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The Teaching Degree: Specialized Teaching Degree Programs

Many people that end up going into teaching choose to pursue specialized teaching degrees. These degrees, while perhaps not as flexible as other types of teaching degrees, sometimes offer a higher salary as well as a more interesting job market.

More and more educational institutions are offering specialized areas of teaching as degree programs for their students. Even community colleges are beginning to offer these, which can be helpful for the student that wants to teach in a specialized area, but isn’t able to attend a traditional university.

Specific Subject Areas in Teaching

Some teachers, especially at the high school level, decide to go into specific subject areas. For example, they might choose to teach English, Social Studies, Science, or Math. Although sometimes a teacher certified in K-12 can still teach those subject areas, a teacher that has a degree with an emphasis in that area might have an advantage over one that doesn’t. In addition, some schools are starting to require that their teachers have degrees in those areas of study that they are teaching.

Specialized Teaching Degrees

There are also teaching positions that require specialized degrees. Common areas include:

  • Special Education
  • Gifted Education
  • Reading and Literacy
  • English as a Second Language
  • Adult Education
  • Reading and Writing Specialist
  • School Administration
  • Student Affairs

Specialized education studies can help teaching professionals assist students with unique needs in reaching their full potential. A teacher certified in Special Education, for example, would be better equipped to handle the behavioral and learning challenges that special needs students face in comparison to a teacher that simply holds a K-12 certification.

How long does it take to earn a teaching degree?

A specialized degree often doesn’t take any longer than receiving a traditional degree. A traditional teaching degree typically takes 4-5 years to complete. There are accelerated programs available which can take a shorter amount of time, however. If you already have a teaching degree and you are returning to school to get an emphasis in a specialized area, then it should only take 1-2 years to receive the new certification.

Teaching Certificate Programs

Teaching Certificate programs are also available to graduates, professionals, and post-doctoral students so that they can polish their existent skills and make themselves more marketable in the teaching field. A lot of states will permit teachers that are certified nationally to carry their license from one state to another, although this does vary state-by-state.
When you get a Certificate of Teaching, teachers who already possess a Bachelor’s degree can seek teacher certification within a different state other than the one that they are presumably certified in. In addition, by means of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, graduates can also be certified nationally.

Other Certification Options in Teaching

There are a quite few different options when it comes to getting a Teaching Certificate, particularly when it concerns specialties and more specialized areas of interest. Some of the options include:

  • National Teaching Certificate
  • Post-Bachelor’s Teaching Certificate
  • TESL Certificate-for teachers that would like to teach English as a Second Language

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