Education is the invaluable exchange between a teacher and learner. This field of discipline offers a wealth of job options that are not only equally rewarding; they also provide opportunities for career growth.
To successfully carve your career path in Education, you need to have the training to mold you into acquiring transferable skills and becoming socially and culturally adept. Mastery of instruction requires continuous learning, too. You need to complete a degree in one of the many subfields and concentrations in Education that takes you closer to your dream of becoming a proficient educator.
Education as a Degree
Education is all about attaining the knowledge and skills to impart to learners, but there is more to it than being a general degree for instruction. As a study, it specializes in many subject areas that allow for lower or higher educational attainment by means of earning certificates or degrees. Most state departments and schools require Education graduates to hold a master’s degree for them to obtain a permanent license for practice.
There are undergraduate programs online and brick-and-mortar schools that qualify you to teach in specific learners’ levels. Besides requiring a license, as a teacher-to-be, you have to pass competency examinations, including a background check. Education coursework is also is necessary for teachers to keep their license.
If you wish to work in a public school, you need to complete student-teaching internships, pass specific competency exams, and obtain state licenses.
Types of Education Degrees
Earning an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree is primarily a stepping stone to becoming efficient in Education as your chosen field your career. When you have completed your undergraduate, you may also take your educational level a step further and obtain a master’s degree or doctoral degree.
Here are the types of Education degrees that let lead to a variety of teaching jobs:
Early Childhood Education
Also known as Pre-School, Early Childhood Education teachers choose this field because they love working with children in their formative years. On this educational level, your courses focus on the methods for teaching this particular age group, usually ages 2-5 or up to the third grade, in subject areas such as Mathematics. Preschool and elementary school teachers teach their students the fundamental subjects for learning such as reading, art, and math. They also develop their students’ study habits and peer communication skills as part of human development training.
You can earn an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree for Early Childhood Education. There is no explicit legal requirement for holders of this degree to practice their profession.
Associate’s Degree in Education
For many striving students, acquiring an Associate’s Degree in Education jumpstarts your way to a profession in teaching. There are associate’s degrees available for Early Childhood Education, Paraprofessional Education, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education.
With an associate’s degree, you can become a preschool teacher, teacher assistant, tutor or even child care worker. Note that having an associate’s degree doesn’t give the student a license to teach right away. The state where you intend to practice may have different prerequisites for licensure.
Bachelor’s Degree in Education
Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Education serves as your springboard for becoming a fully-fledged and licensed teacher. Acquiring this degree takes four to five years to complete, and with a B.S. in Education, you can tackle varying specialties like chemistry, biology, and generally the liberal arts. And if you want to have a double major, you can.
Effective methods of classroom teaching and student psychology are some of the courses in your Education bachelor’s degree. Majority of colleges and universities will require at least 120 hours for completion. Typically, students graduate in four to five years, internship included. As you earn your bachelor’s degree, you will be qualified to work in a K-12 school, teaching elementary or high school students.
Master’s Degree in Education
Gaining a Master’s Degree in Education adds to a student’s proficiency in liberal arts, coupled with instruction expertise. As a Master’s student, you will gain the vital skills for practice, from creative problem-solving to working with gifted students.
With a Master’s Degree in Education, you can teach multiple subjects in elementary school, a single subject for middle school or high school, as well as work in K-12 and English as a Second Language (ESL). Furthermore, you can become an Instructional Curriculum Coordinator or Educational Administrator. According to the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) report, teachers that hold master’s degrees can improve their students’ test scores significantly. Students were found to score relatively higher from grades 4-8 in standardized tests since 2005.
Doctoral Degrees in Education
Acquiring a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) allows you to add advanced certification and professional attainments to your credentials. An Ed.D. takes up to three years of completion and will first require a master’s degree for program entry. There are also degree programs available online.
Professionals with doctoral degrees in Education are highly respected in their field. They hold titles in upper administration in school districts and, as a result, get significantly higher pay.
Financial Aid for Your Education Degree
The country is dealing with a shortage of instructors in various specializations such as Special Education, Bilingual Education as well as for basic subjects like math and reading in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. While teaching is a noble profession that would attract many students, they are plagued by the rising costs of education.
If you are in need of financial assistance, you can obtain yours from a range of sources including the government, your university, and private organizations. Here are some ways you can acquire financial aid for your Education Degree:
The Federal TEACH Grant is a federal government grant that offers as much as $4,000 in financial assistance per school year for a student who specializes in a priority field in Education.
The ACG and National SMART Grants are combined federal government supported grants that for Education students in high-need fields such as math, science, technology and foreign language. ACG grant is open for undergraduates, while the SMART grant is designed for graduate level students.
The American Council of Learned Societies is a private sector grant offered each year to 14 Education degree students in the humanities field encompassing subjects like history, anthropology, psychology or sociology.
Federal assistance application requirements typically include:
- S. citizenship (or eligible non-citizen)
- Valid social security number
- Enrollment and acceptance in a suitable program
- GED or high school diploma
Scholarships are another means to earn your diploma. They are mostly based on academic merit, athletic prowess, or business, church affiliation. There are more than 7,000 scholarships available online.
Education Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook
Besides the personal fulfillment it offers to students, Education presents numerous career opportunities. With a degree in Education, you can choose to a school counselor, a preschool teacher, or a college professor. In particular, Education career pathways include:
- Art Teacher
- Curriculum and Instruction Specialist
- Foreign Language Teacher
- English Teacher
- Music Teacher
- School Librarian
- Substitute Teacher
- Teach Assistant
- Vocational Teacher
Pre-school teachers, high school teachers, and middle school teachers earn an annual salary that ranges from $25,000 to $80,000, while postsecondary teachers or college professors go as high as $76,000 depending on their experience or the location and district that they are assigned. Teachers generally receive better healthcare and retirement benefits than most workers in the private sector.
The highest-paid teachers in the post-secondary level are law instructors. The number of future graduates specializing in this profession is expected to grow within the years 2012 and 2022. During this period, the state of Georgia will be leading with a 21.3% increase in the number of graduates produced.
Education Schools, Degrees, and Rankings
For more information, read our ranking featuring Education programs and schools: