Many students head to college with plans of pursuing a secondary education degree. While some do it because they have a true passion for teaching, others simply think it will be an easy route to graduation (or a safe bet when it comes to job hunting). Unfortunately, these assumptions often ring untrue, and students end up unhappy in their careers or, even worse, unemployed.
If you’re planning to pursue a secondary education degree, make sure you know what you’re getting into first so that you can set realistic expectations for your education and your career. Here are four major points you should know:
- Texas has unique certification criteria. Texas requires all teachers to take a basic skills test, a subject area competency test and a pedagogy and professional responsibilities exam. And even if you’re certified in another state, if you want to teach school in Texas, you’ll have to go through the certification process once again.
- It takes time. Many students who pursue a secondary education degree don’t graduate on time, mostly due to the grueling requirements of their academic programs and the demands of finishing their education requirements, such as student teaching. Often, after the fourth year is up, scholarships and financial aid dry up as well, which makes tuition costs even more of a challenge for many education students.
- It requires a good second major or minor. Because you’ll have to take a subject competency exam in order to teach in Texas, you’ll need to choose a second concentration. English, history, foreign languages and the sciences are all popular second major or minor choices. In addition, certain majors and minors are not available for teaching certification, so you’ll want to make sure you consult with your academic advisor in order to find a program that fits your interests and is teachable.
- It doesn’t pay great – Texas is ranked 30th in the U.S. for average teacher salary, and according the Texas Tribune, the average salary for a teacher in the Lone Star State is just $49,000. That’s not much, especially when compared with other career paths out there.
Even though some of these things may seem discouraging, teaching can also be an extremely rewarding profession. If you’re on the fence about getting a teaching degree or even if you’re just curious about what goes in to being an educator, ask some of your favorite teachers what their recommendation would be. And if you’re interested in pursuing a secondary education degree, then consider Texas Lutheran University. We offer a top-notch education program, renowned professors and hundreds of great majors and minors to choose from. Contact us today to schedule a campus tour.