Having a passion for teaching and wanting to help educate others is one of the noblest and most selfless professions. Aspiring to help educate the students of tomorrow is an extraordinary calling. But knowing how to end up teaching in front of a class might not be as straightforward as you’d think. Figuring out the exact degree requirements needed to teach kindergarten students versus teaching high schoolers might seem more complicated than you’d assume at first blush.
That’s why we’ve decided at OnlineCollegeWiz to clear the air and guide tomorrow’s future teachers through their options when it comes to education degrees. There are many different types of education degrees out there and many additional considerations to take into account when figuring out the education you need for a career in teaching.
Below you’ll find answers to some of the most important questions concerning education degrees from online colleges.
Education Degrees from an Online College
In its simplest definition, a degree in education teaches students how to lead. This may seem simple, but degrees in education cover a variety of different topics and subject matters. Besides having to become educated in the various subjects that teachers teach (English, History, Science, etc.), students in education degrees will also learn the different skills needed to be teachers.
Students in an education degree program will learn valuable teaching skills. They will learn how to engage students, plan curriculum, work with students of different abilities, and more. Beyond just knowing the subject they’re teaching, these skills are crucial to earning an education degree.
Higher-level education degrees also focus on management and administration skills. These skills are essential for students who move into administrative roles within education organizations.
Careers for those with an Education degree from an Online College
For most people who earn an Education degree, the goal is to become some type of a teacher. There are some education-adjacent career paths that one can take besides teaching. Still, if you’re earning an education degree, you are most likely interested in pursuing a career in education. Here are some different jobs for teachers.
- Kindergarten/Elementary Teacher – Kindergarten/elementary teachers work with very young children to teach them basic subjects and prepare them for the rest of their journey in education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten and elementary school teachers earn $60,660/year.
- Middle School Teachers – Working with slightly older students, middle school teachers helps to build upon the education of elementary students while also introducing newer, more complex topics. A median annual salary of $60,810/year has been reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for middle school teachers.
- High School Teachers – Teachings students from Grades 9-12, high school teachers are tasked with preparing students with the knowledge they need to either continue into higher education or enter the job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found the median pay for high school teachers to be $62,870/year.
- Postsecondary Teachers – This group of teachers covers a wide array of different types of teachers. Postsecondary teachers include teachers at colleges, universities, technical schools, trade schools, community colleges, and more. Essentially, any teacher beyond K-12 falls into this category. Graduates can expect a pay increase from K-12 teachers to a median annual salary of $80,790/year, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Special Education Teachers – Special education teachers work with differently-abled students to help meet their specific educational needs to help them succeed outside of school. This career in teaching tends to require additional training and education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has recorded the median pay for this job as $61,420/year.
Different Types of Education Degrees from Online Colleges
There are various education degrees offered to students across different degree levels made available to students. At the Bachelor’s level, students can choose degrees like Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education to gain the skills needed to work with young students, or degrees like the Bachelor of Arts in Higher Education Administration to learn how to work in higher education programs.
Beyond the undergraduate level, students can choose from several Master of Education degree programs. A Master of Education program is an excellent option for students who want to differentiate themselves on the job market by developing more profound expertise in teaching and educational techniques. Beyond the master’s level is a Doctorate of Education degree, an excellent option for those wanting to move into high-level administration in teaching. This is great for a career as a principal or dean of students.
Areas of Specialization for Education Degrees from an Online College
Students can also differentiate their degrees in education by choosing specialized programs or additional minors. A trendy area of specialization for education students is to select some sort of Educational Leadership or Educational Administration program. These programs prepare students to work in administrative positions such as principal, superintendent, or dean.
Another great way to specialize your degree in education from an online college is to pursue special education. Whether it’s choosing a degree that focuses on speech pathology, occupational therapy, or just generalized special education, this specialization will open the door to additional opportunities in teaching.
Options are also available for students who want to learn the skills needed to work with modern students. Whether that means earning a degree as Media Specialist or an Adult Education or English as a Second Language specialist, these different areas of concentration can prove to be very lucrative to education students.
Becoming a Teacher with an Education degree from an Online College
One crucial wrinkle to keep in mind when it comes to earning an education degree from an online college is that most schools require teachers to become certified with the state they are teaching in. This can present some issues when it comes to online learning. If you’re living in and planning to teach in one state, but the college you’re enrolled in online is in another, you may need to make additional plans to become certified.
After earning a degree in education or teaching from an online college, aspiring teachers are expected to register with the state they plan to teach in. This is usually a requirement for those who only have a Bachelor’s in Education degree.
If you’ve earned a master’s or doctoral degree in education, many states will waive the requirement of becoming certified by an approved teaching examination.
Education Certifications and Licensures from Online Colleges
Besides becoming certified with the state you plan to teach in, education students can also pursue additional certifications and licensures. These certifications and licensures help signal prospective hires such as schools or universities the subject matter or areas of expertise you have.
There are a wide variety of different education certifications and licensures available. Students can gain certifications in health education, physical education, American Sign Language, Gifted and Talented Education, and so much more.
If you’re interested in teaching a particular group or particular subject, pursuing a corresponding certification or licensure is a great way to optimize your chances of landing a career in that specific subject.
Scholarships For Education Degrees from Online Colleges
The cost of a college degree is always an important consideration. As college tuition costs continue to rise, many students are always looking for ways to lower the cost of their education. While choosing to enroll in an online college is an excellent option for students hoping to control costs, applying for and receiving scholarships are another great way to control college costs.
Fortunately, there are a considerable number of scholarships geared towards students who are interested in pursuing a career in education.
- One of the most popular programs is the TEACH Grant Program. Offered by the federal government, students considering a career in teaching can apply for this program and receivereceived4,000 a year in grant money towards their education. To be eligible for this, you must ensure that your program is TEACH-Grant-eligible.
- Another great option is the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship awards up to $24,000 to those who plan to teach American history at the middle and high school levels.
- Not a scholarship, but a massive boon to teachers looking to control their education costs, is the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Through five years of consecutive employment at a low-income or educational service agency, students can receive up to $17,500 in forgiveness on their student loans. This is a massive opportunity for teachers to work with students who need the most support and have their college loans reduced immensely.
Education Degree from an Online College: Is it worth it?
If you’re considering a career in education, there’s no better degree than pursuing an education degree from an online college. Through an education degree program, you will gain the knowledge and the skills needed to be an effective teacher.
An education degree will also help you prepare for the state certifications you may need to earn to teach in certain areas. This type of degree will also help you qualify for several different scholarships and federal loan forgiveness plans designed to help control the costs of an education degree.
So if you’re calling is to become an educator, don’t even think twice about enroll in an education degree from an online college.