What Education Do You Need to Become a Teacher?
Classroom with desks and blackboard

What's Involved in an Education Degree

Education schools allow students to obtain training for a career that is both rewarding and challenging. Teaching has long been considered one of the more personally fulfilling careers, as it allows an individual to make a huge difference in the lives of others. Most communities are in need of dedicated and qualified teachers, so this career path also offers more long-term job stability than many other positions.

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Areas of Study for Education Degrees

While many institutions offer education degrees, be sure to select a program that is accredited. The two main entities which provide accreditation for teaching programs are the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Public schools require both a bachelor degree in education as well as a state certification, while private schools usually require just a degree in education.

The options available for studying education are many: traditional colleges and universities have long offered programs in both elementary and secondary education, and a number of accredited institutions offer programs for online degrees in education. Many students choose to study for education degrees online for the sake of convenience, as they can take courses in their spare time, at their own pace and from the comfort of their homes.

Coursework required for an education degree varies by institution, and many graduates with an education degree will choose an area of specialization in addition to their general teaching requirements. Specialization areas include English, math, science, physical education, health, social studies, music, special education and early childhood education. In general, the courses required for a degree in education may include classes such as:

  • Classroom instruction
  • Classroom organization and management
  • Curriculum issues and planning
  • Educational applications
  • Issues in teaching
  • Philosophy of education
  • Schooling in America
  • Technology in the classroom
  • Vocational education

Prospects for Education Graduates

Qualified teachers continue to be in demand at all education levels – elementary, secondary and college. Some states require that teachers who hold bachelor's degrees to eventually return to school for a master of education degree within a specified period of time. In addition, many teachers wish to obtain a master's degree to learn more about a certain area of specialization or to obtain an additional teaching certificate for another area of interest.

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