Pursuing a Career in Education

Whether you come from a family of educators or you are the first in your family to go to college, if a teacher has been a meaningful presence in your life, it might have inspired you to pursue a career in education as well. For many people this might mean spending their working life in the cl assroom. This can be rewarding, but teaching in a school is not the only way to help shape education and the generations coming up after you. You can start preparing for a career in education while you are still in high school, even if you aren’t yet certain of what your focus will be. Throughout college, you can continue learning about the possible paths you might take.

Planning for College

Choosing the college you’ll go to and getting ready for your first year can feel overwhelming, but you don’t have to figure everything out right away. You can even transfer to a different school if you find that you’ve initially made the wrong choice. However, the first thing you should do is determine how you’ll pay for school. Many people are able to get federal aid although this might not be enough to cover all your costs. You can use a FAFSA calculator to find out what you qualify for, and you may be able to make up the difference with private student loans. You may be able to find these from an online lender or your local bank or credit union.

Explore Career Choices

You might want to eventually design and write curriculum, work as a school principal or even work on education policy in government, but a background in classroom teaching

is often either required for these positions or puts you at a significant advantage. Other careers that might interest you include working as a school counselor or specializing in international education at the college level. The latter might involve working with foreign students or helping the students at your school study abroad. You could even work at overseas schools yourself. It’s good to have a sense of what your options are and what age group you hope to work with, but the choices you make don’t have to be permanent. You might spend decades teaching at the same school, or you may shift your focus several times throughout your career.

Certification and Licensing

If you teach in public schools, you will need to be certified although the requirements vary depending on what state you are in. If you teach at a private school or at some overseas school, certification may not be required. However, it can be a useful credential to have, and depending on the requirements in your state, you might want to consider pursuing it even if you may not need it for your first job out of college. In some states, there might be an alternative path to certification that allows you to pursue it while teaching. In contrast, some states may require you to pursue a master’s degree once you are certified and begin working.

Published by
Barry Lachey

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