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Some people have a calling to educate and teach others. Those in the field of education enjoy the opportunity to continuously gain knowledge, so they can help students. While teaching is a rewarding career, it can be a challenge to determine which programs are best suited for one’s skills and specializations – that is why our team created this guide for potential students enrolling in the best colleges for teaching degrees.

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Is Campus or Online College Right For YOU?

There are many factors that determine which college or university a student should attend such as tuition rates, financial aid assistance, accreditation, schedule availability and flexibility, and the ability to keep up with the demands of obtaining a degree. That said, many schools take each of these factors into consideration, so they offer both campus and online-styled learning for their students. Therefore, more and more schools are incorporating distance learning into their academic curriculum. Click here to find out more information regarding the best online colleges for education!

Online School for Teaching & Education Degrees

There are many benefits of attending college remotely with the most notable benefit being that online college programs provide a way of learning without the need to travel or relocate to a physical campus. With the use of webinars, e-mail, and other online interactive teaching methods, students can access class assignments and stream lectures right from their living room!

Qualified professors of the best online colleges for education work around the complexity of students’ unique schedules to deliver an education that is on a pace and convenient for both parties. Attending classes online grants students and teacher’s technological exposure, increasing their level of understanding for computers and technology. Additionally, mentors are available to assist students who need further tutoring.

Whether students want to earn an associate degree to further their career in education or a doctorate degree for a supervisory position, it is an advantage for post-secondary educators to enroll in online college.

Note, that most to all of the best colleges for teaching degrees offer online learning, but make sure you contact the university first for clarification.


Technology has certainly had its effect on teaching and learning for both students and teachers, such that there are several options available for those taking online courses to pursue their career as educators:

  • Certificate programs
  • Undergraduate degrees
  • Graduate degrees

With such a vast field of options, a sizeable amount of research needs to be done to recognize which post-secondary programs are appropriate for the individual student. Many of the programs do offer online classes for distance learning students. The following sections will provide information on the types of teaching degrees that can be obtained online, how these degrees can lead to a successful career in educating, and the very best colleges for teaching degrees.

Not sure if you should attend one of the best colleges for teaching degrees, or one of the best online colleges for education? Click here to compare campus and online universities!

Associate Degrees

An associate degree of education takes approximately two years to complete. A CDA, or a Child Development Associate’s, is one credential that students may be able to apply for after completing the initial program. It is here where the online program will offer further work and education on infant learning, as well as toddler, pre-school, and kindergarten learning.

The curriculum for these programs is comprised of a general education and fundamental coursework with focal points on instructional methodology. Because the possession of a bachelor’s degree is the usual requirement for long-term employment, these programs are set up so that the student can easily transition to the best colleges for teaching degrees. The following table describes the different programs that are found in an associate’s level degree in education:

Intro to Early Childhood Education Overview of early childhood development, government regulations and standards, historical outlook and current trends.
Creative Activities for Young Children Creative, developmentally appropriate practices that help foster children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development – with an emphasis on activities that encourage independence, exploration, risk-taking and opportunities to think and act creatively.
Young Children with Special Needs A look at learning disabilities and differences within the classroom and how to address them professionally in accordance with relevant federal legislation.
Early Childhood Curriculum Planning Methods of teaching for educational settings that cater to younger children. Developmental domains, planning strategies, learning environment organization, facilitating teacher-child interactions, guiding children’s behavior, executing lessons, assessing, caregiver, appropriate play support, and addressing standards through integrated and emergent curriculum.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees

Bachelor’s degree programs typically take four years to complete. Students receive an introduction to the modern educational system and touch upon issues in public policy. The coursework includes methods of teaching, instruction on discipline and classroom management, and the study of statistical methods – which is used for educational research.

Students can earn their Bachelor of Arts and/or Bachelor of Science in general K-12 curriculum, specializing in subjects such as:

  • Special education
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Physical education
  • English
  • Early childhood development
  • And more!

Most of the best online colleges for education require some fieldwork for their bachelor’s degrees and requirements vary from state to state, but all states require licensure prior to beginning classroom instruction. The online degree program for future educators touches on subjects like instructional methods, education theory and practices, and classroom deliverable tools to properly operate a K-12 classroom environment. Subjects such as race and ethnicity may also be included to give teachers insight on educating persons from different cultural backgrounds. The following table includes typical courses found in a bachelor’s degree program:

Classroom Management Classroom management techniques deal with physical space, safety, time management, and behavioral norms.
Foundations of Education Introduction to historical foundations, professionalism, technology, and trends and issues in education. Development of personal philosophy of education.
Child Development Explores a child’s physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development from birth to eighth grade. Defines various stages as they impact instructional practices and decisions in a preschool environment.
Models and Theories of Instruction   Covers underlying theoretical models of teaching and learning. Explorations of various lesson plans and assessment of effective teaching strategies that promote student learning.
Legal and Ethical Issues in Education Provides students with the opportunity to observe and apply legal and ethical issues within the context of an educational setting. Analysis and discussion on legal issues’ consequent impact on educators.
Assessment in Elementary Education Details the meaning of assessment. Explores how formative and summative assessments are used in the classroom. Analyses reliability and validity, standardized assessments, and assessment frameworks.
The Exceptional Child Overview of the exceptionality categories for elementary-age students with special needs. A look at identifying, assessing, and instructing a diverse population using different methods and techniques. Historical perspectives and information related to special education law and current policies and practice.

Master’s Degrees

Those in the teaching field who wish to further their education can pursue an master’s degree in teaching and education. A master’s degree in teaching enables the student to heighten their knowledge about teaching and helps them to gain even more specialized skills. These programs offer numerous areas of specialization like multiple-subject teaching or single-subject teaching.

While students can complete their master’s degree in education or teaching online, it should not be overlooked that most of the best colleges for teaching degrees do require fieldwork experience. This experience is crucial because schools want future educators to take what they learned and apply it their own classroom.

Although the curriculum varies – more so at some of the best online colleges for education – listed below are some of the courses that can be found in the typical curriculum for a master’s degree in teaching:

Contemporary Issues in Education Outlooks on modern issues and trends in both educational theory and practice. Local and national education perspective.
Educational Technology Examines how computers, web-based resources and multimedia are used to engage K-12 grade-school students in problem-solving, creative inquiry and collaborative learning. Research is required and needed to critically review, assess, and evaluate educational quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Educational Measurement and Assessment Explores theories and techniques of educational measurement and assessment for curriculum planning, development, delivery, feedback and improvement.
Developmental Psychology Overview of the cognitive development from the prenatal stage through adolescence. Theoretical, methodological, and empirical issues such as neurobiological plasticity, infant cognition, theory of mind, memory, language and executive functions are explored.
Cultural Psychology Culture and psychological processes effects on each other. Historical and modern treatments of cultural psychology. Deficit models, cross-cultural psychology, ecological niches, and the power of role and race.
Urban Education Social science and historical viewpoints trace the major developments and policy issues of urban education.
Social, Emotional and Personality Development Developmental processes that account for psychological adaptation in social relationships, schools, and other interpersonal settings.

Doctorate Degrees

A PhD in Education, or Doctorate of Education, (Ed.D, or D.Ed) is the highest achievable degree for education and teaching. Students choose a specialization within the field of education, such as policy, leadership, human development or research, and study that. A student must have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree to enroll in a doctorate’s degree program. Students may also be asked to provide a dissertation prior to acceptance in a doctorate’s degree program – this is required for the best online colleges for teaching degrees.

The completion time for a doctorate’s program is approximately four years; however, this time frame can vary depending upon if the student is part-time, full-time, or a graduate research assistant.

Organizational leadership, qualitative research methods, and educational policy are some of the core classes that are taught at the best online colleges for education. That said, the curriculum is shaped by the student’s preference of focus. Those with their PhD in Education typically focus on publishing scholarly research instead of, or in addition to, regular classroom instruction. Individuals with a doctorate degree in education are often school administrators and district superintendents. The degree can also carry over to nonprofit organizations or the federal government depending upon experience, and the job’s description.


In the United States, there are many career options for future educators. Whether you want to work in a classroom or in an administrative role, there are jobs available after graduating from the best online colleges for education! It is important to note though, that depending upon one’s experience, areas of specialization, location, qualifications, etc., career opportunities vary. Learn what the best colleges for teaching degrees are!

Below is a detailed list of potential career paths for those with a degree in education.


Coaches and scouts work together to recruit and train athletes, both amateur and professional. Coaches can also be mentors for athletes both on and off the field. Coaches of amateur teams, like at the high school level, may have to recruit one player or an entire team while at the college level/ professional level, scouts seek out players individually. A scout seeks potential professional talent in players, and sometimes uses incentives to execute a recruit of exceptional players.

Elementary Education Administrators

Administrators working in the elementary level of education ordinarily deal with individuals within grades K-5. They handle the everyday activities and typically have strong skills in administration management, education, and technology. With help from school districts and other educators, these individuals work to create curriculum plans for educational programs. They evaluate different methods of teaching to ensure that quality education standards are always met. These professionals also work together to promote academic achievement and success.

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary level educators usually instruct children in grades pre-K to 5th grade. They can work in public and/or private schools. In addition to classroom work, other duties of an elementary school teacher may include monitoring academic and extracurricular activities, teaching more than one subject, participating in field trips, and maintaining communication with students’ parents to periodically discuss behavior, academic business and planning.

Instructional Coordinators

Principals and teachers come together to evaluate the overall productivity and success of educational programs compared to local, state, and federal school board regulations. They analyze the performance of teachers, and help teachers strengthen their teaching skills by offering suggestions and extended training if necessary. They also analyze the condition and material of textbooks and new technologies.

Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers instruct children in grades 6-8. They develop lesson plans for their students, help with assignments, administer homework and exams, and monitor their students’ academic progress and performance. Unlike elementary school teachers who teach multiple subjects to a class, middle school teachers commonly focus on teaching a specific subject. Like most who teach at grade-level schools, middle school teachers periodically meet with the guardians of the students to remain in communication over matters dealing with the progress and/or concerns regarding the student’s performance.

Postsecondary Teachers

These individuals instruct learners who are attending four-year colleges and universities, vocational schools, professional schools, and community colleges. Post-secondary teachers working in universities and four-year colleges tend to dedicate more of their time to research and publication. Those teaching at community colleges tend to spend more time inside of the classroom engaging with students. Those who fall into this category typically hold a master’s degree, and taught post-secondary courses while they were working towards their graduate degrees. Many post-secondary teachers also delve into work dealing with academic committees or may serve on academic boards, attend conferences, or participate in institutional activities.

Secondary School Teachers

Grades 9-12 are taught by secondary school teachers in both public and private schools. Since this is the time where students are reaching the age of adulthood, it is not uncommon for these educators to begin preparing students for life-after-school. Like middle school instructors, secondary school teachers usually teach a specific subject to more than one class throughout a day’s work. They create lesson plans that promote skills involving job placement and/or college readiness. They grade assignments, help students reach their academic goals, and meet with parents periodically for progress reports. Search for the best colleges for teaching degrees to learn more information!

Kindergarten/Elementary Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers instruct students typically in grades K-5. These instructors commonly teach multiple core subjects and create individualized, education plans (IEPs) that accommodate each students’ pace of learning. These instructors tend to work closely with social workers, counselors, and parents of the student to develop the most efficient strategy to ensure academic and social successes for the student.

Teacher Assistants

Assistants help teachers with the preparation of coursework materials and activities, as well as mentoring and tutoring students for academic success. These assistants can work in public schools, private schools, childcare centers, or religious institutions. Requirements for entering this line of work differ from state to state, sometimes requiring a high school diploma, or an associate degree from one of the best online colleges for education.

Training/Development Specialists

These professionals specialize in program creation and training sessions designed to effectively teach and train new hires, as well as strengthen skills and improve the performance of existing workers. These specialists give presentations and organize seminars for big and small businesses, in nearly every area of the workforce, making them very important to staff development.