January 21, 2018

How to Choose the Right Teaching Degree Program

Are you struggling to decide which teaching degree program is right for you? If you’ve determined you want to become a teacher, you’ll want to evaluate the following aspects of the many teaching degree programs out there. We’ve provided questions to ask yourself that will help you make this decision.

How Much Will This Teaching Degree Program Cost Me?

Perhaps one of the most important things to evaluate is your budget. How much money can you afford to spend? What kind of financial aid is available? Do you qualify for any grants or scholarships? On campus jobs? Paid teacher or teacher assistant jobs that can help you build experience and make money while in school? Make sure you outline a budget, including room and board, books, tuition and other expenses so you know what you need to succeed.

How Long Will it Take Me to Finish This Teaching Degree Program?

How soon do you need your teaching degree? Do you need to go to school part time, or do you need to pursue a full time program? Some colleges offer concentrated programs that you can finish in a matter of months, while others stretch out for years.

Will This Teaching Degree Program Fit Into My Life Schedule?

Can you attend daytime classes in person, or do you need to go to night school? Do you need the flexibility offered by online classes? Would you prefer classes where you can work ahead and complete assignments on your own schedule? (Many online courses offer this option.)

Will This Program Prepare Me for the Position I Want When I Graduate?

You’ll want to identify exactly what kind of position and work environment you wish to have after graduation. What level of student do you wish to instruct? What type of educational environment are you envisioning?

Would you rather specialize in a subject, such as literacy or special education or speech therapy? Do you intend to advance to an administrative position such as principal, curriculum planner or superintendent?

Or would you rather work in an alternative education position, teaching online or working for the Human Resources department of a corporation, educating employees?

Once you know what you want to do, you can examine teaching degree program descriptions to determine which program will best prepare you for your specific career path. As you compare programs, ask to see the curriculum so you can get an idea of how in-depth the program goes. For example, if you want to become an elementary school teacher, does the program address child development and how to teach for each age and level of maturity? Does the program teach class management skills? Tiered lesson planning (to accommodate special needs and advanced children alike)?

Let’s say you want to be a college professor. Does the program set you up for specialization and advanced degree work? Is there a track for teaching adults? Will the program address teaching students who may exceed your potential and require additional challenges?

Choosing a Teaching Degree Program Summary

Not all teaching programs are the same, and not all deliver the same education. Don’t just sign up for the first program you find. Evaluate your options and choose the teaching degree program that best suits your needs.

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