How Can I Specialize an Education Degree?

Education degreeDo you have career aspirations of becoming a teacher and specializing an education degree, but not sure what it requires?  Continue reading and learn more about the various areas of specialization and what they require in terms of education and training.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Education Degree?

The length it takes to complete an education degree can vary by the school, the degree you’re working towards and the topics you happen to be pursuing. Depending on the number of credits you’ll need for your specific program, your education degree could take five years. There are also some schools that are tri-semester; in which case, you can earn your undergraduate degree in three years. As a rule, however, you can earn an education degree in about four years.

It could take longer if you choose a specialty field like math, or history or English, but it’s generally added as part of the curriculum. The time it takes to actually become a teacher may also have a lot to do with your state requirements, too. According to the U.S. Department of Education, most require a bachelor’s degree, although some states do require a master’s degree. The department offers a list of state requirements on their website.

How and When Do You Specialize an Education Degree?

One fact about specializing is that it’s not really necessary if your goal is to teach students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. You’ll complete a Bachelor’s in Education degree program and can take a minor in a certain subject such as English, art, music, etc. You’ll focus on the minor during the last year of your program. However, specializations are required more if you plan on teaching high school. Some schools only allow a student to choose a teaching minor if they have also chosen a teaching major. As a high school teacher, you’ll be focused on one specific subject, so this is where the area of specialization is required.

Do I Need a Master’s Degree to Specialize My Education Degree?

Although many students choose to pursue a master’s degree, this really has no bearing on if you choose to specialize in a specific subject or grade. The main reason students pursue a master’s degree is to enhance their resume and improve their earning potential. Education master’s degree programs are also good for those who may want a position in leadership or administration. Another example would be an individual who wants to specialize in a certain subject to teach in a secondary school and then move on to teach at a community college.

Is Specialization the Same as Certification?

Specialization and certification are two very different terms in the education world. Specialization, as stated above, is when you focus or “specialize” in a certain subject. Certification is a credential teachers can earn through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The teacher must have a teaching degree and meet specific requirements set by the board to obtain National Certification, which is the highest level of teaching excellence.

Related Resource: Specialize a Business Degree

Many aspiring teachers choose to specialize an education degree, not only to increase their earning potential, but also to make themselves more valuable in educating students of various ages.