As kindergarten student enrollment grows across the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the need for pre-school and secondary school teachers to increase at an average of 6% through 2024. Middle school and high school teachers are also expected to see job growth increase by 6% over the better part of the next decade. While a career as a professional teacher in public and most private schools requires at least a bachelor’s degree, there are a variety of occupations suited to graduates of online teaching degrees at all level of education and experience.
A typical classroom teacher’s day at any grade level is divided between classroom and non-classroom duties. Classroom duties include instruction and various types of student interaction, combined with non-classroom activities such as lesson planning, student progress assessments, test and homework grading, professional development, and other administrative duties. Entry-level teachers can expect to earn an annual average salary of $54,550 for elementary school and $57,200 for high school. Though varied according to specialty and location, teachers in and out of the classroom are required to obtain certification in their state for most public and private school jobs; check individual certification requirements in your state here.
While each of the following schools is accredited, not all teaching programs are intended to culminate in professional licensure. Tuition information is reported directly from each school’s website.
This is a fully online university that seeks to deliver professionally aligned education and is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Capella’s education programs include certificate, master’s, and doctoral degrees focused on developing effective educators interested in growing into education leaders and desire career advancement. The approximate cost of a master’s degree is $19,136 for tuition only; additional expenses for fees, books, and materials are not included. The cost of a doctorate specializing in educational psychology is higher, with a tuition set at $65,028. The school does offer an automatic discount for immediate enrollment for new students, as well as discounts for military servicemembers and tuition reimbursement opportunities, based on the FAFSA application process.
Kaplan’s online BS in Early Childhood Administration builds on the foundations of early childhood development best practices while also incorporating leadership skills. Students are prepared to pursue opportunities in a variety of education settings, from operating or owning an early childhood program to managing an early childhood agency or organization. In recent years and in all sectors of government and education, a greater emphasis has been placed on improving early childhood care and learning in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growing need for early childcare center directors and non-licensed teachers in the coming years, with employers showing preference to candidates with a bachelor’s degree. At this time, residents of Kentucky may not enroll in the online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration.
Xavier University offers two online master’s degrees with majors in Montessori education and special education. At Xavier, aspiring educators are offered a unique opportunity to be part of a program led by faculty who are published and recognized in the field. While other programs simply prepare students for the next job, Xavier trains leaders and advocates on behalf of education at large. The program also provides connections and professional networking opportunities. Courses are developed from a Jesuit Catholic foundation, incorporating both spiritual experience and a unique perspective throughout all curriculum.
Concordia University – Portland online offers accelerated five-week courses toward an online M.Ed. degree, designed to help students develop new strategies and expand their knowledge base. Through the online format, students are able to study and grow alongside their peers from the comfort of their own home and at their own convenience. Concordia University – Portland online is dedicated to guiding students toward enhancing individual skills, promoting an inclusive learning environment and fostering intelligent discussion through stimulating academically and socially rigorous programs.
As part of its commitment to provide accessible, high-quality online programs to working professionals, Northcentral University offers numerous education degrees from the bachelor’s to doctoral level as well as post-bacc and post-master’s certificates. NCU utilizes a one-on-one teaching model — one student paired with a member of NCU’s full-time faculty in each course — to implement a highly personalized education experience for adult students. Programs also offer 52 weekly start dates per year, as well as more than 25 unique specializations in education, administration, training and development, and more.
Walden University’s online degrees focus on emphasizing educator effectiveness and student success through more than 50 program options in this major. Coursework aims to enable graduates to achieve a higher level of teacher performance and cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as develop the skills needed to adapt to various learning and language styles. Teaching students learn how they can leverage data assessment both inside and outside of the classroom and be instructional leaders. Walden University’s education programs, including dozens of certificates, as well as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in subjects like early childhood studies, instructional design and technology and more, are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), among nationwide standards of excellence in professional pre-K–12 education.
Opportunities After Wrapping Your Online Education Degree
While many online teaching degree programs may prepare students to work in the classroom, others focus on non-classroom job opportunities in education. Students aspiring to be principals, school administrators or instructional coordinators, for example, can also earn a teaching degree online. Professionals in education who are not working in a classroom are typically required to have specialized skills in addition to a master’s-level diploma, making them eligible for a higher salary and advanced job opportunities in the workplace. Elementary, middle, and high school principals earn an average salary of $90,410, while postsecondary education administrators earn an average of $88,580 and instructional coordinators earn an average of $62,270. Many educators who don’t work in the classroom still have some hands-on teaching experience. Some occupations, like principals, require additional specialty certification.
Most aspiring education professionals will need at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field, though online teaching degrees offer opportunities to job seekers at every level of education, from associate to doctoral study. Earning a teaching degree online is ideal for a variety of specializations as well, such as special education and early childhood development. An associate degree provides an introduction to education, with diverse but somewhat limited job opportunities in preschool education and other childcare occupations. Degrees at the bachelor’s level provide the most flexible salary and job opportunities as the minimum requirement for most classroom teaching jobs.
With a master’s degree, students can pursue an administrative occupation in education as a principal or instruction coordinator, among other options beyond the classroom. Ph.D. holders may be eligible to teach at the postsecondary level or pursue a niche specialization in education, as well as potentially earn the highest income among teaching professionals. Non-classroom teachers may further increase their professional opportunities by pursuing additional specialty certification, if applicable, to add a competitive edge to their resume.
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