Education Career Options

An education background opens many doors to employment opportunities. With a degree in education and teaching credentials, you can hold teaching positions in both public and private schools. Other career options include guidance counseling, school social work, library science, and administration. With post-graduate degrees, you can choose to go into adult education and teach at colleges and universities. You might even venture out into the world of business or government, becoming a trainer, human resource specialist, manager or planner.

  • Public school teachers must be licensed, which typically requires a bachelor's degree and the completion of an approved teacher education program; private school teachers do not have to be licensed but may still need a bachelor's degree.
  • Washington States offers an alternative licensing program to attract people into teaching, especially for hard-to-fill positions.
  • Teachers must have the ability to communicate, inspire trust and confidence, and motivate students, as well as understand students' educational and emotional needs.
  • Job prospects are best for teachers in high-demand fields, such as mathematics, science, and bilingual education, and in less desirable urban or rural school districts.

Suggested Preparation

In order to improve your chances of getting into a four-year univerity or college of education, and ultimately a teaching position, volunteer in your community and observe in actual classrooms. Programs such as Junior Achievement give you experience as a group leader, tutor, teaching assistant or mentor. Volunteering in the public schools can gain you invaluable experience in preparation of bulletin boards, charts, posters, and in computer applications and in other instructional communication technologies. It is important for you to develop solid communication skills, particularly writing and public speaking. Elementary education is looking for generalists with a variety of knowledge and skills to teach elementary students. Crafts, hobbies, sports and musical abilities can be strong assets to draw upon in the teaching profession.  Secondary education is looking for specialists with expertise in disciplines offered to secondary students.

Recommended Courses

Inside the Elementary Education Curriculum Guide is a description of some of the requirements for teacher certification programs at several universities. You will also find an outline of the general requirements of the Associate in Arts and Sciences - Transfer.  Within that degree, we recommend that you include Education 202 (Introduction to Education), Education 250, 251, 252  (Education in Action observation series) and Education 256 (Education in Action Seminar), and CMST 103 (Public Speaking for Educators).  Other courses like Education 170 (Education Portfolio), Education 190 (Education Controversies) and Education 210 (Education Philosophies) are also recommended as "B' electives.

Check with the Career Center, Third Floor, Parks Student Union, for additional information on career options and considerations. You can also find information in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.