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Education and Teaching

The “graying of American education” – wherein longtime teachers reach the age of retirement – has created a need for qualified teachers.

Demand for teachers is expected to increase by 14 percent over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Inner-city schools are expected to experience the largest shortage of qualified teaching professionals.

In most states, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required to work in teaching. Most bachelor programs include the foundations of a general education, child growth and development, legal and ethical issues, theories of instruction and special needs student inclusion. The core subjects of math, science, language arts, social studies, fine arts and physical education also should be touched on.

Candidates who plan to teach at an elementary school level will receive a broader education than those who plan to teach in the upper grade levels. Teachers who plan to focus their careers on secondary education will be required to declare an area of concentration and emphasis will be placed on that subject as part of the required curriculum.

Master degree programs in education are available but not required; however, possessing a graduate degree can provide for higher wages in the workforce. Doctorate degrees generally are required only for those who wish to teach at a college level. Certain members of the administration in K-12 schools also may be required to possess a doctorate degree, such as superintendents.

A valid teaching certification also is required in order to work in the field. The process varies by state.

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