All You Should Know About Online Education Degrees
The end of high school education signifies an important stage in one’s life. At this point, you have to make decisions about your career. Choosing a career is a delicate activity that requires a lot of considerations. Therefore, choosing the wrong career could negatively affect how you live and interact with people for the rest of your life.
There are many career opportunities in the world today. Some are considered more lucrative than others. However, how successful you become in your career depends on many things, such as discipline and passion for what you do.
A career in education or a teaching degree is one of the best options you can choose. Educational degrees are very marketable. As a professional in education, you can work in both the private and public sectors. However, qualifying to be a licensed professional in this field could be costly. You need to pay for higher education and meet the minimum academic and professional requirements.
Thanks to technological advancements, you can now get a degree in education through an online program. Online education degrees have several benefits and disadvantages. For an in-depth understanding of what it means to be an online student seeking teacher certification, we shall explore the following in this article:
- What you can do with an online degree in education
- Admission requirements for online educational degrees
- Why accreditation is important when choosing an online education degree
- Top online education degree programs
What You Can Do with An Online Degree in Education
Education is a broad field, which implies that you can venture into a wide range of income-generating activities or jobs as a professional, including educational leadership, elementary education, or early childhood education. The job you take depends on the subjects you choose to study during your online learning period in preparation for your career. Here are some of the common career opportunities an online degree in education prepares you for.
- Teaching: Teaching is considered the core career opportunity in the field of education. If you venture into teaching, there are various levels at which you will practice during your career life. However, these levels of teaching depend on your academic qualifications and work experience. For instance, teachers at levels lower than high school might require a diploma to practice. You must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be licensed to teach at the high school level.
- Tutoring: There is a thin line between a teacher and a tutor. However, the job description for these two careers is completely distinct. A teacher follows a laid-out curriculum in a structured learning system. A tutor focuses on helping students understand specific subjects and usually works on a one-on-one basis. In most cases, tutors are not permanent employees of academic institutions. They are independent individuals with a teaching degree and expertise in specific subjects. As a tutor, you can work as a freelancer or work under a tutoring company.
- Research: The education sector involves a lot of academic research and studies, especially anyone with a master’s degree or graduate degree. As a professional in this sector, you can specify in conducting research. Several stakeholders in this sector require research to carry out necessary adjustments in their operations. For instance, the government requires researched studies to formulate policies that govern the education system. Changes in syllabuses and other aspects of the schooling system also rely on research. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities for research experts in the education sector. To become a research expert, you must fulfill certain levels of education in your field of interest. Research specialists also analyze and accredit research papers from junior researchers and students on behalf of academic institutions. They play an important part in the award of academic acknowledgments such as a master’s degree and PhD.
- Policy Making: Policy making is the pillar of education systems around the world. Good policies ensure the proper functioning of academic institutions within the country. Policymaking careers are part of the most senior opportunities in the education field. To be a policymaker in the educational sector, you must attain the highest academic levels and have several years of work experience. Policymakers in the education sector determine the distribution of resources to academic institutions and set rules that govern their operations.
There are many more career opportunities you can get with long distance education. Choosing the right subjects to study places you in a better position to secure your desired career path. Once you are a qualified professional in the education field, you can work in various places and institutions. Here are the most common workplaces where you might thrive with an online degree in education.
- Academic Institutions: Academic institutions are the main employers of education professionals. You can work as a teacher or a tutor in an academic institution that suits your qualifications. Managerial positions in academic institutions are usually reserved for people with a background in the education sector. Most institution boards believe individuals that have honestly climbed the ranks at the workplace make the best managers. Such people have adequate knowledge of the system and can make the right decisions.
- The Government: Policymakers have the best chance to work with the government. These are individuals that set guidelines for academic institutions within the country. If you advance your academic qualifications in this sector, you can work for the government to help manage the education system.
- Consultancy Firms: Getting the highest levels of education makes you a resource person in the industry. To use this knowledge, you can work as an independent consultant or under an educational consultancy firm. As a consultant, your job will be to help academic institutions and organizations make sustainable decisions. Consultants can also work with other stakeholders in the education sector, such as research institutions and scholarship programs.
- Research Institutions: When the government and other stakeholders in this sector need information, they contract research institutions. Working under a research institution as an education professional is among the most demanded opportunities. To achieve this, you can enroll in an online college for a bachelor’s degree in education then specialize in research. The research subject you specialize in will determine how much you thrive in a research institution. For instance, you can specialize in psychology and work researching psychological matters affecting the education sector.
Admission Requirements for Online Educational Degrees
Like any other career, educational professionals have various academic requirements. Depending on your intended level of practice, there are different academic requirements you must satisfy. If you intend to teach high school level and above, you have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. There are many modes of studying for a bachelor’s degree. However, as stated earlier, this article focuses on online educational degrees.
Qualifying for an online degree program could be challenging. Some online institutions have stringent requirements that you must meet before being admitted. However, the strictness levels vary from one institution to another. Here are some requirements that cut across most of the online degree programs you must satisfy before being admitted.
- Academic Requirements: Like in-person degrees, an online degree in education has a set of academic requirements that you must fulfill. These are minimum scores in your high school education. The subjects required depend on the course you are seeking to pursue under a degree in education. For instance, you might have to perform better in sciences and mathematics if the educational career you want to pursue requires an in-depth understanding of the subjects. While academic requirements for online degree courses are expected to be lower, renowned academic institutions are strict. The stringent requirements reduce applicants to a manageable amount so the institution can cater to the needs of every student in the online education degree program.
- Professional Requirements: Although most careers require professional qualifications after one completes their academic studies, some careers in education require professional qualifications before you get admitted. Professional requirements mainly apply if you seek to become a resource person in your field of practice. It is also applied in case you want to major in a technical career path within the education sector. For instance, you might require certification from various government bodies if you want to pursue a career in early-childhood education. Teaching at higher learning institutions also requires certifications from professional bodies. For instance, a person seeking to teach technical subjects in high school might require certification from the bodies governing the subject before admission.
- Recommendations: Most online degree programs require recommendations from academic institutions you previously attended. These recommendations provide authenticity for your academic qualifications. Additionally, you can use them to secure scholarship opportunities if you intend to apply for any.
Meeting the requirement does not guarantee automatic admission into an academic institution for an online education degree. You must apply for an opportunity to study according to the guidelines provided by your institution of choice. The application process varies from one institution to another. However, some elements of the application process cut across all institutions. These include:
- Identifying the Program and Institution You Wish to Apply To
This step is the first and most important stage of applying for your online degree in education. Selecting a degree program requires a lot of attention as it determines your future. Having a career outlook will guide you on the most profitable careers in the future. While choosing a program to study, you should consider your passion and abilities, so you enjoy your work life and deliver the best in your field of practice. Additionally, consider the cost of studying and potential returns on investment. Financial considerations can also guide you on the best institution to apply to. Look at the available facilities and your program of choice before settling on an institution to enroll in.
- Checking Deadlines
Before filling in any application, you should check the submission deadlines for the program you intend to pursue. Applications submitted past deadlines are considered void by most online degree programs. For information about deadlines, you should visit websites and other online platforms of the institution you wish to attend. The advantage of online education degrees is that institutions give a longer period for students to apply.
- Complete Online Application
Once you have established a program, institution, and application deadline, you can fill your online application forms. Your application should include all the required documents according to the institution you apply to. While the required documents might vary, the following are most common with online degree programs.
- Curriculum vitae
- Identification documents. This can be a passport, driving license, or a national identification card.
- Academic qualification documents from previous schools
- Personal statements.
- Prepare for The Admission Interview
Most academic institutions offer academic interviews for first-time applicants. The interviews gauge your suitability for the program you have selected. While some might include academic questions, interviews for online degree programs usually look to establish your character. Therefore, preparing adequately places you in a position to secure your chance of being admitted without complications.
Why Accreditation Is Important When Choosing an Online Education Degree
There are many online universities and colleges worldwide today, making it hard to choose which ones offer the best education for different degree programs. Accreditation is one way the government regulates the quality of education offered through online platforms and prevents the chances of unemployment after spending time and money studying for an online degree. Various organizations are tasked with accrediting universities and colleges within the country. Some organizations deal with accrediting academic institutions for specific programs, while others focus on accrediting entire institutions. Other reasons why accreditation is encouraged in online universities and colleges include:
- It Improves the Authenticity of Online degrees: The authenticity of an online degree you get depends on how good the institution you studied in is. Accreditation gives universities and colleges the authority to carry out training programs at various levels for careers in the education sector. Obtaining your online education degree from an accredited online university or college makes it easier to get employed. Employers within the education sector look for certain skill sets that are only offered by accredited institutions.
- Ensures Supply of Qualified Professionals: One of the main aims of accreditation is quality control. Accreditation bodies have the mandate to ensure graduates of various online degree programs meet the minimum requirements to fit in the workplace. Before an institution is accredited, the authorities assess it to ensure adequate facilities are available to facilitate the programs. The tutors of the said program should also have sufficient knowledge on the subjects they are expected to take students through. Accreditation makes it possible to get returns on the investments you make into online degree programs in education. The skills you get from accredited institutions prepare you for life as a professional.
There are various forms of online college accreditation. As a student, you must know the necessary accreditations needed for the program you enroll in, helping you avoid enrolling in colleges that don’t meet the requirements to practice. These accreditations include:
- The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation
- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accreditation
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation
Many more organizations provide accreditations for institutions offering online education degrees. Some of these organizations focus on accrediting specific subjects. For instance, the AACSB accreditation is for business schools only. To practice as a business teacher or tutor, you must attend an education program accredited by the AACSB. Diploma mills and accreditation is another body tasked with accrediting academic institutions.
Top Online Education Degree Programs
Everyone wishes to pursue the best career in the education sector. Any education program offers opportunities for one to practice in this field. However, some programs offer a wider range of opportunities than others. To get the most from your online education degree, you should pursue a course that allows you to practice in more than one industry. However, such courses are limited and usually have many applicants, making it hard to get opportunities to study them as requirements are stringent. Here are some of the top online education degree programs you can enroll in.
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
An online bachelor’s degree in education majoring in early childhood education sets you up for various opportunities. The degree prepares you to be licensed as a teacher for kids below eight years of age. In this career path, your task is helping kids acquire various life skills, including learning, building family and community relations, among others. Another role you might play is introducing the kids to the basics of learning, including languages and simple arithmetic, to aid in their overall development. Early childhood education requires an additional set of skills that you must acquire before being licensed to practice. These skills include basic clinical knowledge to understand the well-being of kids under your care.
- Bachelor of Science in Elementary Teaching Education
If you want to be an educator, this is the degree program that you should enroll in. The program equips you with skills to teach students at elementary levels of education. The coursework you cover while studying for this degree is guided by the laid-out curriculum of elementary schools. The main aim of this course is to prepare you for licensure to be an elementary school teacher. The program targets individuals with no prior experience in the teaching profession. The coursework covered is similar all around the country. However, the licensing process might vary from one state to another.
- Bachelor of Science in Special Education
Special education involves handling students with various special needs. A bachelor’s degree in special education prepares you for work in academic institutions for students with special needs. In this course, you will learn the general curriculum accompanied by a set of skills needed to effectively communicate with your students. Special skills that you learn under this course include interpretation of materials such as braille. If you are studying to deal with students with hearing and speech complications, you might have to learn sign language. Having an online degree in this field allows you to work in different parts of the world since most of the skills you acquire are universal.
- Bachelor of Arts in Education/ Administration and Supervision
If you wish to hold administrative positions in academic institutions, you should go for this degree program. The program prepares you with the skills needed to manage academic institutions according to set-out guidelines. In most online programs, the curriculum matches the national standards, meaning that you can work in any part of the country once you have attained your degree. An online degree 9in administration and supervision blends teaching and problem-solving skills, allowing you to make decisions that favor the teaching personnel and students when put in charge of an institution.
The above-named are the most lucrative online education degree programs that you can enroll into. Other programs are also beneficial depending on your intentions of studying. Several things are common with profitable online degrees in the education sector. These degrees allow you to work in almost all parts of the country. However, you might need certain accreditation where state regulations vary. Another common aspect of these careers is that they involve a lot more work than the rest. Therefore, you might spend more time studying and working on academic-related activities like student teaching during your period of study.
When choosing an online education degree program, here are some essential considerations you should make:
- Your Intended Career Path: The teacher certification program you choose determines where you end up in the future. Choosing a program that doesn’t fit your qualifications might lead to your applications being rejected. Programs that are too demanding could be stressful, and if you are not passionate about them, you might consider dropping out. Dropping out translates to a waste of time and money. There are many platforms where you can get research tips to help you choose the right career path. Visiting such platforms gives you a clear view of your passions and abilities to reach a career and teacher certification program that is best suited for you.
- Availability of The Program: Once you have chosen the online school you want to attend, check the availability of your program. Some institutions offer various educational degree programs through physical learning only, which implies that applying for an online degree to such institutions could be a waste of time. You should also check for the available facilities before settling on a program. The online institution you choose should have adequate facilities to train you to the required standards. The quality of training you receive from an online education degree program determines how fast you get employed after studies.
- Cost of The Program: Financial considerations are essential when enrolling in any higher education program. Before applying for a distance education program for teacher education, you should ensure it is affordable, depending on your financial status. When a degree program is too expensive, it could be hard for you to get the returns on investment after graduating. However, the main advantage of online education degree programs is that there aren’t commuting and accommodation costs. Tuition fees vary from one institution to another. The programs might also have different tuition fee requirements within the same institution, depending on the level of technicality.
Education is a broad field with many career opportunities. The qualifications for each career depend on how technical it is. The more technical a career is, the more demanding and rewarding it is. However, pursuing a technical career does not guarantee success. You must be disciplined in all aspects to be a successful professional in the field of education. You must focus and perform well in your coursework to secure employment after school. Once you have been employed, financial discipline will set you above other people practicing in the same field. Managing your finances allows you to break away from employment and start your own business after gaining work experience. It also sets you up nicely if you want to pursue a graduate degree or enter educational leadership down the line.
Choosing a career path requires critical thinking. In cases where you fail to decide, you should consult an expert for insight. Consulting individuals that are already practicing in your desired field will give you a clear picture of what to expect after school. Financial considerations determine how comfortable your study period will be. You might find it hard to complete your studies if you choose an expensive program that strains your financial status, especially if you’re planning to continue to get a master’s degree or graduate degree after you complete your bachelor’s degree. That’s why an online learning or online degree program is so valuable.
After studying a teacher education program, you should follow up with relevant bodies to be accredited. Accreditation gives you the liberty to practice in different parts of the country, depending on the online program you have studied. In cases where accreditation varies due to state regulations, you can meet the requirements, like student teaching, with the help of consultants. Most consultants in the education sector have teaching experience and therefore understand the accreditation process in different states. To verify the credibility of a university as an online student, you can check with the accreditation bodies.