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Education Degrees

Education, Associate's

Given how broad and varied the education sector is, there are numerous Associate's Degrees you could pursue in order to be a teaching professional. You may consider a course that explores early education as a specialty subject – and that's the curriculum that children in kindergartens and nurseries enjoy. Alternatively, you may go for an Associate of Arts (AA) degree which touches on education at all levels.

It's important to think about how you would like to teach – as there are countless methods used to make the biggest impact. There are also some degrees which look at education from a religious point of view, but this approach isn't well-suited to all students.

As a teacher, you need to be more than someone who knows a curriculum like the back of their hand. It's important to understand the requirements of the kids you teach – irrespective of whether they're toddlers or teenagers. After all, each age group is at a different stage of their development, and will behave and express themselves in different ways.

Once you conclude your Associate's Degree, you may consider adding further credentials to your resume. One way to prove that you're investing in your career is to achieve Child Development Associate status.

Work experience during your Associate's Degree is going to be crucial in achieving your potential. Having the ability to translate theory into practice isn't always easy, and that's why shadowing qualified teachers is a boon for any new education profession. What's more, you'll also get pointers on your strengths and weaknesses, helping you to grow professionally.


If you decide to pursue an education-related Bachelor's Degree, there's going to be a slight difference in how your qualification is presented. Whereas most graduates become a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts, you'll gain B.Ed status, which shows your specialist knowledge when it comes to teaching others.

There are countless applications for many of the best courses in the US – and as you can imagine, supply is far outstripped by demand. That said, this competitiveness doesn't translate into the jobs market, as demand for teachers is expected to grow dramatically in the coming decade.

Universities offering B.Eds describe their roles very simply – they need to give aspiring teachers like you the confidence to control a classroom. They also show how you make a difference in students' lives, and explain how your work environment will support you in difficult circumstances. Along with the practicalities of delivering a lesson, a B.Ed course often includes modules on your legal standing, children's rights, and public sector service.

You'll also be expected to contribute to academic understanding of teaching methods. During a B.Ed, you're invited to perform research on pioneering techniques that could transform lives and boost performance – often because of vast technological changes we're seeing in society. This allows you to enter a classroom and offer the innovation and energy older teachers struggle to match.

To ensure that you receive the right credentials to work in the state where you reside, make sure your B.Ed is compatible with your region's certification requirements. And, once you're in the world of work, you'll be able to teach anyone and everyone between kindergarten and the 12th grade.

Education, Masters

Once you begin your Master of Education course – also referred to as Ed.M – you're given greater flexibility on what you want to study, which means that you might not be taking compulsory modules as before. Those who graduate in this subject get to think about the bigger picture – and make key decisions which could influence how thousands of children learn, whether they're in government, leadership or the private sector. Here are two examples of how you can specialize during your Masters studies:

  • Development of Language: This is more than a dilemma seen in your local school, it's a challenge internationally. What is the best way to make sure a nation's students lead the world when it comes to reading comprehension and writing? Is it an issue of quantity, where there aren't enough literacy lessons, or are the techniques used to blame? Those who focus on this issue are also tasked with finding ways to help all children thrive, even if they're from a weaker socio-economic background than others.
  • Education Policy: Such a specialty is better suited to those who want to lead schools and become authority figures. You look at the history of education in the US, and explore how politics may have impacted budgets and school infrastructures. Indeed, you may choose to focus your dissertation on a completely different area – and the choice is yours.

Ideally, you want to go to a university which offers numerous niche programs, instead of a generic Ed.M. This means you get specialist tutors who have an exceptional working knowledge of the issues you want to tackle.

Education, Doctorate

When you begin a Ph.D. in Education, it's important to think outside the box, and never jump to conclusions in what you read, hear and experience. It's a time to ask questions, be imaginative, and perform research on how you can make the learning process even better. Those who graduate with a Ph.D. often go on to become academics, or policymakers. Some of the sub-categories seen within this discipline include human development, education culture, and education policy.

As you apply, remember that you need to have a CV which makes you stand out from the crowd. Although this is a highly specialist field, and there won't be as many applicants as for a Bachelor's or Masters Degree, your challenge lies in how there are fewer places available. Class sizes for Ph.D programs are incredibly small – as this enables your tutors to spend more time with each student.

In order to make yourself a distinctive candidate, you should consider volunteer work, travelling abroad to help teach English as a second language, or focusing on research at a Bachelor's or Masters level. All of this helps you to show a long-standing interest in education, and the caliber of your thinking and academic work. Don't forget that many courses want people who thrive on working independently, too, and you may need to prove this in any application.

Many universities offer fellowship programs, and there are funding opportunities from external organizations if you have a dynamic research project that could transform lives. This is the chance to make discoveries that lead to a world-leading and cutting-edge education sector.


There are hundreds of certifications afforded to education professionals, and the one that's best-suited to you depends on where you want to work. Heading to the website of your state's Department of Education is an excellent place to start, as this provides recommendations on the programs available, as well as the requirements you'll need to satisfy. Even if you lack a Bachelor's Degree in Education, being qualified in the arts, sciences, English or math is often sufficient.

When you're training for your certificate, there will be a minimum requirement for the number of hours you train. Some of this time will see you teach classes while under supervision from a tutor. As you would imagine, if you plan to teach specialist subjects such as foreign languages, science and technology, you'll need to take assessments to prove you're skilled enough to take on this responsibility.

You may consider becoming qualified via an alternative route. This allows you to join the profession without attaining a Bachelor's or Masters Degree in Education, and is well worth considering.

Your success all boils down to your key skills, no matter what your educational background is. It's crucial that you're well-read, and that you have a passion for learning new facts. A strong knowledge base also matters, and you need to have a working knowledge of how schools function. Some or all of these attributes will boost your chances of securing a certificate. So: get researching, explore all of the options available, and good luck!

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