Careers in Education

When you choose to study in the College of Education for your undergraduate or graduate degree, a variety of career paths become available to you. Of course many of you will choose to become teachers, and there are multiple choices of subjects, as well as diverse students of various age levels to teach. But classroom teaching is not the only option. Some of you may choose to work in other community, non-profit, or government agencies and organizations. Maybe your dream is to be a school principal, a child life specialist, a school counselor, or a marriage and family therapist. Many librarians, occupational therapists, testing and assessment specialists, and private school administrators also started with a degree in education.

Listed below are just a few of the many opportunities a degree in Education can lead to. You should also check out the College of Education career fairs and job board.

Elementary & Secondary (Pre-K through 12th Grade)

A degree in Elementary & Secondary Education is for those who want to teach students within the Pre-Kindergarten through High School range. These sort of educators include:

  • Early Childhood Teacher (preschool - grade 2)
  • Elementary School Teacher (kindergarten - grade 6 or 8)
  • Middle School Teacher (grades 6-8)
  • High School Teacher (grades 9-12)
  • Special Education Teacher (kindergarten - grade 12 in various disability programs)
  • Teacher of non-native English Speakers (grade level depends your licensure)

If you're interested in becoming a teacher in one of the roles described above, you can find out more about the degree programs offered by the College of Education under the Undergraduate programs. We also have graduate programs that lead to teacher licensure in these areas.

Specialized Educational Positions

School districts, schools, and federal or state agencies need personnel to lead them and those who can provide specialized services. Administrative and specialist positions include the following:

  • School Counselor
  • Literacy Specialist
  • School Principal or Assistant Principal
  • School District Superintendent or deputies
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Program Administrator
  • Personnel at the State Department of Education
  • Personnel in Federal Education Agencies

If becoming an administrator sounds appealing, check out our Graduate section to find out about degree programs in this area.

Child and Family Professionals & Community/Human Services

With a degree in human development and family studies or fields such as special education or counseling, you can take many other career paths besides working within schools. Some of the professional opportunities listed below can be obtained if you have an undergraduate degree and others require graduate degrees.

  • Child Development Specialist
  • Early Interventionist for infants/toddlers with special needs
  • Community Counselor
  • Developmental Disabilities specialists
  • Substance abuse and rehabilitation programs
  • Vocational Counselor
  • Coordinator of AIDS education programs
  • State or private adoption agency staff
  • Probation officers and staff working with youth in juvenile justice settings
  • Job Corps, a vocational training facility for underprivileged youth
  • Child Life Specialist/Play & Art Therapy Specialist working in hospital settings (requires additional certification)
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (requires graduate degree in counseling)
  • Advocates/lobbyists for children, youth and family issues
  • Parent educators for court-ordered parenting groups
  • Family Life Educator working with US military families in high stress environments
  • Parent support staff for hospital intensive care nursery

If becoming an administrator sounds appealing, check out our Graduate section to find out about degree programs in this area.

College and University

There are opportunities in colleges and universities if you have a graduate degree in a relevant field:

  • Student Services professional
  • Higher Education Counselor
  • Instructor at a community college or vocational school
  • Professor in Educator Preparation (requires doctoral)
  • Professor in Child Development or Family Resources

If teaching for adult-level students interests you, check out our Graduate section to find out about degree programs in this area.

Other Opportunities

An undergraduate or graduate degree in education can be an entry into a variety of other interesting roles. Examples include:

  • Educational Publishing
  • Designer of developmentally appropriate toys for toy companies
  • Curriculum and program development specialist for non-profit agencies such as Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Curriculum Developer for K-12 materials
  • Private Educational Consultant
  • Author of children's books
  • Library professional (requires additional training)
  • Midwifery (requires midwife training)
  • Lawyer specializing in family law (requires additional degree)