Best Teaching Degrees

Do you want to help educate the next generation? Discover what you need to do to become a teacher and the types of teaching degrees available.

When you are looking into possible career possibilities, a career in education is certainly worth considering. It is a career path that can have many potential rewards. Also, it can branch off in several different ways. For example, you could opt to teach young children, high school students, or college students. You can also choose to teach certain specific subjects of interest to you.

Since teaching offers so many diverse opportunities, the path to becoming a teacher is not necessarily straightforward. It may seem difficult and daunting to figure out how to go about entering the profession. For example, there are several different types of teaching degrees available. It is important to discover and carefully follow the steps necessary to get basic teaching certification, as well as any specialty certifications you need. The following facts can help you better understand the process of entering the field of education, including how to get the teaching qualifications you need.

What Steps Are Necessary to Become a Teacher?

The first step you must take to become a teacher is to make sure the career is a good fit for you. For example, you need good organizational skills, a lot of patience, and a love of people to become a teacher. If you determine that the career fits you well, the next step is to determine your teaching interests. When doing so, decide if you want to teach a certain subject or a specific grade level.

Once you decide to become a teacher and if you want to specialize, you can begin to narrow down your educational options. Teaching degrees come in many types. After selecting the type of degree, you require at the present time, choose your preferred learning method. Some teaching courses are available online. Others require in-person attendance. When choosing, consider your preferred learning style, as well as your personal schedule.

After you complete an initial teaching course, you must receive on-the-job training. That training comes in the form of student-teaching. To start work as a student-teacher, you must meet the requirements in your state. Most state requirements include passing the Praxis exam given by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). After completion of your student-teaching period, you must typically obtain a teaching license. Although, some private schools do not require teachers to hold teaching licenses. 

You must pass a background check to get the teaching license. Additional Praxis or equivalent testing is also required in some states, such as passing the Praxis Knowledge for Teaching Test. After passing all required checks and exams, you can seek out a teaching position. Completing those steps only allows you to teach in the state in which you are licensed. However, certain states have partial reciprocity agreements. If you opt to teach in a reciprocal state, some of your previous training may expedite that state's licensing process for you.

What Types of Teaching Degrees Are Available?

One of the most common types of teaching degrees you can pursue is a standard degree in education and teaching. That degree comes in different skill levels. You must start by pursuing a bachelor's degree. If you wish, you can continue to obtain one or more of the following degrees:

  • Master's

  • PhD

  • Doctorate

In addition to basic educational degrees, you can opt to specialize. There are many specialized degrees focused on specific areas of education. For instance, you could opt to pursue a physical education degree. Such specialized areas of teaching require specific knowledge and expertise. Other specializations are focused on specific age groups or needs, such as:

  • Special Education

  • Early Childhood Education

  • Elementary Education

  • Secondary Education

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Teacher?

Teaching is not generally considered a financially lucrative career field. However, it has many other benefits worth considering. For example, it allows you the ability to help shape the lives of others in a positive way. In many cases, teaching also offers weekends, holidays, and often summers off. It is also a profession that typically has more available jobs than trained professionals to fill those positions. Therefore, job security is likely.

Who Should Get a Teaching Degree?

Teaching is not necessarily the easiest career field to enter. It is also not one in which most workers can expect to get rich. Successful teachers typically enter the field for the love of the learning and teaching processes. The best candidates for teaching degrees also have strong drives to want to help other people.

What Are the Best Teaching Degree Programs?

The best teaching degree program for you depends on your location and preferences. For example, if you want to study online you can apply at any college in the country offering teaching courses. Although, you must make sure course teachings meet certification requirements in the state where you wish to teach. If you prefer an in-person course, you may need to keep your search local. To do so, you can use tools like this one. Here are some of the best sources in the country from which to obtain a teaching degree, if geographic location is not a concern:

What is the Average Duration of a Teaching Degree Program?

Traditionally, a bachelor's degree takes approximately two years to obtain. In the case of teaching degrees, the entire process to get a bachelor's degree and teaching credential, including passing various exams and completing a student-teaching period, can take up to five years. However, accelerated bachelor's programs are available, as are flexible class schedules. Courses conducted entirely or partially online also often allow students to study at their own paces. 

How Much Does a Teaching Degree Program Typically Cost?

The costs to complete teaching degree programs are as varied as the teaching educational and career paths available. The fees involved are also often difficult to calculate because they can include room and board, textbooks, supplies, and other essentials, at least when on-site learning is required. Online courses cut out some of those costs, so they tend to have more affordable rates. However, you can still expect to pay an average of approximately $40,000 for a degree from an accredited university. Taking a few courses at a time can help alleviate that financial burden, but it means you must take longer to get your teaching credential. If you want to become a teacher as quickly as possible, apply for financial aid programs for new teachers, instead.