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Education: What Can I Do With This Degree?

K-12

Teaching:
  • Preschool
  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • Secondary
Administration
  • Principalship
  • Superintendency
Special Services
  • Reading
  • Title 1
  • Guidance counseling
  • School psychology
  • School social work
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Audiology and speech pathology
  • Library / Information services
  • Special education
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Curriculum supervision
  • Subject area supervision

Employers

  • Elementary, middle, and secondary schools: public, private, Montessori, etc.
  • Day care centers and nursery schools
  • Boards of education

Information & Strategies

  • Complete a college-level teacher preparation program.
  • Obtain teaching certificate/license for desired subject area and/or grade level. Requirements for certification/licensure vary by state.
  • Obtain multiple certifications to increase employability.
  • Private schools may not require certification or licensure. Obtain master's degree in subject area for increased employability.
  • Get involved in student teacher organizations.
  • Acquire teaching experience. Obtain PhD and certificate in school administration.
  • Graduate study required for special service fields. Obtain master's degree in area to become specialist. Requirements for certification and/or accreditation vary by state.

Higher Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Student affairs
  • Information / Library services

Employers

  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Two-year and community colleges
  • Technical schools
  • Medical and professional schools

Information & Strategies

  • Earn a PhD to teach and research at four-year institutions. Master's or PhD degree is required to teach at two-year schools.
  • Earn a PhD in higher education administration for upper level positions in university administration.
  • Earn master's degree in student personnel, student development, or counseling for student affairs positions.
  • Obtain master's degree in library/information sciences.
  • Gain related experience through student positions such as resident assistants, orientation leaders, etc.
  • Seek leadership roles in campus organizations.

Adult and Continuing Education

  • Inservice education
  • Staff development
  • Professional development
  • Leisure-oriented education
  • GED preparation
  • Literacy Development
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Consulting

Employers

  • K-12 school systems
  • Boards of education
  • Colleges and universities
  • Two-year and technical schools
  • Community organizations: YMCA, Red Cross, etc.
  • Correctional institutions
  • Museums
  • Professional associations
  • Nursing homes/Adult daycare
  • Vocational services
  • Consulting firms

Information & Strategies

  • Attain a master's or PhD degree in adult education or a graduate degree in a subject or specialized area.
  • Gain a reputation of expertise and experience in a subject, profession, art, craft, or trade.
  • Obtain teaching or instructional experience.
  • Determine certification or accreditation standards for areas of interest.

Business and Industry

  • Corporate training
  • Human resources
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Publishing, editing, and technical writing
  • Curriculum development
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Public and private corporations
  • Consulting firms
  • Marketing companies
  • Bookstores
  • Publishers: textbook, newspaper, magazine, book
  • Test-preparation companies
  • Software companies
  • Staffing agencies

Information & Strategies

  • Take some general business and computer courses.
  • Earn a graduate degree in human resource development.
  • Gain experience in organizational development or marketing.
  • Become current with business and industry literature and news.
  • Develop strong word processing, editing, and desktop publishing skills.

Government

  • Administration
  • Planning
  • Evaluation
  • Management
  • Research and writing
  • Teaching
  • Social work

Employers

Federal government agencies:
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Defense
  • Overseas schools for military dependents
  • Department of Labor
  • Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)
  • Health and Human Services
  • Library of Congress
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Peace Corps
  • Americorps
Social Service Agencies

State and local government

Information & Strategies

  • Learn federal, state, and local job application procedures.
  • Gain experience and an advanced, typically PhD, degree for high level positions in government.

Nonprofit

  • Teaching or training
  • Programming
  • Public relations
  • Administration
  • Fundraising
  • Case managing
  • Lobbying

Employers

  • Adoption agencies
  • Scouts
  • Camps
  • United Way agencies
  • YMCA / YWCA
  • Group homes
  • Mental health clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Community recreation centers
  • Other public or private social service organizations
  • State/national professional associations

Information & Strategies

  • Gain experience through volunteer work or internships.
  • Develop writing and public speaking skills.
  • Learn to work well with people of various backgrounds.
  • Add additional coursework in area of interest such as human services, counseling, or psychology.
  • Consider certification in special education for greater employability.
  • Seek grant writing experience to increase opportunities.

General Information

  • Develop excellent communication skills, verbal and written.
  • Develop good computer skills.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and energy for the field.
  • Need desire to work with and help people.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship, or volunteer experience with the age group you intend to work with in various settings: preschools, day-cares, camps, community agencies, adult centers, YMCA's, etc.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities and related organizations to broaden skills, interests, and opportunities.
  • Bachelor's degree is sufficient for certification/licensure to teach K-12 in most states. Obtain a master's degree for advancement and increased earning potential.
  • Advanced degree required for specialists, education administration, college teaching, and other professional positions.
  • Maintain current knowledge of state and national legislation regarding teacher licensure.
Identify transferable skills learned in teaching applicable to alternative careers:
  • Effective communication with people - verbal and written
  • Teaching and instruction
  • Program planning
  • Organization and record-keeping
  • Working under pressure and meeting deadlines
  • Motivational skills, creativity
  • Working autonomously, decision-making, problem solving
  • Research skills
Download a PDF of this chart for easy printing.

Next Steps

Learn about North Park's education program.

North Park University School of Education