From having energetic days that never look the same, to making a meaningful impact on the lives of the kids you work with, a career in education is one of the most fulfilling careers someone could experience.
Although teaching requirements differ from state to state, many teachers who opt for the traditional route tend to complete their education degree and licensure simultaneously.
That isn’t the only way to become a teacher, however! In fact, even if your degree is in a completely different field, there is still a chance that you could experience what it’s like to be a teacher.
What Kind of Degrees Do You Need?
As mentioned above, having a degree outside of education is not a dead end. It will not prevent you from becoming a teacher, so you shouldn’t worry!
For instance: some private, charter, and not-for-profit schools don’t require applicants to have a teaching degree or hold state licensure – so long as they prove their qualifications in other ways.
Substitute teaching opportunities can also be an excellent way for graduates with no teaching background to get some real classroom experience under their belt.
How To Use Your Current Degree
Most states offer teacher licensure through alternative teacher certification. This is where a holder of a bachelor’s degree can apply to teach subjects that are experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates.
If you’re planning on teaching more advanced subjects in public high schools, such as math or science, and have a degree in a related field, that’s generally enough for you to get an emergency status teaching job in one of these states. At the end of your temporary position, you can opt to take the state licensing exam and become a fully certified teacher.
Don’t panic if your state doesn’t have an emergency certification pathway, however. There are still plenty of alternative programs you can opt for instead.
How to Get a Teaching Certificate
Alternative certification programs allow students with a bachelor’s degree and career experience to earn a teaching license outside of the traditional route.
These programs will typically get you teaching in the classroom faster than a traditional education prep program.
They are short, intensive programs designed to get you into the classroom as quickly as possible – some in as little as nine months, like Teach Away’s Teacher Certification Programs (TCP).
If your bachelor’s degree isn’t in education and you’re looking to fast-track your teaching certification, there are plenty of online teacher certification programs that let you teach while earning your teaching credential.
Consider a Master’s Degree
There are two main options when it comes to a master’s degree: a Master of Arts in Teaching, and a Master of Education. Of course, the downsides are obvious – the cost of graduate school is high, you’ll need to prepare for the GRE and commit to a couple of years of full-time study. In short, it’s not an option that’s viable for everyone.
The bright side however, is that you’ll often have a higher starting salary when you do finally qualify as a teacher.
If you already have an advanced degree in your chosen field, then you’re in luck.
It’s more than possible to find work as a teacher in most states without an education degree. Lots of public and private colleges and universities, for example, are keen to hire people with a master’s degree or Ph.D.
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