Education

What Degrees Do You Need To Be A Teacher

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 2 minute read

Educators around the country are required to acquire a bachelor’s degree before they may work as kindergarten through 12th grade teachers. This bachelor’s degree, however, does not always have to be in education or teaching preparation.

Students can pursue a profession in education in a variety of ways. Some begin as education majors, while others acquire a degree in another discipline and take a different path to become a teacher.

Teacher’s Degree

An undergraduate degree program in education or teaching is typically required for entry into a teaching career. Students who want to teach in the lower grades commonly major in elementary education.

Secondary education may be studied by high school teachers. Aspiring middle school teachers should examine their state’s certification requirements, as some states define them as elementary school instructors, while others describe them as middle school or secondary school educators.

A teacher preparation program teaches aspiring teachers how to efficiently manage classrooms and educate pupils. College students seeking an education degree will undergo a student teaching field experience in addition to classroom study to get hands-on understanding on how to run a classroom and deal with kids.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, several states require aspiring teachers to major in a topic area as well as education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels (BLS). In these states, prospective teachers would major in both science, mathematics, history, or English, as well as education.

Alternative Certification Pathways for Future Teachers

What if you decide to become a teacher after finishing your bachelor’s degree or near the conclusion of your undergraduate studies in another subject? According to the BLS, every state permits prospective teachers to choose an alternative path to obtaining their teaching license.

Because they already hold a bachelor’s degree in a field unrelated to teaching, these individuals merely require teacher preparation training rather than a new degree. Completing alternate route certification criteria varies by state.

Candidates in certain states begin teaching under the supervision of a qualified teacher while taking education courses and acquire their full teaching certification after their teacher preparation studies are completed.

Other states may require prospective teachers to take education coursework before beginning employment in the classroom. According to the BLS, these alternative certification courses sometimes lead to a master’s degree in teaching.

Education courses taken by prospective educators who seek an alternative certification route contain much of the same material as students who major in education. They will study about teaching methods, effective educational practices, classroom management techniques, child and adolescent development, and how to educate students of all ages and abilities. They must also complete field experience.

Majoring in education straight away may be the most traditional and direct path to a teaching career, but it is not the only one. Many educators are now opting for a different path to teaching certification, and having a diverse educational experience may help you offer new and unique perspectives to the industry.

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