Comparison Chart: Which Teaching Degree Is Right for Me?

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by All Star Staff

student pondering what teaching degree is right for me
student pondering what teaching degree is right for me

People go into teaching for many different reasons.

Have you’ve always wanted to help others learn? Do you love little kids and want to help them succeed?

Are you from a family of teachers? Or, maybe you just want summers off.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting to become a teacher, there are many decisions you’ll need to make. For instance, what grade level would you like to teach: preschool, elementary, middle or high school?

The answer to this question may have to do with your own experience when you were in school. Did you have an influential teacher in high school? Well, that’s the grade level you’d probably like to teach. Or you know that if you teach young kids, you’ll be a generalist and teach all subjects.

Some people are keen observers of human development and prefer one age group to another. If you don’t like dealing with little kids, then secondary education will be more your style. Don’t want to teach adolescents and find open-minded younger kids interesting? Then, early childhood or elementary education might be more to your liking.

But this still leaves the question of what subject to teach. That all depends on your likes and dislikes too, and your aptitude. If you were a great Spanish student and spent a summer abroad, you’d probably like to teach high-school Spanish and share your love of foreign language, literature and culture. If you were better at math (geometry, algebra or trigonometry, and even pre-calculus), math’s your subject. If you love history and geography, then social studies might be right for you. What are the subjects that you were good at…and enjoyed? How did your teachers teach, and how would you do it better?

Deciding on a specific career involves more than just getting a teaching degree-and perhaps even more than choosing which grade and subject to teach. Some people would rather work with special-needs children, or become school administrators to improve the quality of instruction throughout their school. There are specialized education degrees for all of these career paths, and more. If you’re still wondering which teaching specialization you should study, learn more about what teaching specializations actually mean.

Whatever your passion, there’s a teaching degree that will help you achieve your career goals. Take the time to research your options, find the most satisfying teaching career for you, and the degree you’ll need to teach in public school. Comparing specialties is a good place to start, especially if you’re just beginning to think about teaching degrees and have time to weigh the pros and cons of each choice.

Read the in-depth chart below to learn about job duties at each grade level, the skills and character traits you’ll need to be successful, and the degree you’ll need to enter each of the teaching specialties mentioned above, and others. Then, get the teacher training you need to teach in schools across the country.


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