General Education
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General Education Overview

Educators get the chance to inspire and motivate the future by working with students of all ages and backgrounds. This major could prepare you for a career teaching or in another educational field such as administrator, counselor or public worker. Students will learn basic principles in educational psychology, and the art of teaching which includes planning, grading, and paper work. As a teacher you will learn how to handle school safety and health issues. This is a job that allows you to work with students of all ages from pre-k to 12th grade, from all different backgrounds and walks of life.

Although programs from different schools will vary you could be required to take an educational psychology, issues in contemporary education, foundations of language and literacy, exceptional and at-risk learners and along with your other core classes required by your school. Also, in order to get your certification you will be required to do a certain number of field experience hours as well as complete at least one semester of student teaching.

Required Skills

In order to be comfortable as a teacher it is necessary for students to become familiar with public speaking. As a teacher you will be required to talk in front of a classroom full of students, but you will also talk to administrators, other school staff, and parents and guardians. Public speaking is a skill that you will want to be well versed in. You should also enjoy working with children and with other people. This is not a job where you will sit in a cubicle all day.

You should also be creative and passionate about learning. As a teacher you need to differentiate instruction and get your students excited about the material so that they are willing to learn from you. You will also acquire skills to help sell your subject. You will be responsible for motivating your students and ensuring that they are giving you their best work. Patience is an important trait to have as an educator. Teaching and re-teaching will happen often to ensure that all students understand. Organization is key in order to be prepared, effective, and to use time efficiently.

Most schools require field experience hours before you can get into the education program. This allows you to see what it is like to be a teacher from the other side of the desk. Also, in order to get certified you will be required to complete a certain number of student teaching hours.


There are many different career paths that you can take with a degree in education. Many people start as classroom teachers and work their way up to principle or administrators. Other people will work as a classroom teacher for their entire career. It depends what focus you decide to take.

Most states now require you to get your master's degree in order to be certified. You will usually have a year before it is necessary to pursue your master's degree, giving you time to get a job and work on getting your master's at the same time. For most states, there is currently a surplus of teachers making it hard to find a job in certain areas. Math and science teachers tend to be more in demand.

Graduates with a degree in education average $33,786 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $51,363.

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Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in General Education might open up.

Education Teachers, Postsecondary
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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