Education Degrees Explained

Education graduates in their gowns holding diplomas

Not everyone who goes into education plans on becoming a teacher. Some aspire to become principals or superintendents. Others want to go into educational research or are interested in working in education technology and curriculum development. No matter what your education career goals are, there is a degree out there that can help you develop your interests and talents as you find the right job.

Associate Degrees

An associate degree in education may help you become a preschool instructor or a paraprofessional. In these roles, you can still work with students without being fully in charge of a classroom. Generally, preschool instructors will work with other teachers. A paraprofessional will work under the guidance and supervision of a certified teacher. An associate teaching degree can lead the way toward becoming a certified teacher if you decide to transfer your credits to a bachelor's degree program.

Bachelor's Degrees

A bachelor's degree, along with teacher certification, can lead directly to a classroom teaching job. After you earn your bachelor's degree in education or teaching, your state determines if you are qualified to become a classroom teacher through a teacher certification test.

It is possible to earn a general education bachelor's degree. This would qualify you to teach at the elementary school level or to teach multiple subjects in middle school or high school. You can also earn a specialized bachelor's degree in areas such as English, biology or history. When you earn a specialized bachelor's teaching degree you are qualified to teach a single subject at the middle school or high school levels.

Master's Degrees

A master's degree helps teachers develop themselves into new leadership roles or earn a higher salary. While some master's degrees do focus on teaching, most specialize in a broader educational area. For example, you can earn a master's degree in curriculum development and instruction. You can also earn a master's degree in administration which may qualify you for an administrator role.

Doctoral Degrees

Administrative roles and superintendent roles generally require at least a master's degree, if not a PhD or Doctor of Education degree. Additionally, those with a doctoral-level degree can become a college professor. Someone who earns a doctoral degree in education will complete a research study and write a dissertation. They may then use their new doctoral status to dive into a leadership role in education and increase their salary. Or they may continue their role as a researcher and try to improve the knowledge base for other educators and teachers.

At Grand Canyon University, you can earn a bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree in teaching and education. No matter where you are on your path to becoming a qualified educator, Grand Canyon University’s College of Education can help you get there with quality classes and hands-on teaching experiences.

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