A career in education can be challenging, rewarding, long-lasting, and life-changing. A good educator isn’t just changing their own life, but inspiring their students and institutions. Educators have always been highly respected, and for a good reason – society relies upon its educators to pass on knowledge and spark innovation in younger generations.
The educational field is always evolving, and the demands upon educators of all levels are high. Increasingly, educators need to attain specific qualifications before they can teach, run an institution, or administer learning strategies. The kind of educational qualification you need really depends upon the field you wish to enter.
We have put together a list of some of the top educational qualifications offered today in order to help you pick the right course.
Bachelor’s in Education
The mantra “Acharya Devo Bhava” (teacher is God) sums up the role of the educator in Indian popular culture. Teachers have always been held in high esteem in Indian society. If you want to become a professional teacher in India, you are going to need to qualify with a bachelor’s degree in education. This qualification takes four years to complete and is a degree level award that encourages potential teachers to add interpersonal and educational theory to their knowledge of their chosen subject. The standard of teaching in India is very high, and candidates are expected to display theoretical and practical competency that can only be attained through the completion of a full bachelor’s degree.
For those teachers that have already taught in Indian schools, an advanced master’s of education degree is also offered by some universities. This is recommended for teachers who wish to take on higher roles within their institution.
Professional Doctorate in Education
The doctorate In education was arguably the first-ever professional doctorate – first offered by Harvard University in 1921. Since then, professional doctorates have taken off in a number of fields, being more practically focused doctoral level qualifications than Ph.D.’s.
Doctorates in education are intended for people who already have experience in either education or academia and who want to develop an educational strategy and innovation deep into their careers. The qualification is suited to people who want to become district superintendents, academic deans, education directors, or educational consultants. Cohorts are made up of diverse, dedicated, experienced educators, and a great deal of networking takes place between peers.
Doctorates in education are offered by institutions all around the world. Make sure to contact the academic lead of each course to check whether their specialty gels with your own passions and expertise. Increasingly, courses are being offered online. Click here to see an example of a doctorate in education course offered entirely online by Marymount University. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more educational institutions are developing online learning portals that replicate classroom dynamics and allow for collaboration between students.
Although it is not entirely focused upon the defense of a thesis, potential doctors of education will have to be willing to think outside the box when conducting in-depth research. Long term strategic thinking and holistic organizational development planning skills are needed in order to successfully complete these courses. Taking part in a doctorate of education degree course will increase your armory of skills and help you become a real expert in your educational field.
Qualified Teacher Status
Teaching in the UK requires some specific qualifications, one of which is well respected Qualified Teacher Status. All state schools and most private institutions demand that their academic staff acquire Qualified Teacher Status. It can be achieved by going down several different paths.
If you already have a degree, you’ll need to complete a Postgraduate Certificate In Education in order to get your QTS. If you have yet to study, then it is possible to take on a BSc with attached QTS as your undergraduate qualification. This kind of degree requires that you study only one subject, so you need to make sure you know exactly what kind of teacher you want to be before taking on a course.
Alternatively, special QTS courses are available for veterans and former teachers that have yet to achieve modern teaching qualifications.
Postgraduate Certificate in Education
The Postgraduate Certificate In Education – or PGCE, is a diploma aimed at people who already have degrees who want to go into teaching. It is the primary qualification for teachers wishing to practice in the United Kingdom. You’ll be expected to already have knowledge relating to your chosen teaching specialization. If you want to teach history, for instance, then you’ll need a history undergraduate degree before you undertake your postgraduate certificate. The Postgraduate Certificate in Education course is less about learning a subject and more about learning the mentorship, interpersonal and educational skills that a great teacher needs on top of their knowledge of their subject.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Do you want to see the world and work at the same time? Do you want to make friends for life and discover different cultures? Don’t worry, we aren’t trying to press-gang you into the military, but rather pointing out some of the benefits of studying for a career in Teaching English as a Foreign Language – commonly abbreviated as TEFL.
TEFL courses are remarkably popular, with thousands of people qualifying to teach English every year. Hundreds of institutions offer accreditation, but you need to be extremely careful when choosing a course, as the variance in quality and support is huge. Jenny Johnson penned a somewhat helpful guide to choosing a TEFL accreditation course in The Guardian.
Once you have completed a TEFL course, the opportunities for adventure are myriad. There are millions of English learners at thousands of language schools around the world, and a qualified teacher can find a job almost anywhere. TEFL jobs are not especially well paid, but money isn’t everything – the jobs are often gratifying and allow you to travel and work simultaneously. If you want a break from the humdrum of conventional work, consider teaching English as a foreign language and getting yourself a TEFL qualification.