Online education degree programs, teaching programs and certificate courses offered by colleges with online programs provide aspiring and existing educators and teachers with flexible opportunities to advance their careers.
Individuals interested in changing students' lives by becoming a teacher can enroll in distance learning education programs that includes preparation for state licensure.
Educators interested in pursuing a career in curriculum design, educational administration, supervision or educational leadership can take all their courses online.
Current teachers can also use distance learning to shift into another specialization - such as special education or reading instruction - or take their classroom experience to the next level with a graduate degree in education.
In addition to the same strong curriculum and professional instructors as campus-based programs, education programs disseminated through distance learning provide their own advantages:
Other than the virtual format, the online education degree programs are almost identical to their campus-based counterparts. To succeed in an online program, however, keep these tips in mind:
Your qualifications will vary depending on the course of study you choose. Typical distance learning education degrees require 36 to 60 semester hours, depending on your program level. For graduate study, some colleges include an accelerated master's degree in education track if you already have a bachelor's degree in an area in which you want to teach.
Many programs also require a GRE test score. Some online universities in the Unites States accept international students, so if you're applying for a distance learning education degree from overseas, you may need to take the TOEFL exam.
Education is a broad area, and an online teaching degree or education program can take you in several different directions. In general, graduates focus on a specific level, such as Elementary, middle or high school. Elementary teachers are often generalists and must know many topics, including math, science and reading. Middle and high school teachers usually specialize in one or two areas. Other concentrations, such as special education and reading instruction allow teachers to move to different specialized levels. Thus online education degree programs are available from online universities in a variety of subjects:
Education is one of the largest professions and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7.2 million teachers worked in the United States in 2009, with 3 million teaching at the elementary and middle school levels. As the population increases, more teachers will be needed; and as the government raises the standards for students, more highly-qualified teachers will be needed, especially in high-need locations and topics, such as math and science.
Teaching in a public school, however, is not the only option for graduates. Private schools and community colleges are also in need of qualified teachers, as are science museums, nature centers and zoos, and publishing companies. While teaching in a public school usually requires teachers to possess state licensure, some of these other organizations are more interested in your professional and academic experiences. If you are looking for job security, the possibilities are endless with a degree in education.
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