General Education Curriculum
Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated November 2010
Studying In the Field
Teaching can be one of the most rewarding career choices a person can make, and the best way to set yourself up for such a career is by studying education at the graduate level. You will find all different types of educational positions, and they vary from working in a nursery school and focusing on the most basic educational concepts to making a living as a professor at a top-notch university and dealing with some of the most difficult, esoteric topics in your specific field.
Education at the graduate level is an option that affords its practitioners the opportunity to pursue any number of specific areas. This degree affords you the ability to find a teaching position and define it. The undergraduate degree you have earned may play a role in what specific area you choose to pursue or it may not. You will find a seemingly infinite variety of areas of concentration that you might choose to pursue. And while it is impossible to list them all, the following represents a sampling of the options available to students.
American Sign Language
It is true that you do not need a Masters or a PhD to get a teaching job. Some teaching positions require only an associate's degree. However, even though earning a Masters or PhD is a challenging process, the time spent doing it can be as rewarding as teaching later on. It is the only time in your educational career where you will get to be a student and a teacher at the same time. The dichotomy that exists in this relationship often builds a better appreciation for the art of education. Additionally, it can be quite stimulating to be able to learn something in the classroom one day and institute that knowledge into your own lesson plans in the future.
Also, not all people who pursue degrees in education want to teach. Some find rewarding work in educational administration or other education-related fields. The options are wide-ranging and exciting, so if you have an open mind, you are sure to find an aspect of the education profession that suits you perfectly.
Education is an interesting field. There will be no shortage of students in the foreseeable future, and you will find an ever-growing and improving list of graduate programs. It is important to pick a program that meets the criteria you desire. It is important to build proper education and life experience aimed at the specific program you are applying for.
While graduate degrees are generally reserved for those with some sort of Bachelors degree, they are not solely the provenance of people with previous degrees in education itself. For example, if you have a degree in accounting and believe it is something you might be interested in teaching at the college level, a graduate degree in education may be the right fit for you. In other words, getting into the field of education may be easier than you think. A good idea would be to build up your education background for your graduate resume. A substitution job at a high school may help. Additionally, get involved in the organization from your undergraduate university as an alumni consultant if possible. For example, if you were an English major, try applying for the university's alumni consultant position. Chances are, with enough research and hard work, you will find a tract that fits your skill set and ultimately be very rewarding.
Job Opportunities In the Field
There are more careers in education than most people imagine. Many people think of teaching as the only real option once they earn their degree in education. However, you will find many other things you can do that you otherwise might not have considered, particularly with a graduate degree. It is also important to remember that while a graduate degree is important for positions at a university or college, some college prep and similar highly motivated high schools are now encouraging their teachers to go back to get a Masters or PhD. Potential positions for those earning a graduate-level education degree include:
Social studies teacher
Media and technology teacher
School admissions director
Those who have earned their degree in education will find a wide variety of career options, and they will find that the salary they can potentially have is rather wide-ranging. First there is the issue of whether a teacher works at a public school or a private school. This can vary from place to place and school to school. Really, assessing the earning potential of an education professional is difficult. However, it is important to realize that employment as a teacher in a public school often leads to an excellent pension and retirement package.
Employment at universities and colleges can be a short- or long-term goal for those with a graduate degree. Chances are you will have had a chance to be a student teacher several different times at several different levels during your graduate educational experiences. Whether you worked in a low-income neighborhood as a master's student or were a teaching assistant at a prestigious university while earning your PhD, these experiences are practical and essential. Planning to apply for jobs at the college level can be tricky, but with a graduate degree, you can definitely find your niche. Whether it is teaching part-time until you have made enough relationships and a full-time job has come up at the university, or simply teaching classes at a community college to build your professional experience, chances are with enough work and experience, you will find the right place for you.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), reports: "Employment of education administrators is projected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. As education and training take on greater importance in everyone's lives, the need for people to administer education programs will grow. Job opportunities for many of these positions should also be excellent because a large proportion of education administrators are expected to retire over the next 10 years."
The abundant supply of qualified college graduates and experienced workers should create keen competition for jobs. Overall employment of human resources, training, and labor relations managers and specialists is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. In addition to openings due to growth, many job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.
Employment of instructional coordinators is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2014. Over the next decade, instructional coordinators will be instrumental in developing new curricula to meet the demands of a changing society and in training the teacher workforce. This would be an excellent place for someone with a graduate degree to wield life experience as well as classroom knowledge. Although budget constraints may limit employment growth to some extent, a continuing emphasis on improving the quality of education is expected to result in an increasing demand for these workers. Also, as an increased emphasis on accountability at all levels of government causes more schools to focus on improving educational quality and student performance, growing numbers of coordinators will be needed to incorporate the standards into existing curricula and make sure teachers and administrators are informed of the changes. Opportunities are expected to be best for those who specialize in subject areas that have been targeted for improvement by the No Child Left Behind Act - namely reading, math, and science.
Overall employment of counselors is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. In addition, numerous job openings will occur as many counselors retire or leave the profession. While job prospects will vary with location and specialization, opportunities generally should be very good because the number of job openings that arise should exceed the number of graduates of counseling programs. Rehabilitation counselors and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, in particular, should experience excellent prospects" (BLS).
Check out: Education & Teaching Graduate Programs