Deciding on a career in teaching can be an exciting and rewarding life choice. However, it’s important to know that you’re decision making is not quite done when you choose to pursue a degree in education. There are many teaching degrees available, and they each allow you to teach in different positions. In this article, we will help you discover which teaching degree is right for you.
Which Age Group Would You Like To Teach?
The first decision you’ll need to make when choosing a teaching degree is the age you’d like to teach. The age levels available include Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education. We will look into each of these in detail below.
Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Education degrees are unique, as they can be obtained at either an Associate’s or Bachelor’s level. They allow you to teach children from birth until Kindergarten. Some Bachelor’s Degree programs will allow you to teach through the third grade. You’ll learn a significant amount of information on childhood development, as the students you teach will be in a time of rapid brain growth while in your care. You will also gain the necessary tools to prepare these students for their schooling journey, including teaching them introductory lessons from all subject areas.
Depending on your state’s requirements, you may need to may need to student teach or pass Early Childhood Education exams. These are not requirements in all states, however. You will also need a certain number of specialized college credits in order to graduate and earn your teaching credential or license. Some states require Early Childhood Educators to be licensed depending on the type of institution they teach in, and others do not.
Elementary Education degrees typically allow you to teach children between the ages of Kindergarten and sixth grade, or K-6. In an Elementary Education degree, you will again be prepared to teach your students information from all subject areas. You’ll learn about childhood development and psychology at an age-appropriate level. You’ll learn about classroom management, teaching strategies and technology options to help you in your future career as well.
Elementary Education requires a Bachelor’s Degree, though you can get a Master’s to continue your education, or if you already have a Bachelor’s degree with a different major. Student teaching and exams are typically required for licensing requirements, but they do vary by state.
Secondary Education prepares you to teach students from fifth or sixth grade through high school graduation. Your job will be to prepare your students for adulthood, whether that includes college or an entry into the workforce when they finish the twelfth grade. You will learn about age-appropriate development and teaching strategies once again, but unlike in other degrees, you will not be prepared to teach all subjects to your students. Secondary Education degrees require a specific topic of concentration. We will look into these topics later on.
Secondary Education is offered as a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree. It almost always requires student teaching and vigorous testing after graduation in order to earn your license as well.
Which Subject Would You Like To Teach?
As we mentioned above, some education degrees allow you to teach all subjects, while others require you to choose a specific topic to teach. We will go over these topics in detail in the section below.
If you are wanting to teach all subjects to your future students, you will want to choose an Early Childhood Education degree or an Elementary Education degree. These programs allow you to be the primary teacher for your students. You will create a “homeroom,” where students learn Language Arts, Math, Science, History, and more while in your care.
If you would like to teach a specialized subject, a Secondary Education degree will be your best option. When you choose a Secondary Education degree, it will focus on one subject area. You can earn degrees in English Education, Science Education, Math Education, and History Education to teach middle school and high school students.
If you would like to be able to teach two subjects, or a subject that does not have a specified degree at your college or university, you may want to add a major or minor to provide you with that expertise. For example, if you would like to teach both Science and Math, you could earn a Science Education degree with a minor in Math. If you want to teach another topic, such as Business, consider any Education Degree with a Business minor.
If you would like to teach children from Kindergarten all the way through high school graduation, there are options available to you. These programs work well if you want to teach all ages, and if you have a specialized interest in one of their topics.
All-age degrees often include Art Education, Music Education, Health and Physical Education, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Special Education. Each of these programs are offered in Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree formats, and they often require both student teaching and testing after graduation as licensing requirements.
Online Teaching Degrees
If you are unable to attend a traditional college or university for in-person classes, an online teaching degree may be a good fit for you. You can earn online degrees that are equivalent to all of the degrees we have mentioned above. Both Bachelor’s degrees and Master’s degrees are offered through online programs as well. However, it is important to remember that you will likely still need to complete your student teaching requirement in person.
Choosing which teaching degree you would like to earn is a big choice. However, it does not need to be a difficult decision. Simply choose the age group you’d like to teach, and think of the subject you would like to focus on. Consider all-age degrees for specialized subjects as well. By going answering each of these questions for yourself, you can find the education degree that is right for you.