Whether you already have or are considering getting an elementary education degree, you no doubt have a heart for children - for helping shape them into well-adjusted, well-rounded adults who can successfully navigate this crazy world and make it a better place. And your heart must be pretty big, because we all know that elementary education is about much more than providing book knowledge. It’s about instilling character, teaching how to get along with others, navigating failure, ensuring basic needs are met, and a million other “little” things.
Earning an online degree in education at Ottawa University prepares you for the in-demand and high calling of being an educator, whether it’s in a traditional classroom or in a myriad of other jobs that an elementary education degree qualifies you for. If you aren’t sure what you can do with an accredited online teaching degree, then keep reading to explore some careers options that you may have already thought of, as well as some that might surprise you. You will want to keep in mind that earning a Master of Arts in Education is a prerequisite for many education positions.
Traditional Careers in Education
Kindergarten/Elementary School Teacher
This is perhaps the most recognizable job for those with an elementary education degree. They may work in public or private schools. Their primary duties include creating and implementing engaging lesson plans, setting and enforcing classroom guidelines, observing and evaluating student performance, as well as developing and grading homework and tests. Teachers must keep detailed records and communicate regularly with parents regarding their child’s progress. Other important skills needed by an elementary school teacher include being patient, practicing empathy, being a strong motivator, identifying learning and behavioral issues, and being a good communicator. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for becoming a kindergarten or elementary school teacher, along with state certification.
You can start earning your online bachelor’s degree in education at Ottawa University today. Or, if you have a bachelor’s degree in another field, you may meet state guidelines for becoming a teacher by completing a teacher certification/licensure program. Enrolling in OU’s Master of Arts in Elementary Education Unified program, which leads to licensure, gives you the greatest career flexibility.
Pre-school teachers care for, guide, and nurture children who are between the ages of 3 and 5. They plan and use a variety of strategies that incorporate play, exploration and formal teaching to help develop a child’s motor skills, social skills, language, and emotional maturity. Pre-school teachers introduce the initial building blocks for reading and writing, creative arts, science, and social studies. Methods for teaching concepts and skills to pre-school children often include games, books, music, art, movies, books, field trips, and guest speakers. Teaching is done both in groups and one on one. They can find jobs in daycare centers; state, local, or private schools; private homes; religious institutions; grantmaking organizations; or civic centers.
A pre-school director manages the day-to-day operations of a pre-school. This includes supervising teachers/staff, developing and implementing program plans that meet state requirements, preparing budgets, maintaining records, overseeing building maintenance, and communicating with parents. Most pre-school director positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, such as OU’s accredited online teaching degree, and some states require directors to be licensed.
Professional Tutor/Academic Coach
With the explosion of online learning during COVID, and with many students falling behind in their schoolwork, professional tutors and academic coaches are in demand now more than ever. Whether an educator provides private tutoring or works for a local or national tutoring center, they will work one-on-one with students either virtually or in-person to help them master needed skills to stay on track academically. These positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Opportunities also exist for administrative roles in tutoring centers, usually with a master’s degree required.
Another online tutoring opportunity exists with international organizations who contract with American educators to teach English to children in places like Asia. No knowledge of the foreign language is required. Teachers can teach from the comfort of their home and set their own schedule, with no need to create curricula, as lessons are designed by the company. A bachelor’s degree is required, such as an online bachelor’s degree in education. Salaries for both of these job options vary widely based on qualifications and hours.
Additional Careers in Education
Curriculum developers, also known as instructional coordinators, develop, evaluate, revise, and coordinate implementation of curricula to keep schools current with the latest teaching technology and state and federal guidelines. This role requires the intersection of state education standards, textbooks, and teaching strategies to make up-to-date curricula and required standards accessible to students and teachers. Curriculum developers meet with administrators, evaluate student test data, view teachers in the classroom, write grant proposals, and sometimes coach educators on new instructional methods. Raising standardized test scores is often a major goal for curriculum developers working in the public school system. Curriculum developers may work with a singular school or district or serve multiple public or private schools.
A master’s degree is required to be a curriculum developer; state licensure and/or an educational administration license may also be required. Ottawa University’s Master's in Elementary Education Unified or Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction can start you on the path to a career in curriculum development. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industry for curriculum developers has a predicted job growth rate of 6% from 2018 to 2028.
Family Support Specialist
Family support specialists provide support for families who are facing any number of issues that could negatively impact their children. These specialists assess eligibility for and connect families to community services, whether it’s housing, transportation, food resources, or employment in order to support their children. Considered a type of social worker, family support specialists much have knowledge of child development, good communication practices, state regulations related to the family and children, and area public and private resources. They often work with diverse, multi-cultural and underserved student populations. Family support specialists may work in a social service agency, directly with schools, through a non-profit organization, or with a government program like Head Start. The minimum education requirement is a bachelor’s degree in social work or early childhood education. The job growth rate for family social workers is 13% through 2029.
Educational Sales Representative
A degree in elementary education equips you with knowledge about the development of children and the educational strategies and resources required for academic success. That knowledge translates easily into helping parents select appropriate educational material for their children at every stage of academic development. Sales representatives market, sell and sometimes help create merchandise and materials used by educators and caregivers of young children. Educational products can range from children’s literature, toys, and nutritional products to art supplies, media, games, and virtually any other product aimed at developing children. These products can be sold directly, online, at developmental conferences, in stores, or at education fairs.
Sales representatives can work for private companies and non-profit organizations. A bachelor’s degree in early childhood or elementary education is recommended for these positions, with knowledge of sales, marketing, and business methods being a plus.
Get Started Today!
Depending on your level of education and experience, there are a wide variety of career opportunities afforded with an online teaching degree. If you want to make a difference in the lives of future generations, then find out why you should consider a career in teaching.
Ottawa University’s accelerated online degrees will maximize the experience and education you already have to get you into your dream job in education as quickly as possible. As the best, quickest, and most affordable online university in Kansas City, Milwaukee and Phoenix, you can be confident that you will get the quality training needed to propel you to the top of the class!
Reach out to an enrollment advisor today to get started.