Deciding which path to take as a student, either fresh from high school or at a later stage in your life is rarely an easy choice. Sometimes your studies might outline a clear path to a specific field of work such as engineering, law, medicine, and so on, or maybe you enjoy academia so much you’d prefer to continue as a student or researcher. Not everyone finds that their natural interests or the courses they have taken in the past line up with anything in particular. This can leave you feeling lost and without an idea as to what you want to do with your future. If you have ever considered a degree in education, keep reading to find out more about the types of jobs you could potentially apply for, the skills you would need, and the benefits of each.
Teaching is the most obvious career path that comes to mind when considering possibilities around the use of a degree in education. Many people become teachers because they enjoy interacting with children, have a passion for sharing knowledge, and believe that they can contribute to a brighter future for society. With an online masters degree in education, you can expect to see plenty of teaching opportunities arise. This type of job involves both administrative and hands-on work, such as creating lesson plans, checking homework, monitoring children’s behavior, and helping them develop into rounded and educated young people. We all have memories of good and not-so-good teachers from our schooldays. What makes a good teacher is the ability to understand and listen to children while prioritizing their wellbeing and intellectual development. You must see the good in every child and have plenty of patience. Although being a teacher is notoriously stressful, school holidays provide respite from the hard work.
High School Teacher
Similar to teaching younger children is teaching in a high school. While there are many aspects of each of these jobs that are the same, the differences are significant and should be considered before choosing a career in one or the other. As a high school teacher, you’ll still be responsible for creating lesson plans and keeping an eye on behavior. However, it is likely that you’ll have a specific subject to teach rather than teaching many subjects at a lower level. You’ll have to gain the knowledge and qualifications in this specialty before applying to teach at a high school since your ability within the subjects matters more here. Also, communicating with teenagers is quite different from communicating with young children and takes someone with stronger skin. That doesn’t mean this job doesn’t come with its rewards; high school teachers are often visited by their students later in life to be thanked for the positive impact they’ve had on their lives. You’ll have the opportunity to positively influence young people to become passionate about your subject and potentially change the world.
Substitute teaching can be a more flexible way to share knowledge with school-age children and young people. By applying through your local school district, you become part of a pool of teachers who then stand-in for class teachers when they are sick or otherwise unable to attend. The challenges of substitute teaching include difficulties you might face when unfamiliar students attempt to take advantage of a new person. Depending on your confidence, flexibility, and adaptability, substitute teaching might be an interesting prospect.
Additional Support Assistant
Children are individuals and, as such, have a variety of needs and backgrounds that can impact their ability at school. This can range from trauma, learning disabilities, mental health issues, and many other types of challenges that can get in the way of receiving a good education. Additional support is often called on for children who find school difficult. You will need to be prepared to face unique challenges almost daily, and you will need to be able to learn about a child’s history to proceed with compassion and understanding. When working in additional support, you will meet children and parents with a huge variety of needs and issues, so the ability to treat people with care and patience is vital in this role. It can be particularly rewarding for educators in this field since they are often close to their students and can watch the progress unfold before their eyes.
Teaching English Abroad
An alternative to more traditional teaching career paths, teaching English as a foreign language in another country can be an exciting opportunity for those who like to travel or who have always wanted to live in another part of the world. You don’t necessarily need to know the language of the country you’ll be working in since you are there to teach English. Having a degree in education can help you understand the fundamentals of learning, how the brain gains knowledge and what techniques are best for different types of education, all of which make teaching English as a foreign language less challenging. The rewards of this type of career are plain; the opportunity for travel, new experiences, and meeting people far from home is certainly appealing.
While a degree in education certainly isn’t required to become a private tutor, the techniques and fundamentals you will learn throughout the degree will definitely help. Offering your services as a freelancer or through a tutoring agency can give you professional freedom and flexibility not often found in other education careers.
Becoming the principal of a school doesn’t happen overnight, of course, but a degree in education can help your application should you choose to take a more senior path in your career after experience in teaching. Principals rarely become involved in the lessons of their school but are instead responsible for maintaining school standards, creating a positive school ethos, and helping their teachers as needed. A good principal is willing to face any challenge head-on and can engage with students, parents, and teachers appropriately. It is a vast undertaking no matter what size the school, so if you want to become a principal then make sure you have plenty of experience under your belt first.