Teacher Education

Top Five Undergraduate Degrees for New Teachers

It’s a great time to become a teacher. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics estimates that nearly 69 million new teachers will be needed around the world by the year 2030.

If you’re thinking of entering into this prestigious profession, and considering all the avenues this career could follow, it’s key to take not only your personal passions and educational interests into account, but also the changing trends of the industry, overall.

Since becoming a teacher does not necessarily require a bachelor’s degree in education to earn a teaching certificate, there are quite a few undergraduate degree choices that the U.S. Department of Education believes can increase your chances of being hired — and paid competitively — at the institution of your choice.

"Demand for special education teachers is booming."

STEM Degrees

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degrees are currently some of the most sought after qualifications in education. Employers appreciate that these fields of study focus on logical thought processing, problem solving, critical thinking and innovation. Undergraduate degrees that fall under this category can include subjects from Astronomy, Physics and Earth Sciences to Chemistry, Computer Science, Information Technology and many more.

Instructional Technology & Design Degree

Although an Instructional Technology & Design degree is certainly not a new area of expertise, it is becoming an increasingly advantageous choice of study in the educational arena. This degree focuses on creating and delivering both digital and physical, hands-on, instructional experiences through technology mediums, which schools find incredibly beneficial in an increasingly computerized world.

Human Development Degree

While content is clearly an important component of teaching, understanding students and helping them grow is also a highly desirable skill set for new teachers. Schools find value in Human Development studies because they provide the opportunity for instructors to learn the more nuanced social, cultural, psychological and biological aspects of a student’s development, as well as inspire the educator to create more personalized strategies for learning. Similarly sought after are degrees in Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Education and Family Studies—to name a few.

English Language Learning Degrees

Teachers with the qualifications to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) are another top choice for many schools all around the world. Research shows that, in the United States, roughly twenty percent of students speak a language other than English at home. Schools value that teachers trained in English language learning are better able to assist students in their understanding of the fundamentals of language and therefore increase their overall comprehension of lessons.

*ESL is offered not only as a bachelor’s degree, but also as a separate certification that can complement other, more specific types of specializations.

Special Education Degrees

Demand for special education teachers is also booming. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states Special Education offers both growth opportunities and above-average salaries, and—according to the United States Department of Education — forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have recently reported shortages in their Special Education departments. In addition to the fundamental need to fill these roles, schools also value applicants with this sort of expertise for their ability to create relevant lesson plans for varying age groups with a wide spectrum of learning and attention-related capabilities.