Education is a profession with a lot of rewards, professional and personal. To impart knowledge and help others cultivate their own knowledge and live as responsible people is not something that other jobs readily offer. Education equips people to make educated choices in their own lives as well as get better jobs. Overall, it helps increase the quality of life. What’s more you will never stop learning because teaching is just another way of constantly learning and growing on so many levels. Every time you teach someone, you cannot remain unchanged. Hence, many people are interested in the field of education because it makes such a difference to others and to themselves.
If you are interested in working in the field of education, there are many degrees that you could consider. When you are looking for a teaching degree, you have to assess the accreditation, the schedule and how it works for you, and the curriculum. There are different types of teaching styles and different teaching philosophies and different types of learners. An example of teaching philosophies is the Montessori and Waldorf methods. You have to research them and see which ones you most identify with. Likewise, do you want to teach kindergarten, middle school, high school, adult learners, or people with learning disabilities? A curriculum which also includes practical teaching experience will help you better your teaching experience because teaching does not happen on paper but in classrooms and with learners.
Now, education essentially means delivering education in a systemic manner, that is, with clear objectives and specific methodologies. You can teach a variety of subjects depending on your own expertise such as literature, physical education, science, social sciences, and more. A background in the subject and specializing in teaching the specific subject are required. An education degree will also equip you with teaching-specific skills such as communication, problem-solving, using communication technology, organization, classroom management, presentation, addressing the needs of different types of learners, and more.
With an education degree, you can work with private and public schools and universities. You could also work as a tutor or travel and teach. Types of teaching degrees include an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and a doctorate degree. However, you should keep in mind that each state has different requirements for issuing a teaching license. You may be required to obtain certain certifications in addition to your degree.
An associate’s degree is a good place to start if you want to teach but are not ready to acquire a bachelor’s degree just yet. An associate’s degree is available in different specializations such as early childhood education, paraprofessional education, elementary education, and secondary education. A curriculum generally covers childhood development, fundamentals and trends, and technology. Usually, you are expected to have completed high school but requirements vary according to the institutions.
A bachelor’s degree is a must if you want to become a licensed teacher. It is intensive with a requirement of 120 credits over a span of three to five years. A bachelor’s degree will combine subject and pedagogy. Areas covered include strategies of instruction, managing behaviors, creating curriculum, and evaluation methods. Specializations could include elementary education, language, special education, and early childhood education. Before you get your certificate, you are expected to complete a certain number of teaching hours.
A master’s degree in education is generally around two to three years long. You can choose Master in Teaching which will allow you to strengthen your specialization or you could go with Master of Education which will build on the pedagogy of teaching by specializing in areas such as educational policy and leadership, and curriculum and instruction. Usually, you are required to complete a thesis at the end of the program.
If you want to earn more and work in a leadership or research role, a doctorate degree in education is a must. Generally, the doctorate degrees available are Educational Specialist, Doctorate in Education, and Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Each doctorate degree further allows you to explore a specialization based on your interest.
All the degrees are available in online, classroom, and hybrid formats. A good degree program will combine theory with practice and application, and to be fully prepared to start teaching, you need the benefit of such a program.