Education Degree

Degrees in Education & Teaching CertificatesAn education degree is designed to prepare the student for a career as an educator. Many students choose a degree in education because they want to teach children in a classroom. Others start with a bachelor’s degree but later earn a graduate degree to allow them access to careers in administration. Teachers in public schools must have a bachelor’s degree and a state license to teach. Many states have separate licenses for teachers of different age groups such as early childhood, elementary and secondary grades.

On Campus Versus Online Degrees in Education

Many students prefer the convenience and flexibility of online education. Online course give students the opportunity to study with elite professors in schools far away from their home without having to relocate to another city or state. While an online education degree is the only avenue some students can take to become educators, the benefits of a traditional college campus education lead many students to study in the classroom. Both methods of earning a college degree have benefits that appeal to different students. Most online courses offer interactive web lessons and student message boards, whereas classroom learning offers live lectures and the opportunity to communicate in person with fellow students.

Education Degree Specialties

Many specialties are available within the field of education. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education can choose the age group they wish to focus on, as well as the subject. Other specialties include special education, English as a second language, music and physical education. Some students choose to specialize in one area of study while others prefer a broad education that prepares them to teach in a traditional classroom.

Graduate students can further specialize their studies to focus on curriculum, research, school counseling or administration. While many teachers get master’s degrees to move into administrative positions, others go to graduate school in hopes of becoming a better classroom instructor and to earn more money.

Student Teaching

Education degree programs provide the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through student teaching assignments, which are generally part of the degree program. Student teachers are assigned to a class for one school year. Students begin the year by observing their host teacher in the classroom and progressively take on more responsibility. By the end of the school year, student teachers may write lesson plans, design bulletin boards and teach the class.

Employment Opportunities

There are many opportunities available for someone with an education degree. With a bachelor’s degree in education, a graduate can teach in public or private school. Teachers are needed for preschool through high school and an education degree is the perfect preparation for a career in a classroom.

Many states offer free online charter schools to their residents. These schools also require teachers who can manage an online classroom. Many families choose this option when their child is not succeeding in the traditional classroom. While elementary and secondary classes are taught online with the assistance of parents, the teacher maintains contact with the students by telephone and email. Online teachers work closely with students and their parents to provide a quality remote education.


Public school teachers are required to be professionally licensed in all states. Private school teachers do not usually need to be state licensed. State licensure requirements vary, but most states require prospective teachers to pass a certification exam and a background check. In order to qualify for a teaching license, applicants must have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.