The need for qualified teachers is only growing. With new technology and new innovations in education, there is a greater need than ever before for educators. To get into the education field, you need extensive education and experience. The first step toward breaking into this rewarding career is a comprehensive course of study toward an education degree.
Getting Started in Education
The first step toward becoming an educator is to earn a bachelor’s degree. While you can earn a bachelor’s degree in any field to become a teacher, most students find it beneficial to earn a degree in education. You can study in an on-campus setting or through distance learning toward your degree. Many students are finding that enrolling in a distance learning education degree program helps them to prepare for their field. With the new trend in virtual academies, charter schools and universities, online learning confers additional learning experiences that you won’t find in the traditional classroom.
Salary and Career Outlook
Demand for teachers is growing, and so are the salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary in 2010 for kindergarten and elementary school teachers was $51,380. This reflects an increase from just a few years prior. Growth in this field is steady, and the BLS estimates that there are 1,655,800 job openings for qualified teachers.
By comparison, adult literacy teachers earn a median salary of $46,530. This salary varies by region, with teachers in the Northeast earning a higher than average salary. The BLS estimates that there is growth in the adult education arena with a higher than average number of students seeking out literacy teachers. With the increase in online learning, salaries are only expected to climb.
Students working toward a distance learning education take a comprehensive course of study that includes courses in the humanities, sciences and mathematics. Advanced courses such as early childhood education, multicultural learners, bilingual education and curriculum design are standard for the education degree. Students will also delve into areas of concentration such as elementary education, reading and language arts, learning psychology and technology in the classroom. These courses help education students to get a full grasp of what teaching entails. They will also prepare them to teach in a wide range of settings.
Education Career Paths
There are many great career paths for the distance learning education degree graduate. Most become elementary school teachers, instructing students in basic subjects such as math, reading, science and art. Other education graduates go on to research positions, analyzing statistical data about student learning. Still others go on to develop learning technologies that help teachers in the classroom. Some education graduates find work with textbook companies, as standardized test question writers and as principals. Other educators find work in the prison system, teaching adult inmates the skills they need for life after prison.
The Internet has changed the landscape for education graduates. With many elementary school programs being delivered online, the need for computer-savvy teachers has grown exponentially. There is a growing need for qualified teachers and getting an undergraduate degree is the first step. Graduates who go on to earn master’s degrees will find even more opportunities in this arena.
The world will always need educators. Whether you choose to teach science to third graders or teach an adult to read for the first time, you will find a world of opportunity in the field. The first step in becoming an educator is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. There are many great online degree programs, and there is one that meets your educational needs. Find the right program and get started in this rewarding field today.