A teaching degree prepares graduates for careers as teachers, administrators, or professors. In addition to specializing in either elementary or secondary education, students earning a degree in teaching usually master a particular subject area such as English or mathematics.
Whether they are kindergarten teachers or high school drama teachers, graduates can pursue a variety of teaching jobs that match their talents and ambition. Aside from general subjects, jobs are available in specialized subjects such as art, physical education, music, and special education.
While many graduates are interested in classroom teaching, a teaching degree can also lead to careers in administration and education policy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor’s in teaching is an entry-level requirement for teachers at the elementary and secondary levels.
This degree prepares graduates to earn a teaching license in their state. In some states, teachers can hold a degree in their subject area rather than a degree in education. Teachers who go on to earn a master’s degree can increase their earning potential and apply for administrative jobs as school superintendents or principals.
The BLS projects that job opportunities for teachers will grow by 7-8% at the K-12 level in the next decade. In underrepresented specialities, teaching positions may be even more abundant. Teaching is an exciting field, in part because teachers help so many young students succeed in their educational and future career endeavors.
An online teaching degree also allows graduates to become substitute teachers, though the requirements for substitute teaching vary by state.
Students who are enthusiastic about education can pursue many career paths by earning a teaching degree online.
Why Earn an Online Teaching Degree?
Online teaching degrees offer several benefits over traditional programs. Because they are flexible and accessible, students can choose to go at their own pace or pursue an accelerated degree.
Learners pursuing teaching degrees online complete coursework on their own schedules, making an online teaching degree an excellent option for working students. Pursuing a teaching degree online also allows students to arrange their student teaching experience locally in order to make important networking connections.
How to Earn an Online Teaching Degree
Before choosing an online teaching degree, it’s important for students to research the top schools and programs. Because teaching degrees involve a high level of specialization, prospective students may want to compare a program’s areas of emphasis — such as elementary education versus special education — rather than looking at teaching degrees more broadly.
When evaluating programs, prospective students must make sure that the institution holds accreditation. It’s important to check the prerequisites and application requirements for each program, as well as the application process and deadlines. Finally, prospective students must compare degree requirements, including any student teaching requirements.
Student Teaching Requirements by Degree
Many online teaching degrees prepare students to become teachers through student teaching. These requirements vary by degree and are often designed to meet state licensing requirements.
Types of Teaching Degrees
There are several degree options for students who would like to become teachers. The type of degree can determine job opportunities and salary potential, so prospective students must consider the degree level carefully when choosing an online teaching degree.
An associate degree in teaching, for example, can be earned in two years, which allows graduates to quickly enter the job market or transfer into a four-year program. In most states, teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in order to earn a teaching license and work in public K-12 education. A four-year bachelor’s degree in teaching online also includes a substantial student teaching requirement, preparing graduates to enter the classroom as teachers.
In many states, public teacher salary scales are based on the teacher’s highest degree earned. Teachers with a master’s degree can thus earn a higher salary, and the degree may also be required for moving into administrative positions, which tend to command higher salaries. A doctoral degree prepares graduates for careers in postsecondary education, administration, or leadership.