Educators are the unsung heroes of our society and help shape the minds of the next generation. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, and you excel at leadership and communication, then earning an online degree in education and teaching is an excellent choice to live out your dream.
There are several online degrees available that can help you find a career in teaching or education administration. Throughout the course of your education, you will choose a specialty based upon the ultimate career path that you would like to achieve. These concentrations range from elementary education to child development or postsecondary teaching.
Careers in Education and Teaching
There are many options for career paths within the field of education and teaching. Most students that pursue an online degree in this field have goals of becoming teachers, but you can also find work in subfields like administration and management.
In the table below, we have put together a list of common career paths and mid-career salaries within the field of education and teaching:
|Job Title||Job Summary||
|Professor, Postsecondary/Higher Education||Instructs students in postsecondary institutions and aids them in completing research projects, dissertations, and thesis-based papers.||
|High School Teacher||Provides instruction and support to students in a variety of study areas within a public or private high school.||
|Elementary School Teacher||Instructs students in first through sixth grade in the fundamentals of education.||
|Academic Advisor||Employed by postsecondary institutions to help students make decisions regarding their education.||
|Administrative Assistant||Works in a variety of fields to provide various types of administrative assistance to employees.||
*Job and salary data provided by Payscale.com
The average salary of those in the education field varies based upon many factors, but those with higher levels of education are the most likely to earn top pay. The “mid-career” salaries listed above represent the average pay for those who have worked at least 10 years within their chosen profession.
Types of Online Education and Teaching Degrees
More than ever, online degree programs are becoming a popular choice for students that are balancing a busy personal life or work obligations. Luckily, there are several online education and teaching degrees now available through top universities. Some of the common sub fields within this degree program that you can pursue include:
- English and literature
- Early childhood education and administration
- Instructional design
- Library science and media
- Child development
It is important to note that while you may be able to take the majority of your course work online, most teaching degrees require in-person internships and student teaching experiences in order to graduate from the program.
Online Associate’s Degree in Education and Teaching
The online associate’s degree program for education and teaching provides students with a baseline to pursue a career in the field. There is a focus on critical thinking and literacy skills within the degree’s courses to help you develop the tools needed for your future career.
Online Associate’s in Education & Teaching:
Common topics that you may cover during the course of this online associate’s degree program include:
- Child development
- Child psychology
- Educational technology
- Science and humanities courses
Most students who enter into an associate’s degree program have the intention of pursuing higher-level education in the future. An associate’s degree is also a popular choice to develop essential skills for working with children that can help move you forward in your current career path.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Teaching
While the degree concentrations may differ in title, all coursework to receive an online bachelor’s degree in education and teaching covers the basic academic knowledge and foundation skills required to become a professional teacher.
Online Bachelor’s in Education & Teaching:
The various skills that you will learn within your specific online bachelor’s degree program may cover the following topics:
- Foundations for education
- In-depth coursework in childhood development
- Exceptional children and special needs
- Classroom behavior and management
Once you have reached this degree level, you will be required to complete on the job training, even if you are taking online courses. This will give you a valuable opportunity to gather information through first-hand experience.
Online Master’s Degree in Education and Teaching
The education and teaching field is highly competitive, and pursing a graduate degree in your specialization is a good choice to help you stand out from the crowd of job applicants. Additionally, you will receive specialized training for skills that will aid you in helping your students achieve success.
Online Master’s in Education & Teaching:
Teaching and Learning:
Curriculum & Instruction:
Online master’s degrees in education and teaching typically take an additional two years of schooling, but you may be able to complete your degree faster with various options through your school. In addition to the many master’s programs available, you can also participate in a specialist program in areas such as:
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Educational Leadership
- Educational Law
With the many online master’s degrees available in different aspects of teaching and education, it can be helpful to speak with your college’s advisement team to plan a program that meets your long-term goals.
Online Doctorate Degree in Education and Teaching
The highest degree any teacher can achieve is a doctorate degree. Through this degree program you will learn skills that focus primarily on strategic management of schools and leadership education.
Online Doctorate in Education & Teaching:
There are several different online Ed.D and Ph.D degrees available in the field of education and teaching. Some common programs that you can consider include:
- Ed.D in Curriculum and Instruction
- Ed.D in Educational Law
- Ed.D in Organizational Leadership – which includes many subfields of specialization
- Ph.D in Counselor Education and Supervision
After you have received this top degree in the educational and teaching field, you can pursue a career in several occupations that include research, educational policy, or school district administration.
Education and Teaching Career Outlook and Salary Information
When it comes to education and teaching, there is always going to be a substantial need for qualified educators. It can be helpful to look at quality resources, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, to get an idea of the projected outlook and salary for the career path you are considering within this field.
According to the BLS, employment of education, training, and library occupations is expected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029, faster than the average for all occupations, providing 441,000 new jobs during this time period. The median annual wage for education, training, and library occupations was $50,790 in May 2019, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. When it comes to more specific career salaries, experienced high school teachers can expect to make as much as $61,660 per year while elementary school teachers earn an average of $59,420.
With steady growth and above average income, graduates of an online education and teaching degree can be confident in the career outlook for their chosen field.
View a list of the top 40 Education or Teaching careers to see a more detailed list of jobs and salaries in this field.
Is an Online Degree in Education and Teaching Right for me?
When students consider education and teaching as their major, they may be surprised to hear of the many online degree opportunities available! While online degree programs still require in-person participation for on-the-job training, the majority of these degree courses can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
This ability to have a flexible schedule is highly important to education majors, as they are often already working within the field to some extent or have family obligations at home. There are many advantages to pursuing an education and teaching degree online, including:
- Virtual interaction with a diverse group of students
- Ability to schedule general courses for a time that works around your student teaching requirements
- Online access to extensive research and library resources
- Flexibility to pursue high-level degrees at a faster pace than traditional education
Over 6 million students are currently taking at least one online course in their degree program, and there is no better time than now to get in the driving seat of your educational journey!
Comparing Top Education and Teaching Degree Programs
If you are planning on being an educator yourself, it is essential that you choose a prestigious online degree program that will support you throughout your journey. Students should make an effort to do research into their potential colleges to avoid enrolling in a “degree mill” program. Here we will discuss several of the important factors you should be considering when choosing a school that works for you:
Accreditation is a key factor in the reputation and educational quality of a college or university. While it is a voluntary process, most reputable schools are accredited by at least one recognized agency to ensure that their course offerings are up to par with the quality that their students deserve.
Some of the names that you may come across while researching accredited degree programs include:
- Regional accrediting agencies endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
To help you determine the legitimacy of an accreditation, see if the agency is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or use the Department of Education’s website to look through a full list of recognized agencies.
Student to Faculty Ratio
Having qualified professors and small class sizes are both desirable characteristics in your chosen degree program. Even when you are taking classes online, you will still be interacting with classmates and instructors through virtual lectures, online discussion boards, and other interactive tools. When there is a small student to faculty ratio, you are more likely to have an individualized educational experience and feel supported throughout the program.
It is a given that a person teaching at the university level has gone through extensive education and training to earn their position. However, it is always a good idea to take a look at the specific background and accomplishments of the professors that will be leading your education and teaching degree program.
Academic Advising and Student Services
Choosing a college should be based on more than just the specific degrees available. You also need to know that you will be supported throughout your educational journey!
To help students along the way, many top-level colleges offer extensive student services to both their online and on-campus education and teaching majors.
These services may include:
- On-campus opportunities to attend educational seminars and training
- A variety of student teaching opportunities
- Career advisement to help you choose the educational degree that matches your goals
- Flexible course options to work around you schedule
Pursuing an online degree in education and teaching is a great opportunity to make a difference in the world around you. From specialized educators to administrative professionals, there are countless career paths to explore within the educational field!