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What to Know About Education Programs and Careers

We spend a lot of time talking about grades, courses, and academic improvement. However, we don’t often talk about the people who help make these things possible: your teachers.

In the US alone, there are over 3.7 million elementary and high school teachers. Teachers are the facilitators who help take students’ learning and progress to the next level, but influencing the way students learn doesn’t start and end in the classroom. There are many facets to the elementary and secondary education system, and there’s more you can do with an education degree than just teach.

In honor of World Teacher’s Day this October, here are some careers in education.

Policy and Reform
Those who study education understand the need for effective policy and reform. This is a great field to consider if, along with education, you have an interest in law and politics. Law schools like applicants who come from varied backgrounds, not just a strict pre-law or political science track. Majoring or minoring in education can give you an edge should you choose to apply to a law or graduate program with an education policy focus.

Program to consider: Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy has one of the best undergraduate programs in the nation for students who are looking to not only study the fundamentals of education, but also develop a strong understanding of human development, social policy, and how change affects individuals and education systems.

Research
Education policy, reform, and ultimately the practice of teaching are often heavily influenced by research. For those interested in education but also research, an undergraduate education program with a heavy research focus can be ideal. Since many research fields require advanced degrees, an education degree can be your way into a more focused program that emphasizes educational research as well as psychology and sociology.

Program to consider: The educational studies major or minor at Washington University in St. Louis gives students a great foundation not only in education, but also psychology, sociology, philosophy, and human development. These are all fields that translate heavily into research.

Technology
With the rise of MOOCs (massive open online courses), virtual textbooks, and more online resources, the field of educational technology is booming. New technologies are constantly being tried in the classroom in order to help make teaching more effective and improve students’ performance. There are many ways to break into this field either with a computer science, information technology, or other STEM major coupled with an education double major or minor.

Program to consider: The University of West Georgia has a great instructional technology undergraduate program that incorporates technology and curriculum integration courses with educational psychology. Coupled with a STEM focus, this program is a great stepping-stone to an educational technology graduate program.

Counseling
Many educators find that their skills are best utilized as support staff within an elementary, middle, or high school as a guidance or college counselor. This is another career that education majors can consider if they want to make an impact in education but outside of the classroom. An education major with a psychology, sociology, or early childhood development minor will put you on the path to a focused counseling graduate program.

Program to consider: The School of Education at Boston University offers 11 undergraduate education majors, as well as the option to obtain a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree simultaneously. For those who aspire to careers in counseling, BU’s Master of Education in Counseling is a premier program that allows students to concentrate specifically in school counseling.

If you’re interested in pursing a career in teaching or another facet of education, our team of expert counselors can help you identify the programs that best fit your needs and build a strong applicant profile to boost your chances of admission. Contact us today for more information.

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