If you’re interested in pursuing a career in education, then there are some questions that you probably have. You may be wondering what type of degree you need, as well as what type of positions are available.
To answer all your questions and help you along your career path, we’ve compiled this guide that serves to help you build a successful career in education.
Let’s get started.
Reasons to Become a Teacher
Teaching is a highly rewarding career. A career in teaching provides you with the opportunity and privilege to make a positive impact on the next generation. You’ll be able to teach core skills and help to build their self-esteem and confidence.
Not only does your teaching affect the students that you teach directly, but it also can help to shape the society in which they live.
Additionally, the skills you need to become a teacher are transferable across professional and personal endeavors. Whether you choose to work in your country of origin or across the world, you will be able to secure a paycheck, obtain job security and the potential for benefits, as well as job satisfaction.
Opportunities for advancement
There are many different career pathways, and you can choose whichever suits you. Teaching qualifications vary internationally, so you will need to research the requirements and options available in your location before you begin.
How to Become a Teacher?
As mentioned, qualifications for teaching vary by state (within the United States) and abroad across countries. However, here’s a look at the most common paths for obtaining a career in education.
1. Bachelor’s Degree
For starters, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. The best idea is to get a bachelor’s degree in education. If you’ve already gotten a bachelor’s degree, but you wish to change careers or move into education, then you can still earn a master’s degree in education.
Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you will likely need to obtain certification or licensure.
2. Master’s Degree in Education
Some teaching positions require a master’s degree in education. A master’s degree in education provides skills for teaching at higher levels and also tends to open the door to higher earning potential. With a master’s degree, you also expand your career potential.
At the University of the People, you can earn a master’s degree in education that is tuition-free and entirely online. This way, you benefit from utmost flexibility and can learn at your own pace.
3. Ph.D. in Education
For those interested in going beyond a master’s degree, there is the option to earn a PhD. PhDs in education are different from earning a Doctor of Education (EdD) degree. PhDs are more focused on theory and research. This degree is intended for those seeking to teach at a post-secondary level or work in research/academia.
4. Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree
A Doctor of Education degree is best for anyone who wants to work in administration or policymaking in education. As a Ph.D. in Education, an EdD is also a terminal degree, meaning that it’s the ultimate degree you can get in the field. So, based on your career prospects, you can choose between the Ph.D. and EdD.
Careers in Education
If you choose to enter into the field of education, you will have a host of choices and opportunities available to you. Below are some examples of the variety of career directions that you can take.
Early Childhood Education is the formal and informal education received from birth to age eight. It includes the parent-child relationship, baby, toddler, kindergarten, and early school years. This is a fundamental stage of development in which a child’s self esteem, social skills, cognitive skills, and motor skills are being developed.
An early childhood education teacher is responsible for helping children to develop these fundamental skills during these formative years through play, movement, discipline, and training.
An Elementary School Teacher teaches children between the ages of 5 to 11 (kindergarten to 6th grade) and a High School Teacher teaches children between the ages of 11 to 18.
Adult and Community Education
Adult and Community Education include community-based education, skills, and pathways to learning. This can include art, music, ESL, foreign language classes, literacy classes for people who have missed out on their education or have special educational needs, information technology classes for people who want to improve their general computer skills, and a variety of courses that serve as pathways to higher education.
There is an increasing demand for instructors of adult and community education due to more adults wanting to learn new skills, gain professional qualifications, and have more free time for personal development, interests, and hobbies.
A TEFL Teacher teaches English to speakers of other languages. A TEFL teacher can teach anywhere in the world with a professional qualification. With the proper qualification, they can even teach online, thereby allowing for utmost flexibility in choosing where to live.
If you want to travel the world, teaching English is the perfect way to earn money while you travel. There is a growing demand for TEFL teachers internationally due to the increasing need for international English education.
In order to become a TEFL teacher, you will normally need a BA degree and a TEFL qualification. These courses vary internationally, and a selection of international TEFL/TESOL and CELTA teaching courses are available.
A School Principal is responsible for school leadership, management, curriculum, administration, maintaining relationships with students, teachers, and parents, and upholding school discipline. In order to rise to the rank of the school principal, a highly paid and highly respected position, you will need to have at least a Master’s of Education.
Special Education Teacher
A Special Education Teacher teaches children with cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments. This can include autism spectrum disorders, visual, speech, or hearing impairments, and developmental delays.
Special education is a field with growing demand. In order to enter this field, you will require a BA with a specialization in Special Education and/or an M.Ed.
Career Guidance Professional
A Career Guidance Professional gives students advice and provides them with information on career options and helps to guide them in the direction of their choice.
An Adult Instructor can provide in-company or in-class courses on specific skill sets, such as technology skills, social media, digital marketing, business coaching, and more.
Additional Benefits of Careers in Education
Along with the flexible options within the field of education, there are some perks that come along with it. Let’s take a look at some of the upsides.
One major advantage to working in the teaching profession is that you get more vacation days than most other professions.
If you have children, you will be able to spend time with them during their school vacation and will avoid the hassle or cost of childcare. Teaching is great for your work/life balance!
Opportunities to specialize in a subject or area of your choice
Teachers have so many opportunities to specialize and a variety of choices available to them.
You can become a Special Education teacher and work with children with physical or cognitive disabilities or a literacy teacher working with children or adults learning to read. If you love small children, the perfect choice would be to work as an Early Childhood teacher. You can work in a kindergarten or pre-kindergarten.
If you excel in or enjoy a particular subject, e.g., Math, Art, Music, Foreign Language, Science or English, it will be a pleasure to teach it to others. If you have a particular hobby, like art or music, your hobby and skill can become your profession.
Teachers change lives
Teachers have the ability to guide, mentor, and provide a role model to children, as well as teach.
Children who have special educational needs, behavior or emotional difficulties can all be assessed, supported, and encouraged by a good teacher. This can if done professionally and with empathy, change the child’s self-perception, self-esteem, behavior, social skills, and academic performance. A good teacher has the ability to change the direction of a child’s life by helping, supporting, and accurately assessing a child.
No matter what age you teach, teachers spend a lot of time with students and generally end up doing more than teaching them. So, if you’re looking for a career where you can have an immense impact on others, teaching could be it.
Watch these videos to see how a teacher can change a life.
Enjoy workplace autonomy
Have you ever felt stifled in an office environment where you cannot use your creativity, your ideas, or make your own decisions?
Becoming a teacher provides for more independence and workplace autonomy in most instances. You have the ability to use your creativity, inspiration, and ideas within your classroom.
The Bottom line
Choosing a career in education can change your life. You may be able to find a rewarding career with excellent benefits and a bright future. You can influence and change the lives of your students by helping them reach their potential, build their confidence, and ultimately, shape their future.