A science education degree online can open doors to rewarding careers in both schools and science-related nonprofits, museums, companies, and government agencies.
According to a 2015 salary survey, graduates with majors in teacher education in specific subject areas like science earned mean starting salaries of nearly $38,000. In addition, science teachers remain in high demand throughout the United States. According to a recent report, 40 states and Washington, D.C. reported shortages of science teachers in the 2015-16 academic year. Now makes a great time for students passionate about science and education to explore program options for earning their bachelor's degree in science education online.
Earning your degree online rather than on campus offers many added advantages. Online students benefit from access to course materials from anywhere at any time. In this way, online students may continue working at their current job or more easily manage juggling school with family responsibilities. Online programs often include part-time, full-time, and accelerated options, increasing the chances that you can find a course load to fit your needs.
Synchronous courses enable online students to interact with instructors and peers in real time, just as they would in a traditional classroom setting. Asynchronous courses offer the flexibility to complete coursework as your schedule allows. Because online students do not need to travel to class or live on or near campus — and online courses may cost less than those on campus — online programs typically provide students with more affordable ways to complete a degree.
With a science education degree online, graduates gain the skills needed for a career in education. Career paths include teaching, administration, curriculum and instruction, educational technology, and even options in science education outside the school setting. Many nonprofits and educational organizations, such as museums, zoos, and science centers, employ college graduates with a solid understanding of science and educational methods. This option also provides an excellent foundation for those who wish to pursue a graduate degree in education.
A science education degree online provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as a science teacher or enter a related field in science education. Through general education requirements, students gain the basic skills in reading, writing, and math necessary for all teachers and education professionals. Students gain the foundational knowledge needed to teach science topics through their subject-area coursework in biology, chemistry, and geoscience. Education courses provide future teachers with an understanding of human development, psychology, diversity, and crucial classroom management skills and teaching strategies.
Science education programs that lead to licensure also include student teaching requirements that enable pre-service teachers to practice their skills and gain instructional experience. A bachelor's degree remains the minimum requirement for a licensed teaching position. If your program includes the requirements for licensure in your state, you will graduate with the qualifications to teach science in a public school, which is not the case for associate degree holders.
Science education degree graduates typically aspire to teach elementary, middle, or high school science. At the secondary level, science teachers specialize in teaching biology, chemistry, or physics. Programs vary by grade level, preparing graduates to teach at certain age levels. Make sure to consider your preferred student ages when selecting an education program. Some degree holders may use their undergraduate training to work in other settings to educate the public about science or scientific issues.
Annual Median Salary: $56,900
Elementary school teachers instruct young children (ages 5-10) in basic subjects like reading and math. While all elementary school teachers must qualify to introduce basic science concepts to students in kindergarten through grade five, some also specialize in teaching science to older elementary students in grades four and five.
Annual Median Salary: $57,720
At the middle school level (grades 6-8), teachers specialize in a particular content area, such as science. Middle school educators typically work in teams with math, social studies, English, and science divisions to support the educational and emotional needs of a shared group of students. Middle school science teachers prepare their students to take higher-level science classes in high school.
Annual Median Salary: $59,170
High school teachers prepare students in grades 9-12 for upcoming college courses and future careers. These teachers hold licensure in a specific scientific content area, although they often further specialize in a particular subject like chemistry or biology. They often take on additional roles outside the classroom, such as club adviser or sports coach.
Annual Median Salary: $55,240
These teachers instruct students in vocational and technical subjects at the secondary level to prepare them for entry-level jobs in the workforce. As many CTE subjects remain scientific or technical in nature, a background in science education offers relevant training for this position. Relevant work experience provides an advantage as well.
Annual Median Salary: $52,100
Educators help adults master the subjects taught in high school. Adult literacy teachers instruct on basic literacy skills, while high school diploma teachers prepare students to pass the General Education Development (GED) test. These teachers work for public schools, community colleges, nonprofits, and community organizations.
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