A career in education is very fulfilling because those in education play a direct role in making a positive difference in the lives of the students that they are responsible for or work with. Most of the people who get into education become teachers and help shape the next generation of learners. However, there are many other career options in education to consider. Earning a degree in education is a crucial first step, and it can become the steppingstone to many other career paths in education. There are lots of options to choose from and paths to follow, and we are going to be focusing on the most important and interesting ones below.
Teaching is the most obvious choice for those who want a career in education. It is the best option for those who like working with both children and adults in a classroom. Teachers educate their students but, most importantly they help prepare students for the larger world. The material they teach and its presentation will depend on the age of the students they teach and can range from simple subjects like reading basics up to specialized topics in high school and higher education.
Although most teachers educate and instruct in the classroom, there are numerous online job opportunities available too.
In their day-to-day, teachers plan lessons and teach them, administer tests, and ensure students understand the material they have been taught. They also analyze their students and report on their progress to their parents. By doing this, they can work with the parent and student to ensure they are progressing as expected. Lastly, they create and enforce rules that their students have to follow.
Teaching is a broad category and teachers can specialize in areas they are most interested in. For example, teachers can specialize in early childhood education, secondary education, or even secondary education. They can also consider dual degrees, so they teach more than one subject or have more than one specialty.
For teachers looking to educate at the college or university level, a master’s degree is required. The most fulfilling part of being a teacher is knowing you are making a real, positive difference in the lives of your students.
If you are interested in education but do not want to work in a classroom, becoming an instructional coordinator could be the career for you. An instructional coordinator sets the standard for curriculum and teaching in their district.
They work with teachers, principals, and other stakeholders to ensure a curriculum is being followed and then they assess how effective the curriculum is. If they see something that is not working or going as intended, they can tweak the curriculum to ensure the highest levels of instruction and education.
To become an instructional coordinator, you need a master’s or doctorate and at least five years of work experience in an education or administrative position. Some states may require that you complete a certification to obtain a license.
School counselors work with students to aid them in navigating the academic, social, and emotional challenges that come with being a young person in school. Their responsibilities can also extend to helping students decide on a career path and guiding them onto that path. To earn a state-issued license, you need to have the right qualifications. Start by enrolling in an online masters in school counseling program and then go for other credentials and certifications depending on your location and where you would like to work.
School counselors are well compensated and, because their work involves working with a diverse group of students, it is both challenging and fulfilling.
A school counselor’s responsibility is aiding in student development and helping the students they work with reach their full potential both inside and outside the classroom. They also listen to student concerns, help them process issues and challenges, create plans that help solve these issues and assist with college and career selection.
Being a school counselor provides you with some flexibility as you can work in an office setting or directly in the classroom, working with students from all grades.
Education administrators help teachers ensure their teaching materials are aligned with district, federal, and state teaching materials and requirements. They also work with teachers to create unique programs such as student safety programs. Education administrators are usually former teachers who have an advanced degree in educational administration. This is usually the master’s degree in education administration.
The reason why this is a very interesting career choice is because it is expected to keep growing at over 6% up to 2025. School administrators can also become school principals if they want to experience faster job and pay growth.
Educational administrators can also become vice principals and deans, with careers in instructional guidance, professional development, and curriculum development also being options.
College or University Administrator
A university or college administrator has one of the most important jobs at a university or college because they are responsible for the day-to-day running of the institution. Their job is ensuring the institution keeps running no matter what and during both normal days and days when a lot is going on.
An administrator has to have the skills and experience to manage all administrative tasks that come their way while also playing a crucial leadership role.
The responsibilities of a university or college administrator include budgeting, setting disciplinary standards, organizing events, public regions, and hiring.
To become a college or university administrator, you need to have a master’s degree in either dedication or education administration. Some colleges and universities only consider those with a doctorate so you might want to consider earning one. They must also be well-versed in all local, state, and federal rules and regulations that govern the administration of institutions of higher education.
School Social Work
School social workers are a crucial part of the education system because they are responsible for identifying behavioral issues. These behavioral issues are often the cause of school absences, aggressive behavior, and bullying.
Once they identify these issues, they work with these students and their families to find the root cause of these issues. They then address them by creating strategies that help eliminate these behaviors, thus helping improve a student’s social development and academic performance.
According to government research, causes of aggressive behavior and their behavioral issues are on the rise and so there is an increase in the demand for school social workers. Social workers usually work in an office and help students of varying age groups.
English as a Second Language
Did you know that there are teachers who are certified in teaching English as a second language? These teachers focus on non-speakers and typically teach in public schools. According to a survey done in 2015 by the Learning Policy Institute, there is an acute shortage of these teachers which makes it an interesting option for those who want to get on this career path.
Apart from teaching English, these teachers also help the non-native students understand the culture and traditions of their new environment.
Teaching English as a second language affords educators a lot of flexibility because they can teach in class or online. They also work with students in different age groups, sometimes planning evening classes to teach adult students.
Special Education Teachers
This is a subset of the larger teaching category, but it deserves a special mention because of the important work these teachers do. Special education teachers help and work with students with special needs. Their primary responsibility is helping their students gain the skills they need to succeed in life. It is a very rewarding option because, above others, these teachers do indeed make a massive difference in their students’ lives by helping them overcome their needs so they can have amazing lives.
Special education teachers have to adapt their materials to fit the students they are responsible for. They also help their students keep up with the rest of the students in the school or district. They may work with students with mild to moderate disabilities. In some cases, they also work with students with severe disabilities where their primary responsibility is teaching them basic skills.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree, special ed teachers are also required to have a license or certificate to work in certain states. Because of the challenging and changing role, their pay varies a lot, but they are generally well compensated for the important work they do.
Librarians play a crucial role in education as they are in charge of managing information in a school which also entails managing the library. Many people think that librarians only retrieve, manage, and return books, but they do so much more. They are also responsible for the technologies used in the library as well as ensuring online research tools and education apps work as expected. Librarians also design library programs and manage all the staff who work in a library.
Information retrieval is important in a school, and it is the librarian’s responsibility to ensure the retrieval systems work as expected. A librarian also keeps all the information in their library up to date by choosing and adding new books, videos, and materials to the library.
Many librarians have a bachelor’s degree, but they may also be required to complete graduate programs before they start. A master’s degree in library science is preferred, but they must have an education certificate or teaching license.
Health educators usually work outside the school, but there are lots of opportunities in schools too. Health educators are responsible for teaching healthy and unhealthy behaviors and habits. In a school setting, they work with students to help them be their best physically and to ensure long-term vitality. They also help students understand how their behaviors affect various aspects of their health to help them make the necessary changes to remain healthy.
Health educators also develop programs and strategies for students to follow so they can make the best decisions regarding their health. They also talk to students about the importance of healthy nutrition and habits like exercise. Health educators will sometimes work with healthcare professionals to ensure their students get the best service.
Sports coaches typically work at the high school or university level. They are also teachers, only their teaching takes place out in the field or on a court. Sports coaches also play an integral part in shaping who their students and amateur athletes will be in the future.
Sports coaching at this level is both interesting and frustrating. It is interesting because these coaches get to see their students rise through the ranks, becoming better as they continue training. It is often frustrating because coaches at the high school or university level do not have a say in the players they have to choose from. They get the students they get, and they have to do their best with these students.
To become a sports coach, you have to be trained and certified in first aid and CPR. There is no educational requirement for this position for high school coaches, although a familiarity with the sport is a strong requirement. Coaches who are not teachers need certification and those who want to work with university or college teams typically need a bachelor’s degree in esports medicine, nutrition, fitness physical education or other sports-related degrees.
The compensation for sports coaches varies by where they coach and the level they coach. For example, university and college coaches are typically paid better than high school coaches. Their pay also depends on the sport they coach, with basketball and football attracting better salaries.
A career in education is interesting, challenging and rewarding and the best thing is that you do not even have to be a teacher to work with students. As you can see, there are a lot of options available depending on what your interests are and what you want your career in education to look like.