How to Choose a Masters in Measurement & Evaluation Degree

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This article provides an overview of the master of science in measurement & evaluation degree program, some of the subjects and courses that the degree covers, and why this degree may be a good option to advance your career. It also describes an online master of science in measurement and evaluation program that you may want to consider.

What Is a Master of Science in Measurement & Evaluation?

A master of science in measurement and evaluation degree provides students with the necessary knowledge in assessment theory, testing theory, and research methodology. They learn how tests are designed, why, how they are implemented, and how to judge their effectiveness. The program is highly interdisciplinary, looking at psychology, research design, social science, and more. Often, schools focus on measurement and evaluation in a specific field, such as economics or education.

Generally speaking, these degrees are developed for the working professional. They are, more often than not, available part time or online, although many do have to complete some sort of practical experience. A background in health sciences, behavioral sciences, social sciences, education, economics, or business, is usually required.

A strong focus of the degree is on devising systems for measurement and evaluation. As such, the curriculum tends to look at areas such as:

  • Structure Analysis
  • Psychological Measurement
  • Advanced Evaluation Methods
  • Advanced Assessment Methods
  • Multivariate Analysis of Statistical Inference and Data
  • Quantitative Inquiry and Measurement

Why Earn a Master of Science in Measurement & Evaluation?

Completing a master of science in measurement and evaluation is often a stepping stone towards a doctorate degree, focusing on even more advanced studies on measurements and statistics. With a doctorate degree, graduates can become faculty members, academics, or researchers.

However, not everybody will go on to get a doctorate degree. Some would choose to enter the workforce with their masters degree, implementing their advanced knowledge on statistics methodology, evaluation, and measurement. They find work in areas ranging from educational testing to pharmaceutical research.

There has been a significant growth in the need for people with advanced evaluation skills. This is because there is a stronger focus on accountability and transparency in governments, commercial organizations, and nonprofit companies. Accountability regulations have been pushed forward over the past several years, and master’s degree holders in this field have significant understanding of this. Some of those regulations are:

  • New policies on evaluation and monitoring of programs as published by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. State Department.
  • The Government Performance and Results Acts Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA)

Nonprofit and for profit organizations alike have quickly followed these regulations, implementing their own project and program evaluation rules. This is also reflected in the increase in membership of the American Evaluation Association, which has more than doubled since 2001.

Top sectors in which people can work in measurement and evaluation include:

  • Government
  • Nonprofit
  • Program evaluation firms
  • Higher education
  • Non-government agencies
  • Health care

According to a recent Payscale.com report, those who hold a Master in Education, which the MS in Measurement & Evaluation is most comparable to, can expect to earn between $47,954 and $59,252 per year, depending on their position.

Online Option for Master of Science in Measurement & Evaluation

American University

Those interested in getting a master of science in measurement and evaluation degree may want to consider the online program delivered by American University Online, which aims to teach students the insider skills required to take on evaluator positions. The program has been created by an expert advisory panel which aims to create a truly exceptional degree that focuses on important core competencies, industry trends, and best-practice standards, while at the same time providing students with real-life experiences.

The advisory panel is unique, comprising of members of the World Health Organization’s Division of Health Security and Emergencies, the U.S. Office of Strategic Planning and Program, Bureau for Policy, Program, and Learning Comprehensive School Assistance Program, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

American University‘s program stands out from the many other analytic and program evaluation degrees available today. This is also because the university itself is located in Washington, DC, which is considered to be the center of policy development. Each faculty member has over 20 years of industry experience and is still professionally active.

The degree is also made up of a number of professional development courses. These aim to instruct students on how to control the various circumstances that surround the event they aim to measure. Five specific courses are offered for this:

  1. Emerging Technology Trends
  2. Intercultural Communications for Professionals
  3. Professional Ethics & Project Leadership
  4. Client Communications & Professional Consulting
  5. Project Cost-Benefit Analysis

The program takes 24 months to complete and is expected to produce graduates who fully understand the Results Framework and the Logframe. They can evaluate and assess SOWs (Statements of Work), and use quantitative and qualitative evaluation tools to assess project data. They also focus on emerging trends and technology and value the relationships between cultures, ethics, stakeholders, clients, and agencies. Many move on to consultancy positions, focusing on governance in program and data evaluation.

The program is designed to drive careers forward, differentiating itself from statistics graduate degrees. This is because American University goes beyond mathematical principles and creates graduates who move into leadership and evaluation, rather than in statistical research. They have an in-depth understanding of statistics, but also gain invaluable consulting and critical business skills, including professional leadership, cost-benefit analysis, and professional leaders.

The degree offered by American University is truly unique, which is also reflected in the university’s ranking:

  • The 2017 U.S. News and World Report ranked it as 75th Best National University, 44th Best College for Veterans, and 66th Best Value Schools.
  • The 2017 Princeton Review of Best Colleges ranked it Best Northeastern College, 18th best Green College, and among the 381 best overall colleges.

The core curriculum of the program includes:

  • Principles and Theories of Evaluation
  • Evaluation Approaches and Design
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Emerging Trends in Evaluation Sciences
  • Evaluation Sciences
  • Emerging Technology Trends
  • Intercultural Communications for Professionals
  • Professional Ethics and Project Leadership
  • Client Communications and Professional Consulting
  • Project Cost-Benefit Analysis

Graduates can take on a variety of different positions, usually focused on analysis and research. They can take on these roles in a variety of sectors, including:

  • Pharmaceutical research and testing
  • Educational testing
  • Large-scale test management
  • Marketing research
  • Certification and licensure

Additionally, because there is a significant increase in the need for people with these skills as a direct result of the increased focus on transparency, some of the positions available to graduate holders include:

  • Management analyst or consultant
  • Social and community service manager
  • Market research analyst
  • Emergency management director
  • Top executive
  • Operations research analyst
  • Program analyst
  • Operation managers
  • Director of evaluation
  • Urban and regional planners

Summary

By earning a master of science in measurement & evaluation, you can significantly advance your career. This is because there is a huge drive towards measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of different programs, particularly with new regulations. Furthermore, completing this degree will give you a great deal of personal satisfaction.

References

Sady Brown
Written by Sady Brown
Sady Brown is Editorial Strategist for Nogre.com