What Degree Do I Need To Be A Software Engineer – Most of us have a favorite teacher from childhood; maybe it was the teacher who taught you to read or the one who taught you how to value diversity, or even the one who taught you how to play kickball. Maybe that teacher is your inspiration to want to become a teacher yourself. If you’re wondering what degree you need to be a teacher and you’re ready to learn about the steps to becoming the teacher you want to be, check out this How to Become a Teacher guide!
We’ve broken down the steps to becoming a teacher, including what degrees you’ll need and what exams you’ll need to pass. While there are many different paths to becoming a teacher, they all start with a bachelor’s degree—but not all end there.
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Well, the first step to becoming the teacher you aspire to be is to enroll in an accredited bachelor’s degree program, such as those offered through Gwynedd Mercy University’s School of Education.
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Most public school districts and other education employers require at least a bachelor’s degree in addition to state certification to teach in their schools
Pennsylvania requires aspiring teachers to pass state-required exams that assess general knowledge and basic skills, along with professional knowledge and subject area-specific knowledge.
In , all first-year students who want to become teachers start in the Education Studies program where you will complete your first 45 credits. After completing at least 45 credits with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, you will need to demonstrate substantial competency in math, reading, and writing as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
(Please note: Students will not be required to submit standardized test scores for Fall 2022! Learn more here.)
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Once you demonstrate your basic competence in maths, reading and writing, you will be able to enter one of the early childhood education degrees.
Most bachelor’s degree programs in education require you to spend at least one semester in a real classroom. During your student teaching experience, you will have the opportunity to practice managing a classroom while still having the support of a cooperating teacher and your college professors. This real-world experience will boost your confidence and prepare you for a successful teaching career after graduation.
When choosing where to earn your bachelor’s degree in education, be sure to choose a school that has a strong student-teacher placement program.
At, for example, we have a dedicated placement director who will support you throughout your student teaching experience.
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To become a certified teacher, you will need to take the teacher certification exam related to your course of study and the state in which you want to be certified. While passing scores may vary by state, all prospective teachers take the same exams.
When choosing where to earn your bachelor’s degree in education, you also want to choose a school that has a strong program to prepare you to successfully pass these exams:
While a bachelor’s degree in education is the minimum level of education you need to become a teacher, you have many options for what and where you will teach. You can specialize in special education, secondary education, secondary education, or early childhood education. The secondary education certification prepares you to teach in a high school setting, so you’ll also choose a specific field, such as science, math, or history.
While there will always be a need for competent and qualified teachers, this need is greater in some subject areas than in others. According to US News, there is a growing need in the areas of special education, math, science and bilingual education.
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In most cases, having a bachelor’s degree is just the first step to becoming a teacher. Most states and school districts require teachers to pass the teacher certification exam, called Praxis, before beginning employment.
Once you’ve landed your dream job in the classroom, you may choose to further your education and earn an advanced degree. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found in 2011-12, 56 percent of public school teachers had a master’s degree or higher. What’s more: NCES found that the annual base salary of those teachers who had their master’s degree was almost $11,000 more than teachers who only had a bachelor’s degree.
In Pennsylvania, the pay gap between classroom teachers with a bachelor’s degree and those with a master’s degree is comparable to the gap nationally. In the chart below, you can see the average classroom teacher salaries in Pennsylvania for the 2015-2016 school year, per openpagov.org.
Generally, it will take at least four years to become a teacher. Your individual deadline depends on your course of study when you decide to take the state certification exams, which subjects and grades you want to take, and your location.
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Most school districts require at least a bachelor’s degree, which takes at least four years to complete. During that time, you will gain real-world experience through student teaching and classroom observations. After four years, you’ll feel prepared and ready to inspire your future students! There are more career paths in education than just teaching. Our Careers in Education guide can help you determine your best path.
But even before you start your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to decide what you want to study. Interested in pursuing a dual degree in a subject such as history, math, or special education? You should also think about the grade level you are interested in teaching; Do you see yourself working in a preschool or elementary school, or would you prefer to teach high school students? These are important things to consider before enrolling in a teacher preparation program. If you’re not sure which major is best for you, take a few minutes to complete the What Kind of Teacher Should I Be? quiz.
As part of your bachelor’s degree program, you will sit for state certification exams. These exams will test your specific content knowledge and your academic knowledge. Teacher certification is generally required to work in public schools and is state specific. So if you intend to teach in Pennsylvania, for example, you need to make sure your Praxis scores are sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Previously, we outlined the steps to becoming a teacher. However, teacher requirements vary from state to state. So, while the basic requirements are similar to what you read above, Pennsylvania has some specific requirements for all teachers, which are outlined below:
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Teacher salaries in the state of Pennsylvania will vary by region and school district, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics has compiled a list of the average annual salary for teachers in the state:
For the 2016-2017 academic year, the state of Pennsylvania had a statewide teacher shortage in the following academic disciplines or subjects:
In addition to the degree you have, there are several other factors that affect a teacher’s salary, including geographic location. As you can see, the average annual teacher salary in 2015 was higher in the Philadelphia area than nationally.
After earning your bachelor’s degree and state teacher certifications, you may decide to go on to earn a master’s degree in education. If you have been teaching for several years, a master’s degree in educational administration can prepare you for the role of principal or vice principal, or a master’s degree in special education can prepare you to provide specialized support to students if you are looking for another way to make a difference in your school community, you may decide to pursue a master’s degree in school counseling.
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Master’s degrees are generally at least 30 credits and can be taken online or in a traditional classroom setting. The number of classes you take at the same time can determine the amount of time it takes you to complete your master’s degree.
No matter what degree you pursue, as a teacher, you are destined to be a lifelong learner. With each new subject or lesson you teach, your perspective will change and grow. Throughout your teaching career, there will be new strategies to try, new regulations to enforce, and new research on how to best reach students. Communicating with other teachers, collaborating on lessons and checking in with students will help you become the teacher you want to be.
At the School of Education, we’ve assembled a team of dedicated professors who are dedicated to helping you unlock your superpowers in your quest to become a teacher. With tools like the Teacher Internship Program (TAP) and student teaching, you’ll gain the hands-on experience needed to transform the lives of your students.
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