If you’ve been thinking about pursuing a career in education, now is the time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the demand for kindergarten and elementary school teachers will grow 17 percent between 2010 and 2020, and the demand for specialty careers in education such as instructional coordinators will grow as much as 20 percent. There are a variety of education career choices with high demand futures. The following are just a few of the many choices available to a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) degree holder.
An ESOL educator specializes in teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Also referred to as TSOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), this specialization addresses the increasing diversification of the U.S. population and the needs of the nearly three million students who speak English with difficulty. In addition to teaching English to students who speak different languages at home, ESOL educators also teach bilingual classes and familiarize students with American culture. ESOL educators must be able to utilize pictures and non-verbal symbols in order to convey language concepts. Educators in this field can earn over $83,000.
An educator specializing in STEM teaches science, technology, engineering and math, preparing high school students for careers in those fields. A U.S. workforce proficient in STEM subjects is critical for maintaining national defense, international competitiveness and for participating in technological innovation. However, there is a shortage of qualified STEM educators and as a consequence there are over 3.5 million STEM-related job openings left unfilled. STEM educators must have a strong academic foundation and have been asked by the Obama Administration to make a commitment to championing STEM education in their local communities. (The BLS currently has no reported data on STEM salaries.)
Instructional coordinators work outside the classroom with administrators and teachers to improve the quality of education. This is done by implementing new teaching techniques and overseeing school districts’ teaching standards and curriculums. Because more and more focus is being placed on teacher effectiveness, the demand for this career is expected to increase quite rapidly. Instructional coordinators work at every educational level, with both public and private schools. Salary can reach over $93,000.
Where the Jobs Are
According to a recent article posted at DegreeCouncil.org, there are five specific areas in the U.S. where teaching jobs are especially in demand. Working in these areas presents a variety of benefits including higher pay, job security and providing professional challenge.
- Mississippi Delta Region – According to Channel 12 News of Jackson, MS, the state has a shortage of 2,400 teachers. The poverty stricken rural area especially needs math and science teachers.
- Rural South Carolina – Science, math, English, language arts and special education are all highly in demand across the state.
- Tulsa, Oklahoma – Schools in the Green Country region where Tulsa is located are experiencing severe teacher shortages.
- Austin and Dallas, Texas – These two cities are especially attractive because they have better than average pay and are great districts. However, the cities’ rapid growth is resulting in a need for more teachers.
- California – Shortages of special education teachers and ESOL educators are expected in this state, as student enrollment in education programs has plummeted over the last few years.
Online Master of Education Degree Programs
An online degree program is an ideal way for a teacher to transition into one of these high-demand careers. Concordia’s Online Master of Education Degree Programs allow you to complete your degree on your schedule while still maintaining your current job. There are several programs available including specialization in the areas of Education Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Career and Technical Education, and Special Education.
Among the many skills acquired in this program, a graduate will be able to develop, implement and assess instructional and curricular plans that apply current educational research findings, integrate disciplines, encourage parental involvement and exhibit sensitivity to students’ individual needs and cultural background.
For more information on Master’s in Education programs please visit Concordia University at http://education.cu-portland.edu/college-of-education/masters/program-objectives/ and http://education.cu-portland.edu/college-of-education/masters/.
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