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2021 Education Degree Guide

Studying in the field of education will help prepare you to be an effective and inspirational teacher. You will learn skills on how to manage a classroom while still providing an interesting lesson. In this field, you will influence children, teenagers or adults in a way that can change their lives. A teacher is much more than an educator, you will act as a counselor, disciplinarian, friend, and confidant. The roles you will play in the lives of your students are endless.

However, teaching is not the only career available in the field of education. It is also possible to become a principle or an administrator. Here is where you take the knowledge you already have about the teaching profession and use it to help your school run smoothly. Another direction that you may choose to go within this field is career or guidance counseling. This allows you to have a more one on one role with the student in order to motivate and encourage them.

If education interests you, but working directly with students is not your passion, you may choose to work as a curriculum developer. Here you would work with state standards and tests, instruction methods, and technology to make sure students are getting the best education possible.

Education Degrees Remain Stable

#4 Most Popular Major
269k Degrees Awarded
0.3% Increase in Graduates

In 2018-2019, education was the 4th most popular major nationwide with 269,156 degrees awarded. This is approximately the same as the 268,374 graduates the prior year.

The United States has 1,885 different schools where you can get a degree in education. Our 2021 Best Colleges for Education ranking analyzes 622 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for education students. Explore this or one of our many other custom education rankings further below.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Education

There are many different skills essential to working in education: Some of the most important are enthusiasm, compassion, dedication, creativity, organization, and flexibility. No matter how perfectly you plan a lesson or a meeting; there is always a chance that something may not go according to plan, making quick thinking and adaptability important. It is also important to have a passion for the future, even if you are not working directly in a classroom every day.

There is a very wide variety of majors within education. Students with different strengths can excel in this field because of the endless options. Students in education should have a desire to help the greater common good and should also have strong communication skills. Communication is important for teaching, but also to make sure everyone is on the same page, whether it is parents, administrators, or the state. Most of the concentrations within this field will require at least one semester of student teaching.

Prior Education for an Education Program

education degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Once you obtain your degree, additional education certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Education Degree Types

Education degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in education to something that takes less time like a . How long it takes to complete some common education degree levels is shown below.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A doctor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to education, with approximately 28.2% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to education tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Doctoral Degree 28.8%
Master’s Degree 26.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 22.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 5.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 3.9%

61.6% of education workers have at least a master's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in education have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which education career you choose.

Education Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$43.9k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are a variety of career opportunities for those who enter the education field. Some may want to be a classroom teacher in either a particular grade level or subject, whereas others will choose to serve as a school administrator. Other options include school counseling, curriculum development, educational policy, tutoring and more. With the many diverse directions you can go, there is bound to be a career options that appeals to you.

Solid Growth Projected for Education Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your education degree? Education careers are expected to grow 9.6% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to education.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Elementary School Teachers 1,514,900 7.4%
Teacher Assistants 1,417,600 8.4%
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
Teachers 1,091,800 9.9%
Middle School Teachers 677,700 7.5%

How Much Money Do People With a Education Degree Make?

Education graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $43,880 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $9,100 to as high as $161,500. As you might expect, salaries for education graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Education Majors

Salaries for education graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers education grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Economics Professors $117,180
Postsecondary Education Administrators $111,210
Physics Postsecondary Professors $103,830
Business Professors $103,330

Getting Your Education Degree

With over 20,325 different education degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased education school rankings to help you with this.

Education Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 88,570
Teacher Education Subject Specific 40,256
Educational Administration 35,008
General Education 29,223
Special Education 27,544

View All Education Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Education

Related Major Annual Graduates
Social Sciences 199,377
Psychology 174,455
Communication & Journalism 116,237
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 37,407
History 32,643

View All Education Related Majors >


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