In-Demand High School Teaching Jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for high school teachers is expected to grow by 7 percent between 2010 and 2020. This translates to nearly 72,000 new high school teaching jobs. The bureau also reports that many schools are unable to find teachers for particular subject areas and that teachers with certifications or education in these areas will have even better job prospects. Here are a few of the most in-demand subject areas:

STEM
The fields of science, technology, engineering and math are referred to collectively as STEM. In order to maintain international competitiveness, ensure the national defense and participate in technological innovation, the U.S. needs a world-class STEM workforce. Yet nearly 3.7 million STEM-related job openings are currently unfilled due to a shortage of qualified workers. Preparing students for future STEM careers requires skilled high school teachers who provide a strong academic foundation.

The shortage of STEM teachers is so critical that the Obama Administration has announced its plan to create a STEM Master Teacher Corps at the national level. The program will initially include 50 experienced STEM educators in 50 different locations. Over a period of four years, the program will grow until it includes 10,000 of the nation’s most talented STEM teachers. In exchange for making a commitment to champion STEM education in their communities, teachers who join the Master Teacher Corps will be given additional resources to inspire students and mentor other teachers.

TESOL
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of U.S. students who speak a different language at home increased from 4.7 million in 1980 to 11.2 million in 2009. Currently, nearly a quarter of these children (or 2.7 million) speak English with difficulty. This diversification of the U.S. population has created a high demand for teachers who can address the needs of students who are not proficient in English.

Educators who are trained to specialize in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the high school level may teach in bilingual classes or may be responsible for teaching English to groups of students who speak a variety of different languages. In many cases, the teacher must convey language concepts to students using pictures and non-verbal symbols. In addition to assisting students who are English Language Learners (ELLs), teachers with TESOL training help students become familiar with American culture and assist them in achieving proficiency range scores on standardized tests.

Special Education
High school teaching jobs in special education involved students with learning, emotional, mental and physical disabilities. The BLS reports that employment for special education teachers is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2010 and 2020. Special Education in America, a report issued by Education Week in 2008, states that nearly 2 million high school students with disabilities received services in federally funded special education programs. These programs must address the unique challenges related to adolescents with disabilities, including high school graduation, transitioning to further education or employment and disciplinary referrals.

Because high school graduation standards have become tougher, more high school special education teachers are needed to develop academic strategies to help students with disabilities graduate. For students who are more severely disabled, special education teachers provide help with independent living and basic literacy. In addition to working directly with disabled students, special education experts are needed by many school districts to coach and mentor other teaches who have disabled students in their mainstream classrooms.

USC Rossier offers online master degree programs to prepare teachers for all of the in-demand high school teaching jobs listed above. For aspiring STEM instructors, the Master of Arts in Teaching and Master of Education in Advanced Instruction includes concentrations in secondary mathematics and science. Prospective TESOL teachers can receive comprehensive training through the the Master of Arts in Teaching-TESOL. And for future special education teachers, both the Master of Arts in Teaching and the Master of Education offer an Education Specialist Credential in Mild/Moderate Disabilities.