What Recession? Teaching Jobs in High Demand
Despite news that the recession ended in mid-2009, many Americans are still struggling to find work. But one sector has continued hiring despite the uncertain economic outlook: teaching. Demand for highly-educated, qualified teachers has never been higher. Consider these stats:
- Employment opportunities in K-12 teaching are expected to grow 15% over the next decade
- An additional 1 million teachers will be needed for K-12, postsecondary, adult literacy, special education, and vocational classrooms over the next 10 years
- Jobs in special education will be the fastest growing of all teaching jobs; Pre-school and elementary positions are expected to increase by 20%
If you’re ready to make the leap to become a full-time teacher and help secure your economic future, here are three tips to help you get started:
Attend a Reputable School and Earn a Teaching Degree
Earning a Master’s degree in Teaching used to involve quitting your job, becoming a full-time student, and dealing with long commutes to class every day. Fortunately, the internet has changed all that, and now you can earn a degree online based on your current lifestyle and responsibilities. In some cases, pursuing a degree online means you can keep your day job and take classes that suit your work schedule. It also means that you don’t have to live near a major university to attend class.
Not all online teaching degrees are created equally though. Be sure to do your research and choose an online degree program the same way that you would choose a traditional degree program. You want to receive your Master’s in Teaching or Education from a university you would be proud to list on your résumé, such as the University of Southern California. The best online programs also partner with local classrooms to provide you with hands-on experience, so you can get valuable training right in your own community. Take the time to choose the school that will give you the greatest advantage as you leave the program and reenter the job market as a licensed teacher.
Get Your Teaching Credential
Obtaining your teacher certification is a necessary step towards teaching in your first classroom. Each state has different requirements, so a good first step is to figure out what you need to do to get certified to teach. Almost all states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. If you received a bachelor’s degree in teaching, your program likely prepared you to get certified, but if you decided to study philosophy of the ancient Egyptians instead don’t despair, there are still a few ways to get that all important license.
First, you can apply to a Master’s in Teaching or Education program. Along with learning all about what it takes to organize and run a classroom, the instructors will help prepare you to get your license soon after graduation. The top master’s programs also strike a careful balance between teaching theory and providing hands-on practice. Make sure that the program you choose provides plenty of time to apply the theories you learn to an actual classroom full of students.
Second, get some teaching experience. Private and Independent schools typically do not require teachers to be certified, which means you can contact them to see if they can add you to their substitute teacher list. When one of their regular teachers is out sick then you’ll get a chance to get some valuable first-hand experience, helping you towards your certification.
Former Military? Join Troops to Teachers
If you’ve already devoted yourself to your country through military service and now want to become a teacher the Troops to Teachers program may be for you. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Defense, Troops to Teachers helps former soldiers earn their teaching license, and place them in a school. Obviously this program isn’t for everyone, but for those former military personal interested in teaching, Troops to Teachers can help you get started.
Teaching is projected to grow at a rapid pace over the next decade. In these tough times a teaching job is a valuable commodity that will help secure your employment future. Get more information about the MAT@USC program from the USC Rossier School of Education to find out how to take the first step.