Guide To Majors - Education

Adult, Early Childhood, Special Education...

Table of Contents

What Do Education Majors Study?

Education majors participate in a rigorous process of fieldwork and observation. Most education degree programs require hands-on experience in classroom settings. Therefore, nearly every education major preparing for a career in elementary or secondary teaching takes advantage of student teaching programs and mentoring opportunities.

Aspiring college professors work as teaching assistants, leading discussions while helping tenured faculty with advanced research. Education majors hoping to apply their skills in the private sector enjoy the real-world knowledge they gain from internship placements.

HOT Degrees

Some education students specialize in fields like science or mathematics, so they can obtain the advanced skills and certifications required to teach those subjects. Most education majors enroll in a broad sample of liberal arts electives, so they can enjoy maximum flexibility throughout their careers.

Finally, education majors benefit from an emphasis on developing strong communication skills. Students learn not only to communicate more effectively with children, but to understand communication techniques for adult learners, anxious parents, and the developmentally challenged. Methods like active listening and nonverbal communication improve an educator's effectiveness when speaking with children in a classroom, as well as with adults in a parent-teacher conference or even a school board meeting.

Online degree programs in education have become increasingly popular for a wide variety of students. They meet the needs of working adults who want to enter education from a different field, and teachers with bachelor's degrees who are required to earn master's degrees within a certain period of time.

What Jobs Are Hot in Education?

Buoyed by a wave of expanded funding and government mandates, schools across the country plan to hire a record number of special education teachers over the next decade. Our stronger understanding of learning disabilities qualifies many more pupils than ever before to participate in special education programs--children who previously would not have enjoyed such benefits.

Along similar lines, schools' increased reliance on standardized test scores has intersected with parents' desire for their children to achieve placement in prestigious schools at all age levels. Therefore, education majors can expect a thriving market for child development specialists, both within existing school systems and at privately-owned coaching facilities.

Many private tutoring companies actively seek education majors with high SAT scores to share their success strategies with client families. Education majors who enter this exploding market can expect some innovative, non-traditional pay structures, including significant bonuses based on their pupils' performance.Meanwhile, in the private sector, Fortune 500 companies recruit education majors to help them tell stories more effectively within their companies and to the general public.

Expect to see more education majors--especially those with concentrated studies in communications, journalism or mathematics --popping up as policy analysts, public relations specialists and corporate strategists. Education majors already hold a surprisingly high number of jobs in mass media as writers, producers, and reporters.

Education majors also populate another high-growth area: executive coaching and corporate training. Instead of hunting for external talent, many successful businesses seek to grow superstars from within. Education majors who thrive in a business setting will enjoy this exciting and lucrative niche.

Finally, budget crunches at many traditional colleges and universities, combined with the rise of online degree programs, have created a significant opportunity for education majors with broad interests. Every higher learning institution relies more heavily on adjunct faculty than ever before, with some experts teaching courses at multiple institutions. In some cases, an adjunct professor can earn more money teaching online than a tenure-track professor earns at a typical four-year college.

Education Teaching

Why Should You Consider a College Major in Education?

In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated there were 8.5 million people employed in the education, training and library occupations in the U.S. These folks worked in elementary and secondary schools, junior colleges, universities, trade schools and childcare programs, and their salaries ranged from $21,040 to $88,190. The highest-paid jobs were available for 1.2 million educators in the college, university and professional school level, where the annual mean wage is $75,890. Jobs for teachers in elementary schools, middle schools and kindergartens is expected to grow at an average pace of 12 percent through 2022, but jobs for high school teachers were expected to grow by half as much.

With greater demand for teaching skills in the business community, many education majors can expect to take on numerous challenging, rewarding opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Furthermore, as millions of baby boomer teachers reach retirement age, there will be a huge teacher shortage--perfect conditions for the newly minted education degree holder.

What Kinds of Candidates Make the Best Education Majors?

Experienced educators can tell you that a career as a teacher, as a trainer, or even as an educational administrator requires patience, practice and commitment to lifelong learning. Even expert educators find themselves in challenging moments with students, with parents, and with their own colleagues. Education majors can enhance their own patience by learning communication, mediation, and relaxation skills over the course of their training.

Our history, our culture, and our understanding of the world around us expand daily. Therefore, education majors should expect their training to continue long after they receive their diploma. An education professional's lifelong learning includes the opportunity to try new teaching styles, the integration of new material into course curricula, and the challenges of adapting to the demands of new generations of students. To support this growth, many employers emphasize opportunities for ongoing certification and professional development, including exciting programs like foreign exchanges, online college courses, research publications, and external residencies.

Return to the top


"25-0000 Education, Training, and Library Occupations (Major Group)," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes250000.htm

"High School Teachers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm

"Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm

Pursue your Education & Teaching Major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
Pacific Oaks College , Online (campus option available)
  • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
  • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
  • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
  • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Take classes from award-winning faculty online or from one of our three campuses
  • Scholarships are available to qualifying students, including the Presidential Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship, Hamel Scholarship, and many more
  • Choose from 200+ undergraduate and graduate degree programs to pursue
  • Online graduate programs include: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Educational Studies (MEd), and Master of Social Work (MSW)
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in Business, Education, Psychology and more.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked 21st among the Best Education Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
  • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
  • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
  • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media.
  • Scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Offers more than 70 majors and programs, as well as several off-campus internships.
  • 94% of students in the 2014-2015 academic year qualified for financial aid.
  • Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104