Education Degree and Career Guide
If you like the idea of not only constantly learning but also helping others to learn, a career in education might be a perfect fit. Learn more about the education field, including what it entails, and the various career opportunities education degrees offer. While you may need to do student teaching in-person, you can earn the majority of your education degree online.
What is the Field of Education?
The education field is a broad area because it’s a vast field that offers many career choices. Although most people with education degrees work in education, you don’t necessarily have to have an education degree to work in an educational setting.
The field of education includes careers in teaching, student support services, administration, training, academia, research, and a lot more. Students choosing a degree in education can choose from several degree levels depending on their career aspirations.
Three Attributes of an Education Degree
There are many perks to having an education degree whether you want to teach students in a classroom, work with troubled youth, or work in some other educator role. There are a few different attributes of having an education degree or career.
Good Job Growth
Teachers and educators are expected to experience job growth of seven percent from 2021 to 2031 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Few careers are more rewarding than working in a job where you can educate others and see their look of happiness when they learn something new.
Individuals working as certain teachers and trainers earned an average annual wage of $57,220, while elementary, middle school, and high school teachers earned more than $61,000.
If you want to work as a licensed teacher in a public or private school, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree. However, there are jobs available for those with an associate degree in education, such as preschool teacher, teacher assistant, special education assistant, and counselor assistant. Many education programs are offered through distance learning.
Online Associate Degree Programs in Education
- University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers a 100% online Associate in Arts and Sciences program. This education-based two-year program includes math, social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities courses. It includes many of the general education courses required for a bachelor’s degree.
- Purdue University Global has an online Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education that can be completed in two years. This program prepares students to teach preschool children or can be used as a foundation for a bachelor’s degree education degree.
- Northeast Community College offers an Associate in Education – Elementary degree program that includes both general education and elementary education courses. The main purpose of this two-year program is to teach the students how to teach and be good teachers.
As a rule, a bachelor’s degree or higher is required to become a licensed teacher. Bachelor’s degree programs take about four years to complete. Many bachelor’s degree education programs are offered online. Most education programs require the student to obtain some in-the-classroom teaching experiences at the end of the program.
If you are looking to teach a language, then a degree in a specific language, combined with a Master’s in Education would work.
Online Bachelor’s in Education Degree Programs
- Western Governors University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education degree program that prepares students to work as elementary and middle school teachers. Students must complete courses as well as an internship. It also helps prepare them for state licensure exams.
- Arizona State University has an online Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies degree program that can be completed in four years or less. Applicants to this program can choose from six different start dates.
- An online Bachelor of Arts in Early Care and Education program at the University of Washington – Seattle campus. This program, which prepares students to work with young children in an educational setting, can be completed in two to three years.
The Master’s Degree in Education is often chosen by students who want to expand their teaching knowledge. Many states also require a master’s degree to obtain or maintain state certification and licensure. Teachers with bachelor’s degrees often choose online master’s degree education programs because they can continue to teach and work in education while earning a graduate degree. Online students must meet the same admission requirements as students on campus.
Online Master’s Degree in Education Programs
- University of Wisconsin Superior offers a 100% online Master of Science in Education – Special Education program that can be completed in 12 to 24 months. This program also offers concentrations in instruction and educational administration.
- Grand Canyon University has an online Master of Education degree program that will help the student become certified as well as put them in a position for pay increases and more challenges. This program offers three areas of concentration
- Clemson University offers an online Master in Education program that offers flexible learning and a rolling application deadline. All courses are archived so students can retrieve them at their convenience. Students can also choose from several different areas of concentration, such as educational leadership, and educational studies.
Graduates of advanced or doctoral degrees are pursued by educators who want to expand their education and obtain jobs as professors teaching education in schools or as education researchers. Students can often earn this degree in about two to three years.
Online Doctoral Programs in Education
- Grand Canyon University offers a doctoral degree in an education program that can be completed in three years. Students interested in careers in research or academia often choose the doctoral degree. Students in this program are required to complete a dissertation.
- University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign has an online Doctor of Education program that focuses on education policy, organization, and leadership. In addition to completing credit hours, students must complete two written examinations, an oral examination, and a dissertation. UI also offers some online education certificate programs.
- The University of Arizona offers an online Doctor of Philosophy in Education that prepares students for teaching at universities and colleges or working in research. It offers six to nine-week courses. Graduates of this program are highly educated in all areas of education and education policies.
Careers in the Education Field
Although teaching is the most common career chosen by individuals with an education degree, this field offers many career options. Here are just a few of the many jobs an education degree holder might find.
- Teacher – An education degree in teaching prepares students to work as teachers in a school setting. Teachers must have a bachelor’s degree.
- Curriculum developer – This professional creates curricula for various grade levels. This profession requires a master’s degree.
- Counselor – Counselors help others who are struggling with specific programs. Counselors can have an associate, bachelor, or masters depending on the type of counseling the individual wishes to do.
- Online English as a Second Language Teacher – These teachers help students read, write, and understand the English language. This career requires a bachelor’s degree.
- Juvenile corrections worker – Juvenile corrections workers assist probation officers and counselors work with troubled juveniles. These workers may have any degree from associate to master’s degree.
- School administrator – School administrators oversee all aspects of an educational facility, including academics, student services, and faculty research. School administrators typically have a master’s degree.
- Child life specialists – These professionals work with hospitalized children and offer assistants to the parents. Child life specialists must have a bachelor’s degree, but some also pursue master’s degrees.
- Private tutor – Private tutors help students having difficulties in certain subjects. They may have only a high school degree, but many pursue higher degree levels.
- Behavior analyst – If you are looking to work in the field of Behavior Analysis, then a career as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst would be a good fit. Check out our list of the most affordable online BCBA programs.
Getting a degree in education is the first step to a career in this field. Licensure and certification requirements vary by state. Get started today by choosing the best fit education program for you.