There are so many different directions that you can take your career when you work in education. You can work directly with students, behind the scenes, in a support role, in a policy-making role, and more. Being passionate about education is the first key trait you will need in order to thrive in this career, regardless of the direction you take it.
Of course, education does have more requirements than some others. There are requirements for every role, which can make it daunting for those just starting out in their career. To help you always choose the best degree for your education career remember to use these tips.
Start with what you are passionate about
A great place to start when it comes to choosing a degree is with your passions. This way you can focus your career on what you care about the most. If you don’t want to teach a single subject for your entire life, or if you want to work with those students with special education needs, then this is where your focus starts. The good news is that there are multiple approaches to each passion. You can earn a special education dual certification for example, and earn both a special education and general education certification that would qualify you to work in a range of settings.
While you cannot 100% predict where your career will go, so long as you can work in the area of education that you are most passionate about you will have options that will help you thrive.
Get in touch with recent graduates
Another great way to narrow down your top choice of programs is to get in touch with recent graduates. You can typically find these through the alumni network or, alternatively, on job sites like LinkedIn. Write a pitch and ask if they would be happy to chat for a bit about their degree. You will want to know what they liked about their degree, what they learned from their degree, what they have done with their degree, and most importantly what they wanted their degree to do better on. No degree will be perfect, and every year the program will improve and update.
Take the cons to the admissions advisors of your top schools and see what they have done about the issues that previous graduates had with the program. If it sounds like they made significant improvements, or alternatively if your worries are assuaged, you know you have a great degree on your hands.
Check or accreditation
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised at how professional and well-received non-accredited degrees can be. This is because there are several roles within education that don’t need you to take an exam. If you do, however, always double check that the program is accredited by a body that is recognized by the exam licensure. The last thing you want is to realize that your degree does not make you eligible to take the exam in your state.