges and universities normally require faculty members to hold a minimum of a master's degree, but often prefer individuals with doctorate degrees.

Adult Education Career Options

Adult education careers are not just limited to educational institutions. Adult education iis a growing field that offers opportunities in a variety of settings.

  • National associations
  • International organizations
  • Non-profit and for-profit organizations/corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Military
  • Politics
  • Executive search firms
  • Publications

Options, such as online education, workforce development, and continuing education programs all target adults, whose educational needs are very different from children and teens. Some of the career options for professionals working in adult education might include:

Adult Education Career Outlook and Salary

Job Title

Median Annual Salary (50th percentile)

Job Growth

Postsecondary Teachers



Adult Literacy & High School Equivalency Diploma Teachers



Instructional Coordinator



Training Specialist



Career & Technical Education Teacher



Training Manager



Education and Certification Requirements

Teachers completing a bachelor's degree in adult education focus on adult learning theory in order to design and deliver instruction to an adult audience. Some employers prefer candidates to have completed a certificate program or master's degree, while universities often require a doctoral degree. State programs, such as adult high schools, may also require some form of state certification. Visit your state's department of education web site for information about specific requirements.

Sponsored Adult Education Schools
Northcentral University Online

Adult Learning and Workforce Education
Master of Education

The Masters of Education degree in Adult Learning and Workplace Education is designed for individuals interested in the growing fields of career development, human resource management, and adult learning. This integrative program seeks to prepare professionals to develop, implement, and manage systems to improved individual and organizational performance. These skills translate across a wide range of industries including higher education settings, workforce development agencies, and adult career centers. In addition, the program is designed to promote skills that enable graduates to influence public policy and organizational decision-making. This specialization provides educators with the tools and competencies required to critically reflect on workplace issues, solve organization problems, and anticipate and respond to change.

Northcentral University also offers: Northcentral University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501 1.510.748.9001, www.wascsenior.org.
Walden University

Chosen as an NEA Academy Partner for it's quality and value. Walden University offers the No. 1 Largest Online Graduate Program in Education By Enrollment (U.S. News & World Report). WU's School of Education is currently a candidate for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Developmental Education
Master of Science in Adult Learning

Educators with the knowledge and understanding to help students with special learning needs are the key to an effective developmental education program. Explore theory, political and economic issues, and research in the field. Examine effective strategies for intake and placement, advising, teaching, and assessment in developmental education programs for adults. Investigate best practices in curriculum design and the use of technology to support retention of adult learners.

Master of Science in Adult Learning

You can prepare to become an effective adult educator in a range of learning settings. Through the General Program, you can gain an overview of adult learning theories, research, and best practices that can be applied to create transformative learning experiences for adults. Broaden your understanding of adult development, including how diversity and multiculturalism affect motivation in the adult education field. 

Walden University also offers:
Sponsored Schools
Adult Education Careers

Adult Education Teachers: Colleges and universities typically require their instructors to have atleast a master's degree with field related job experience. Professors typically hold a doctorate in the subject they teach. Vocational schools require work experience in the specific field and recognition in the field through certification or licensure. Vocational instructors can stay competitive in the job market by having bachelor's and master's degrees. Whatever teaching career they choose, educators also need to stay current on developments, trends and techniques in their field.

Higher Education Administrators: Colleges and universities have an abundance of opportunities in education administration. Positions include provosts, deans, directors, and chairpersons working in academic departments, admissions, student services, athletics, Counseling, and more. College and university academic deans and chairpersons usually advance from professorships in their departments, for which they need a master's or doctoral degree; further education is not typically necessary. Admissions, student affairs, and financial aid directors and registrars sometimes start in related staff jobs with bachelor's degrees—any field usually is acceptable—and obtain advanced degrees in college student affairs, counseling, or higher education administration. A Ph.D. or Ed.D. usually is necessary for top student affairs positions.

Corporate Training Specialists: Training and development managers and specialists conduct and supervise training and development programs for employees. They can work for a company which trains its employees or for an outside firm as consultants. Planning and program development is an essential part of the training specialist's job. In order to identify and assess training needs within a firm, trainers may confer with managers and supervisors or conduct surveys. They also evaluate training effectiveness to ensure that the training employees receive helps the organization meet its strategic business goals and achieve results. A bachelor's degree and related work experience are usually required. A degree in adult education is an excellent option for preparation in this field.