What are the perks of earning a secondary education degree online? Here are some of the benefits of online degrees in secondary education.
While there are several different paths to become a teacher, earning your secondary education degree online affords you many benefits like flexibility, lowered costs, and widened accessibility.
If you want to be a teacher, you’ll have to decide what grade and subject you’re interested in teaching, as well as the method by which you earn your degree. While there are somewhat similar requirements to teach primary and secondary students, they do have differentiating factors, which are important to know before you embark on your journey to become a teacher. Additionally, what are the benefits of getting your teaching degree online versus in a traditional setting?
According to the National Center of Education and Statistics (NACE), the number of students enrolling in primary and secondary school is increasing. Between fall 2018 and fall 2027, 52.1 million new students will enroll in primary and secondary education, which means the demand for teachers is only going to increase.
As the demand for teachers continues to grow, the benefits of getting your teaching degree online grow as well — as the costs are lower than in a traditional setting, yet the education covers the necessary criteria needed to be hired.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
While teaching is a profession that reaps so many non-financial benefits and is fueled mostly by passion, it’s useful to know what you can expect to earn as a secondary school teacher.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the field of high school teachers is expected to grow by almost 8% by 2026. In 2016, the median salary for high school teachers in America was $58,030, with the best 10% in the field earning almost $93,000. Compared to other countries, teachers in Switzerland are paid the highest, with an average salary of $68,000, followed by the Netherlands and then Germany. For a list of how other countries pay teachers, please refer here.
How to Become a Secondary Education Teacher
Secondary school teachers help students grades 6-12 prepare for college and life. While secondary education teachers typically focus on one dedicated subject area, they learn the well-rounded skills to lead students academically throughout their education.
To become a teacher for middle and high school students, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in secondary education or in a specific teachable subject, like biology. Most public schools also require a license or certification.
These are the typical steps to become a teacher for public secondary schools:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject you’re interested in teaching (online or traditionally)
- Complete your school’s teacher preparation program, which may include or recommend an internship
- Check if there are any licensing or certification tests for where you want to teach and take them
- Apply for your license
- Apply and interview for jobs
Reasons to Earn Your Education Degree Online
If you’re concerned about the cost and flexibility of a program, whether it is to earn your bachelor’s or master’s, online degrees are always an option to consider if you wish to become a teacher.
With an online degree, as long as it’s accredited, you can learn everything you need to be able to start your career in secondary education.
1. Flexible Schedule:
If you are self-motivated and can stay up-to-date on the coursework, you can learn at your own pace and on your own schedule by enrolling part-time or full-time in an online program.
Because online programs have lower overhead costs, they are able to offer degree programs for lower tuition than traditional settings. If affordability is a concern, an online degree will offer the same level of education at a lower cost than a traditional school.
Rather than being constrained by geography, learning online offers people from any country and region the opportunity to become a teacher, as long as they have an internet connection.
4. Increased Concentration:
Many students who study online have reported feeling more focused because there are less distractions than in a classroom setting with peers. With online education, you can choose where you want to study by setting up an environment that’s most conducive to your learning style.
Online degrees are typically less expensive (or at University of the People, tuition-free) than their traditional counterparts and allow you to study from anywhere with nothing but an internet connection. Some accredited schools that offer online secondary education degrees include:
- The University of the People: tuition-free, split into five 10-week courses
- Western Governors University: online bachelor’s and certification, can learn at your own pace
- Union Institute and University: bachelor’s degree in secondary education that prepares students to teach in Florida
While online programs differ based on cost, length of study, and application process, they will all set you up for success by teaching the necessary skills to be a teacher, including topics like: learning theories, early intervention strategies, curriculum design, curriculum implementation, classroom management, and more.
The Next Step: A Master’s in Education
After you get your bachelor’s degree in a specific subject to teach, you may want to further your education and expand your opportunities as a teacher.
For example, at University of the People and other institutions, you have the opportunity to earn a Master’s of Education in Advanced Teaching. Together with the International Baccalaureate (IB), you can learn to become a globally-minded educator by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching. This degree will prepare you for careers in community colleges, public and private schools, as well as other educational settings globally because of its focus on intercultural competence and critical thinking.
Students in the program can choose to specialize in elementary education or primary education by completing all six required specialized courses to bring the total minimum class count to 16. Students can enroll part-time, which will take 13 terms to complete, or full-time, which allows them to graduate after seven terms. Or, if you’d like to move at a really fast pace, the accelerated track allows students to graduate in just five terms.
To be accepted in the program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree and prove they are proficient in English. If you can’t prove English competency, you’ll have to complete an English Composition course before enrolling in the foundation courses for the degree. Along with an application fee, that’s all you need to apply to the program!
In summation, if you know exactly what subject you want to teach, you can earn a bachelor’s degree in that subject and then earn your teacher certification to be able to work in public secondary schools. While some people are satisfied at that level, others want to continue advancing in secondary education, which is where online degrees like Master’s in Secondary Education come in.
When you choose to learn at an online institution, you are lowering your costs of earning the degree and creating a more flexible schedule and learning environment, all the while expanding your horizons for higher earning potential and more job opportunities.
Just like you’ll be teaching your future students, the learning experience in life is never over!