Knowing how to specialize an education degree is important if you would like to take your general degree in education to the next level. With a specialized degree, you can teach a specific age group, children with disabilities, or different subject areas where you are the most skilled. In order to specialize your degree while you are attending an undergraduate or graduate program, you need to know what path you would like so that you can choose the right major or minor. Read this guide and you will learn about the specializations that you can choose from and how to become an educator and a specialist.
What Types of Undergraduate Specializations Can You Choose From?
In the past, prospective educators would simply earn a general bachelor’s degree in education to meet licensing requirements and then sit for certification exams. While some states still follow this structure, the process of becoming an educator has changed to ensure that the educators have committed themselves to learning content that is more specific to teaching a specific type of student population. According to the U.S. Department of Education, this is the new structure to educator education. This is why more undergraduate students who are enrolling in school will choose a major to the following specializations: early childhood education, special education, secondary education, and elementary education.
What Are the Specializations Available When You Are a Graduate Student?
If you have already earning a general Bachelor’s degree in Education, the next step would be to continue your education by earning a graduate degree. When you study for your master’s degree, you are able to differentiate yourself from other educators and specialize in senior roles. With a graduate-level degree, you will cover specific content that is specific to the specialization that you select. Like the Bachelor’s degree concentrations, you can choose programs focused on early childhood, elementary, middle school, secondary and adult education. Most master’s degree programs cover courses in counseling, curriculum development and educational leadership as well.
Adding Specializations to Your License
Every state has their own unique process when it comes to issuing teaching credentials to graduates who have specialized their degree. If you are already a licensed teacher, you may be required to add subjects or teaching areas to your existing credentials before you can apply for a promotion or a new position. After you add to your credential you will get an authorization to teach a subject or an authorization that you are an education specialist. If you would like to be a specialist from the start, review the requirements before you take your PRAXIS test so that you select the right tests to take for licensing.
Related Resource: General Education Courses
General educators are in demand, but the demand for specialized teachers is expected to reach 440,000 by the year 2020. If you know that you want to work with a specific age range or you have a passion for a certain subject, specializing in bilingual, social science, math, science or special education is the answer. You will need to review the majors available with schools who have a great education program before you do anything else. After you pinpoint the best schools and the best major, you can learn how to specialize an education degree and then work in that specialty area.