Do You Need Teaching Experience to Get A Master’s in Education?

Education is one of the few secure fields of employment left. To become a teacher, one has to double major in education and another subject of interest as an undergrad. Many universities require education majors to maintain higher GPAs than students in other majors. For example, an education major might have to have a 3.5 GPA to graduate, while any other student could graduate with a 3.0. Student teaching is often more demanding than other kinds of student internships. After fulfilling the college’s graduation requirements, an education major still has to pass qualifications in his own state before he can begin applying for teaching positions in public schools. It is very difficult to meet all of these standards, so many education majors are disappointed when they learn that schools prefer to hire teachers who have master’s degrees. Fortunately, it is not necessary to complete a master’s degree in order to start gaining teaching experience.

Why is a Master’s Degree Necessary?

In order to begin working as a teacher, one must have an understanding of how the requirements line up every step of the way; just because one has graduated with a bachelor’s in education does not mean that he will pass his state qualification exam. Neither of those factors guarantee that a school will hire him. There are far more people looking for teaching jobs than there are positions available.

For those who are passionate about working in education, sometimes it is necessary on a practical level to earn a master’s degree before making a sincere effort to find teaching work. Even if a school does not require a master’s degree at the outset, having one would increase the applicant’s chances of getting the job. This is especially true of popular subjects like art and English. Some states require working teachers to eventually complete master’s degrees. Many education majors feel that it would be easier to get grad school out of the way before they start working. It is possible to go straight from one’s undergraduate education program into graduate coursework without having any real teaching experience first. ┬áSome universities even welcome people into their graduate education programs who have not studied education at the undergraduate level.

What Are Some Other Ways to Get Teaching Experience?

Substitute teaching looks great on a resume. Education majors can begin gaining classroom experience in this manner before they have finished their bachelor’s degrees. Working at summer camps and tutoring centers also helps prospective teachers learn how to manage large groups of children and guide them in educational activities. It would be a good idea to take on one or more of these jobs while looking for full-time teaching work. Like a master’s degree, this kind of experience is not strictly necessary, but it always makes an applicant look more qualified. Another option is to apply at private schools. Private schools pay their teachers less, and they do not have to follow state qualification requirements.

A master’s degree shows that one values the educational process and is willing to go the extra mile when it comes to accumulating knowledge and experience. Those are great qualities for a teacher to have. A teacher who has earned a graduate degree has a better chance of imparting a love of learning to her students, and she will be better equipped to handle the day-to-day challenges of managing a classroom.