Future teachers may opt to specialize in certain subjects, such as physical sciences; English, literature, composition, or creative writing; biological sciences; business education; American history, world history, or regional history; management and administration; and many others.
General Education programs satisfy practice and career goals for interdisciplinary subjects, with studies in humanities and social and behavioral sciences. Numerous two-year vocational, trade, and community college and four-year college and university general Education Schools provide programs that offer various diploma, certificate, and degree programs of study in general education.
Students in four-year Education Schools can obtain Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS) degrees in education, as well as education doctorate (EdD, PhD) degrees and combined degrees.
Diplomas and certificates from Education Schools may satisfy requirements for pre-school, assistant, vocational, and continuing education teacher positions. BA and BS degrees in education are generally required of classroom teachers, however most classroom teachers today have MS degrees. PhD degrees, and sometimes MA degrees, will qualify professionals for higher education (college and university professorships) and corporate education program positions.
MS degrees in education develop advanced skills to improve teaching abilities. Specializations in master studies focus on encouraging educators to test their skills in classroom and school settings. Courses are designed to increase professional depth and effectiveness in traditional settings, corporate settings, and various educational programs. Those who have graduated from Education School with a Master's degree should feel prepared to meet many challenges in education, having studied learning theory, instructional and curriculum design, and research and instructional technology.
PhD programs present studies designed for experienced professional educators wishing to expand their skills as teachers, researchers, and consultants. They provide opportunities for education students to focus on personal areas of interest and to develop advanced skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and research that will facilitate professional growth and effectiveness in the classroom. PhD degrees allow for pursuit of positions as superintendents, education coordinators, special education directors, principals, professors, deans, and more.