What is an Education Degree? – Bachelor’s degrees in teaching and education are most often designed to meet specific state licensing requirements for initial licensure in any area or subject in the K-12 grade range, while master’s degrees are available for either initial licensure or advancement. Facilitated by teachers, education can happen at any age and in any subject through both formal classroom work and informal exploration, storytelling, or observation.
Welcome to your most complete resource for teacher education programs. We have compiled the information you need about the most popular teaching degrees and careers to help you succeed in the field of education.
Grand Canyon University
Southern New Hampshire University
Purdue University Global
USC Rossier School of Education
There are many things to consider when you decide to learn how to become a teacher. Which teacher education program will be the best fit? Should you work in the classroom or pursue a career in education leadership, research, or technology? Which education degree makes the most sense for you? These are the kinds of questions EducationDegree.com wants to help you answer.
Are You Ready to Learn How to Become a Teacher?
Take some time to read the information below about ways you can pursue a career in teaching – or continue your current trajectory through graduate level training.
What our site offers
There are a few ways you can use our site to get information about teaching careers and degrees. We make it easy by breaking down the education field by degree, specialty, career, and location.
Determine your Career
When choosing the kind of teaching degree that is right for you, consider the paths that best reflect your personality and interests. For example, if you enjoy challenging older children you may want to focus on middle or high school learners over preschool or elementary school environments.
Our site will help you to find a career in education by providing details about different jobs in the field. Each career page includes information about the degrees you need to earn to qualify for the job, salary and career growth expectations, the characteristics of people who are best suited for the job, and more. With EducationDegree.com you can learn about jobs from early childhood through higher education, from special education to physical education, from the classroom to leadership and technology positions.
The degree you pursue should match your career interests. For example, if you want to become an art teacher, your education path will differ from those who want to become a school administrator or work with special needs students.
Our site features extensive information on traditional and online teaching programs, and makes it easy to determine what types of programs exist, as well as which programs best fit your needs and goals. Each of our degree pages discuss what careers the degree can lead to, the courses you must take to earn the degree, requirements to be accepted into and graduate from the degree program, and more.
Locate schools in your
Because teaching requirements vary by state, curriculum—what you will study and the courses you will take—may also vary by state. Make sure the school you choose offers a degree that matches your career goals and helps you meet your state’s teaching license requirements.
Before connecting with schools near you, you should check out our page for your state. Each state page covers the teaching licensing requirements in your state, education requirements, and salary and career growth expectations. Knowing these details can help you decide where to focus your program search.
Because teaching is such a multifaceted profession, there is no one-size-fits all approach to becoming a teacher. Maybe you want to gain experience in a classroom before deciding to go back to school, or maybe you’re looking for advice about applying to education school. Head to our teacher resources hub to find answers for these questions and articles on dozens of other carefully researched topics relevant to anyone considering a career in education.
Shape The Future of Education
Nelson Mandela famously said that education is the most powerful weapon a person can use to change the world, and this holds doubly true for those who are considering a career in education. Not only will you be impacting the learning of your students, you will also be changing your own life as you pursue the education degree that sets you on the path to a career in teaching.
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Types of Education Degrees
Whether you want to become a teacher, principal, education policy researcher, or something else in the education field, your first step should be to earn a bachelor’s degree in education. Many states only require teachers to get a bachelor’s degree. However, there are some locations where a master’s degree is required to teach. Furthermore, if you want to advance in your career or potentially earn more money as a teacher, a master’s or doctorate degree is your best bet.
Here, we’ll introduce and describe each of the most common education degree levels. We outline the benefits of each degree, what career the degree leads to, curriculum and course descriptions for each degree, and general graduation requirements such as student teaching. If you know you want to work in education but aren’t exactly sure where to start, read on.
If you already have a degree in a subject other than education and are thinking about becoming a teacher, alternative teacher certification could be the way to go.
There are many reasons someone may want to switch careers and enter the teaching profession. Teaching can offer a change of pace or a more structured schedule for some people; some may want to give back to the community by educating younger generations in a subject they are passionate about; others may just want their summers off!
The requirements of alternative certifications vary by state, but in general, alternative certificate programs are designed to complement the degree you’ve already earned with education classes related to classroom management, learning theory, and practical teaching strategies. These programs are short-cuts designed to help you get into the teaching profession as quickly as possible.
Because alternative certification programs are regulated at the state level, be sure to check your state’s rules and regulations regarding alternative certifications.
Bachelor’s in Education
The most common way to become a teacher is to earn a bachelor’s degree in education. If you take this route, you can specialize in different subject matters and grade levels. Most states offer accredited teaching degrees for students across all grades, from preschool through secondary school. Be aware that if you want to teach at the post-secondary level, you will most likely need to earn a graduate degree.
Expect your bachelor’s curriculum to cover the following core components: psychology, classroom management, leadership, learning styles, teaching methods, and lesson planning. Be sure you find a curriculum that covers working with administrators and parents as well as legislative updates to education and education standards in your specific state.
In addition to your coursework, you will most likely be required to complete a number of student teaching hours in order to graduate from your undergraduate program and earn your teaching license.
Master’s in Education
While some states require master’s degrees in education for their teachers to become licensed, other states require teachers to obtain a master’s before recertifying, typically within five years of starting their first job. A master’s degree in education is also appealing for educators looking to distinguish themselves in competitive job markets, increase their salary prospects, and specialize in certain fields such as special education, teaching English as a second language, and literacy instruction. In all cases, you must already possess your bachelor’s degree before gaining admission to a master’s program in education.
Coursework at this level varies, but you can expect certain courses to be among those you will be offered. Foundations of education, curriculum development, educational leadership and culturally responsive practices are among the likely classes a master’s student will take.
Doctorate in Education
The decision to pursue a post-master’s degree in education makes sense for those interested in educational policy reform, careers in academic research and curriculum design, and educational leadership positions such as superintendents.
Depending on your focus, you will encounter classes on education policy, learning and development, and research analysis. These degrees typically take a minimum of three years to complete but take longer for those who don’t already have a master’s degree.
Licensed teachers who may not be ready or able to make the commitment to pursue a doctorate degree might consider an Education Specialist degree (EdS). This advanced degree will make you eligible to pursue leadership positions. It may also equip you to offer professional development to teachers or design curriculum for schools.
Although coursework will vary according to your career interests, you can expect classes on research methods, advanced learning theory, educational psychology, and curriculum design.
Working teachers who have already earned their bachelor’s degrees in education may consider pursuing a graduate certificate in education as a way to advance and specialize their careers without pursuing more time-consuming advanced degrees. These graduate certificates (not to be confused with actual certification, which is a designation offered by your state) are also sometimes referred to as “endorsement” and are frequently available online.
Teachers can pursue a wide range of certificate options, from programs covering everything from technology integration to early childhood leadership.
Degree Level Average Salary
Educator salaries can vary based on degree level. The more advanced your degree, the higher your earning potential can be!
Regardless of where you are starting, if you are ready to become a teacher, we can help get you where you want to go. Use the resources on EducationDegree.com to find and contact schools, learn more about teaching as a career and stay up to date on your state’s requirements.
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