So you've decided you want to become a teacher, but faced with an overwhelming array of career choices, you're not sure which direction to follow or even what online education degree program will help you get there.
Whether you want to work with kids or adults, whether you want to teach history or computer science, finding a program that fits your learning needs as well as your career goals is essential. Regardless of which online education degree you choose, you can be sure that the programs we list are properly accredited, and that they will lead to a rewarding career sharing your knowledge with others.
Teacher Assistant Careers
If you're unsure about which direction to take in your teaching career, working as a teacher assistant can get you valuable experience working in the classroom and help you clarify your goals. Usually, teacher assistant jobs only require a high school diploma, although related college coursework will make you more appealing to potential employers.
Working with Kids: Online Education Degrees in Early Childhood Education
Early childhood grades are often defined as preschool through grade 3. Educational requirements for early childhood teachers vary widely depending on the grade level that you are interested in teaching and even depending on the location where you're planning to teach. A teaching job may require anywhere from a high school diploma and a child development credential for preschool teachers to a bachelor's degree and other specialized teacher education for K-3 instructors. Fortunately, a wide selection of online education degrees are available for prospective early childhood teachers.
From Children to Young Adults: Elementary, Middle School and Secondary School
Whether you're an elementary school teacher instructing the same class of students on a variety of subjects throughout the day, or a high school teacher focusing on a specific subject area such as English or math, you will need an appropriate bachelor's degree as well as student-teaching internship experience. Often, middle and secondary school teachers need a 4-year degree in the subject they plan to teach as well as completing an accredited teacher training program. This may take the form of an online education degree or similar in-person program.
Graduate teaching assistants as well as college and university professors constitute the postsecondary teaching profession. While undertaking a course of study in a master's or doctoral degree program, a graduate teaching assistant may teach undergraduate classes in order to gain valuable teaching experience.
Working in the Special Education Classroom
If you have an interest in assisting young people coping with disabilities, then an online education degree that focuses on special education may be for you. Degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate level, and include in-depth training and classroom experience that focuses on working with students who have physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities. Special education teachers work in classrooms, resource centers, and with parents and children at their homes. They develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that help each student progress according to their needs and abilities.
Vocational and Technical Education
Vocational education teachers, also called career or technical education teachers, generally work at the middle, secondary or postsecondary level, introducing students to career-focused skills that will assist them in entering the workforce after graduation. Vocational education concentrates on subject areas such as agricultural science, family and consumer science, health occupations, business and marketing, trade and industry, and technology. If you're interested in vocational teaching, you will most likely need a bachelor's degree in the subject you plan to teach, as well as completing a teacher training program.