Education Degree & Career Guide

What Is Education?

Professionals in education prepare children and adults for their futures by teaching them necessary skills and information. Educators make a positive impact on learners and facilitate teachings that allow people to learn and grow. People who choose the field of education for their careers often enjoy helping others and making connections.

When you think of education, you may jump straight to teaching. While there are many teaching positions in early childhood education, elementary education, and secondary education, there are also many careers in education outside of teaching. Many non-classroom teaching positions exist in special education, like reading literacy specialists, orientation and mobility specialists, and instructional coaches.

Depending on your level of education, you could also pursue a teaching position at a postsecondary institution. You can explore even more career options outside of teaching in higher education, such as working as an academic advisor.

Frequently Asked Questions About Education

How do I become a teacher?

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Each state has its own specific requirements for obtaining a teaching license. Most states require prospective educators to possess a bachelor's degree in education or a related field, complete a teacher preparation program (usually offered through the college where you obtain your degree), participate in an internship or student teaching experience, and pass a standardized exam like the PRAXIS.

Usually, you will complete your degree and teacher preparation program, including student teaching, then take your education and content area exams. Once you have all your required materials, you can apply through your state. When you apply, you will need to submit a background check and an application fee.

Are education degrees B.A. or B.S. degrees?

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Whether you earn a B.A. or a education depends on which program you choose. You can work in education with either type of bachelor's degree. Generally, a B.A. is considered a more well-rounded, liberal arts degree whereas a B.S. is more science and math-focused.

Your long-term career goals can help you determine which degree makes the most sense for you. If you are planning to become an English teacher, a B.A. may be more appropriate, but if you want to work as a science teacher, a program that offers a B.S. may be a better option.

What can I do with a bachelor's in education?

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Many people interested in pursuing a career in education associate the field with teaching jobs. Depending on your course of study, you can find various types of school-based teaching positions. You may also pursue teaching outside of the classroom by seeking out educational consultant jobs.

Non-teaching education career options include curriculum development and curriculum writing, educational coaching, and corporate training. For some, a bachelor's in education is the first step towards a master's degree and a future in administration.

Can you become a teacher with a bachelor of arts degree?

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You can become a teacher with a bachelor of arts degree. Many education programs award B.A. degrees. Some colleges offer B.A. or B.S. degrees in education, while other schools allow students to major in a subject area like math or English instead of majoring in education.

For instance, if you aspire to become a secondary English teacher, you may pursue a bachelor's degree in English, while also completing all the necessary education courses required by the educator preparation program. Your career goals may dictate the degree you obtain.

What are the three types of education?

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The three types of education are formal, non-formal, and informal. Formal education refers to an organized method of teaching someone specific information and skills — public school and college are examples of formal education.

Non-formal education refers to teaching that occurs outside a school setting, like at workplaces or community centers. Informal education refers to instances in which people teach themselves skills by watching videos or reading books, for example.

Can I become a teacher without a teaching degree?

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Although graduating from a teaching degree program is the traditional way to become a teacher, many states offer alternative pathways for people to obtain a teaching license. Depending on the degree you already hold, you could become a teacher by fulfilling your state's alternative licensing requirements.

Even if you do not have a teaching degree, you can still pursue a teaching job at a private school. Private schools do not always require teaching degrees. You could also teach at a postsecondary institute without a teaching degree. For instance, if you have a master's in biology, you could teach undergraduate biology courses at a college. However, a Ph.D. is encouraged.

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