Explore 5 growing careers in education

July 25, 2014

Choosing education as a career is fulfilling, rewarding, and pragmatic.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), education careers look particularly promising in the following five areas.

1.Post-secondary teacher

Post-secondary (higher education) teacher positions range from graduate student teachers and assistant professors to associate professors and professors. As a higher education teacher, you’ll work in colleges or universities with opportunities to advance to the head of your department.

  • Why the field is growing: Post-secondary educators are needed because more people are attending institutions of higher learning. However, it’s important to note that although the demand for post-secondary teachers is rising, the BLS does not differentiate between tenure and non-tenure track positions.
  • Education requirements: At a minimum, you’ll need a master’s degree to teach at a community or technical college. Four-year universities require most of their faculty members to hold doctoral degrees. Teaching experience can also help, so keep an eye open for graduate teaching assistant opportunities as you earn your degree.

Wondering which education career is right for you? Use this handy guide to explore education-related careers.

2. Post-secondary education administrator

Education administrators lead at the highest level of the education system. In this field, you could hold a position as dean, provost (chief academic officer), department head, registrar, or administration director. Education administrators help institutions run smoothly by leading the school’s faculty, academics, or student services.

  • Why the field is growing: The BLS anticipates growth in this field as enrollments continue to increase.
  • Education requirements: The education level you’ll need depends on the type of institution you work for, but the majority of education administrators have an advanced degree (master’s or doctoral). While most any advanced degree can lead to a career in education, specific education-focused degrees are becoming the norm.

3. Curriculum developer

Curriculum developers operate behind-the-scenes of the classroom, supporting teachers by incorporating the newest guidelines and technologies into the curricula. Other responsibilities include assessing teaching strategies and suggesting innovative ways to instruct students more effectively.

  • Why the field is growing: As federal and state education standards continue to change, the demand for curriculum specialists grows. In addition to developing new curricula, you may be asked to train teachers on how to implement these guidelines into their classrooms. Areas of study with the greatest demand include math, science, reading, continuing education, special needs, and English as a second language.
  • Education requirements: Some schools require curriculum developers to have a doctoral degree, but most only require a master’s degree in teaching, educational administration, or curriculum and instruction. You may also need a teaching license or a related certificate, and should expect to take continuing education courses to keep your training up-to-date throughout your career.

4. School counselor

School counselors work in a school setting to help students as they make academic and career choices. You’ll help them meet graduation requirements, deal with personal, social and behavioral problems, and test for learning disabilities.

  • Why the field is growing: School counselors are taking on more responsibilities related to crises, drug and alcohol abuse, death and suicide. If students need additional help, counselors will refer them to the appropriate professionals.
  • Education requirements: Most states require school counselors to have a master’s degree in counseling, as well as a school counseling certificate. Requirements vary by state. Program accreditation is also important— CACREP lists the schools that are part of the accreditation program.

5. Special education teacher

As a special education teacher, you’ll assist disabled students with the learning process, either in your own classroom or while sitting in with a larger class. Responsibilities include adjusting curriculum to meet students’ needs and abilities, teaching socially acceptable behaviors, and recording and reporting on students’ progress.

  • Why the field is growing: Earlier diagnosis of disabilities, higher graduation standards, and a lack of qualified teachers are driving the demand, especially in inner cities and rural areas; however, the salary is usually lower. There’s also an increased need for bilingual teachers and teachers who work with students that have multiple disabilities.
  • Education requirements: The majority of K-12 special education teachers have a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in special education, and almost as many have a master’s degree. There are also a variety of licenses you can obtain, ranging from Autism Spectrum Disorders to hearing- and visually-impaired licensure.

Interested in one of these careers?

Capella University offers master’s and doctoral degree programs designed to meet the needs of today’s education environment. Learn more about Capella’s education degrees.

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