Here’s what You Can Do With A Special Education Degree

December 21, 2023

The field of special education is both challenging and profoundly rewarding. Embarking on this career path means committing to making a significant difference in the lives of students with diverse learning needs. 

This article delves into the various opportunities that a degree in special education can offer. 

Whether you’re considering this as a career path or looking to expand your existing qualifications, understanding the scope of this field is crucial in making informed decisions.

Diverse Career Paths in Special Education

A degree in special education opens doors to a variety of career options, each offering unique ways to make a meaningful impact. Special education teachers are perhaps the most recognized professionals in this field. 

They work directly with students who have a range of learning disabilities, developing specialized lesson plans and teaching strategies to meet their unique needs. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Beyond teaching, special education degrees can lead to roles such as educational consultants who provide expert advice to schools and organizations on best practices for inclusive education. 

School counselors with a special education background play a critical role in supporting students’ emotional and social development. Additionally, curriculum designers specializing in special education create accessible learning materials that cater to diverse learning abilities. These roles are vital in shaping a more inclusive education system.

Advancing Your Career: Online Master’s Degrees

Pursuing a masters degree in special education online is an excellent way to advance your career while maintaining your current professional and personal commitments. This flexible learning format allows you to deepen your expertise and gain advanced skills in special education without the need to pause your life.

Online programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers advanced teaching methods, behavioral management, and inclusive education strategies. Importantly, an online master’s degree can open doors to higher-level positions such as special education director, policy maker, or research specialist. 

These roles involve more responsibility and offer the chance to influence educational practices and policies on a larger scale.

Special Education in the Digital Age

The integration of technology in education has brought significant changes to special education. With a special education degree, you can become a specialist in using and developing technological aids and digital learning tools. 

These tools are designed to enhance the learning experience of students with disabilities, making education more accessible and engaging.

As a technology specialist in special education, you would be at the forefront of designing, selecting, and implementing educational technologies. This could involve working with app developers to create custom learning applications or training educators on how to effectively use assistive technologies in their classrooms. 

Your expertise could also be valuable in advising educational institutions on the best technology investments for their special education programs.

Leadership and Policy Development in Special Education

A special education degree also paves the way for leadership roles in education. As an administrator or policy developer, you can influence the direction and quality of special education at a school, district, or even national level. 

This involves developing policies that ensure equitable access to education for all students, regardless of their learning needs.

In these roles, you’ll work towards creating an inclusive educational environment, advocating for necessary resources, and ensuring compliance with legal standards. Leadership in special education requires a deep understanding of both the educational and legal aspects of teaching students with disabilities, making your specialized degree an invaluable asset.

Special Education Advocacy and Community Outreach

A degree in special education not only equips you for classroom or administrative roles but also opens the door to advocacy and community outreach. In this capacity, you become a voice for students with disabilities, ensuring that their rights and needs are recognized and met. 

Advocates in special education work closely with families, educators, and policymakers to develop and implement strategies that promote inclusion and accessibility in education and beyond.

As a community outreach specialist or advocate, you are responsible for raising awareness about the challenges and needs of students with disabilities. This role involves organizing workshops, speaking at events, and collaborating with various organizations to provide resources and support. 

You might also be involved in developing training programs for educators and parents, helping them better understand and support the diverse needs of these students. Your expertise in special education becomes a powerful tool in fostering a more inclusive society.

Research and Development in Special Education

Another dynamic field where a special education degree is highly valuable is research and development. This area is crucial for the ongoing improvement and evolution of special education practices. 

Researchers in this field conduct studies to understand better the various aspects of learning disabilities, developmental disorders, and effective educational strategies for students with special needs.

Your role in research could involve exploring new teaching methodologies, developing assessment tools, or studying the long-term outcomes of different educational approaches. Moreover, those with a special education degree involved in development work on creating new learning materials and programs tailored to the needs of students with disabilities. 

This contribution is vital in ensuring that the field of special education continually adapts and evolves in response to discoveries and changing societal needs.


A special education degree is more than just a pathway to becoming a teacher; it’s a gateway to a range of fulfilling career opportunities. Whether it’s through direct teaching, policy-making, or integrating technology in education, professionals in this field have the chance to make a lasting impact. 

Pursuing further studies, like a master’s degree, can further enhance your skills and open up even more avenues to contribute positively to the world of education. Remember, in the realm of special education, your work does more than just educate – it transforms lives.

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