Teaching in public schools requires a bachelorís degree and completion of an approved education program, as well as supervised teaching sessions and certification. Private schools do not have all of the same requirements, since the government does not operate them. Education specializations include teaching those with special needs, adult education programs, bilingual and physical education.
A Bachelor of Education degree is the necessary undergraduate degree in order to teach. This degree is usually in conjunction with another bachelorís degree or a double major in the subject the student wants to teach.
The coursework for becoming a teacher is mainly pedagogical, focusing on educational theory. Learning about the subject can change and is often more broad as an undergraduate. For example, if a student decides he wants to teach English instead of psychology, he may have to take a few courses in the humanities field.
Training for teaching in the classroom usually comes after earning the bachelorís degree, since students need to take a year or so to student teach, observe and act as a teacher in the classroom. Other courses are a combination of social sciences, psychology and sociology, such as child development, child and adolescent psychology, education leadership, cognition and instruction, human development, quantitative methodology, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders and multicultural special education.
Earning A Degree At A School Of Education
Students usually attend a School of Education to earn this degree, which is a division within a university devoted to academia in education. These research-based programs offer Master of Arts, Master of Education, Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education degrees in addition to teacher-education programs and teacher certification or licensure programs for undergraduates.
Coursework is primarily about teacher preparation and instruction, along with curriculum, public policy, counseling and pedagogy. Some notable schools for education degrees include Harvard University, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Northwestern University, Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, New York University and University of Kansas.
Students can earn a Masters of Education degree, which involves learning methods, management and evaluation. This kind of degree often focuses in a specialized field, such as preparation for counselors, educational administration, guidance counseling, student affairs, adult education or continuing work until earning a Ph.D. Masters of Education degrees also can focus on one subject in more detail and it is especially useful for teachers who want to advance their career and certification. Anyone who wants to teach or work in a postsecondary educational institution should look into Masters of Education programs.
Doctorate Of Education Degree
A Doctor of Education degree or D.Ed. is necessary for administrative and specialized positions in an educational institution. D.Ed. candidates must finish all coursework and a thesis, usually concerning pedagogical theory, research methods and applying education theory into classroom practices. This kind of degree is necessary for those who want to become administrators in postsecondary institutions, such as a career as a university dean.
Doctorate Of Philosophy Degree For Education
A Ph.D. in Education focuses on practice and theory of teaching and learning as well as administration and support. Students train in instructional design and curricula development while developing educational leadership skills and research approaches so they can contribute to the dynamic field of pedagogy.
Earning A Degree Online
The availability of education degrees online has made it easier in recent years to advance a career. Since online degrees are accessible from anywhere in the world and work well for people with busy schedules or a full-time job, earning a higher degree will help progress an education career to the next level while providing students with the convenience of learning from home. Students considering an online degree program can also try to find a university that offers courses online.
Certification For Teachers
In order to teach in the classroom, students must pass certification tests. Nearly every state requires a bachelorís degree before being eligible to take tests reflecting subject matter competency and basic skills exam. Ambitious teachers who plan to move out-of-state should look into national certification. Those who are interested will need to send in video footage of teaching and answer subject questions related to their breadth of content knowledge.
While the most obvious career choice for someone studying education is becoming a teacher, a degree in education opens the door to a wide range of job prospects. Besides teaching at any level, like preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high and high school, education degree graduates can pursue careers in a specialized field of teaching, such as special education, physical education or teaching English as a second language.
Other careers for those with a degree in education include a counselor, career counselor, education researcher or textbook writer. Those who pursue higher postsecondary degrees should consider administrative work as a principal, assistant principal, dean, superintendent or college faculty member.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, K-12 grade level teachers held around 3.4 million jobs, with 1.9 million in elementary schools and 1.4 million in secondary schools, with an expected growth rate of 10 to 20 percent. The demand for teachers in inner cities and rural areas is high, while jobs in suburban regions are very competitive. There is also a shortage of teachers in mathematics, science, computer science and bilingual education.
Unfortunately, teachersí salaries are notoriously low, with median annual earning for elementary and secondary school ranging from $39,330 to $41,400. However, most people looking towards a career in teaching are not that concerned about pay. Certain specialty fields pay more, while the level of education and years spent teaching also factor into salary. Special education teachers can make up to $59,000, whereas the median salary for a school principal is $73,536.