Why Should I Get a Secondary Education Degree?
When it comes to choosing a career path, there are so many factors to keep in mind. Do you value job flexibility? Job security? A great work environment? Maybe you’re looking to make as much money as you possibly can. Each generation steps into the workforce looking for something slightly different.
So what is Generation Z looking for in a degree, and what career options align well with their desires? Various studies show that Zoomers care about job security, a positive, flexible work environment, and good pay.
With these factors in mind, here are four reasons why a secondary education degree might be the perfect choice for you.
Are you looking for a college degree that will set you up to get a job right after graduation or even before? You’re not alone. In fact, according to a Forbes study on Gen Z college decisions, about 88% of the first members of Gen Z to graduate from college say they chose a major with job availability in mind.
If job security is at the top of your wish list, a secondary education degree is a great path to choose. Secondary education teachers are always in high demand. Dani Barkey, assistant superintendent of secondary education for Warsaw Community Schools, attests to this. She spends a good portion of her time recruiting teachers.
“I’ve found aggressive student teaching placement is the best way to recruit and develop new talent,” she said. “All of the Grace graduates who have come through Warsaw schools have been excellent additions to our corporation. I estimate that 70-80% of our elementary education teachers are Grace graduates. While we don’t have as many in secondary education, we are equally eager to prospect and hire Grace students,” she said.
And according to Jon McDillon, a 2011 mathematics secondary education Grace graduate, finding a job after graduation was no sweat.
“With a secondary education degree it was very easy to find a job, and I was extremely confident approaching graduation that I would find something immediately,” he said.
So there’s a good chance you’ll get a job, but will you like it? Will you enjoy your work environment and schedule? Will you look forward to going to work every day? A secondary education degree comes with societal, relational, and personal perks that make secondary teachers highly satisfied with their work. Here are a few reasons why:
Societal Impact: As a teacher, you have the chance to impact the next generation. Your classroom might be filled with future politicians, CEOs, pastors, and teachers who will shape society 20 years down the road. Your role in helping high schoolers cross the finish line of graduation has monumental effects on a society. Studies show that kids who are able to get across the graduation line are much more effective citizens.
Relational Bonds: As a teacher, you’re not just shaping society, you’re shaping lives. And those lives just might shape yours in return. Bonds formed in the classroom last long after students move on to the next grade level. While some jobs make it hard to see the immediate impact of your work, secondary education does not.
Personal Vacation Time: Finally, education affords you three months of paid summer vacation time every single year. This is a no-brainer, especially if you want to be a parent someday. Syncing your schedule with your children’s schedules allows you to give them one of the greatest gifts you can give: time. Or if you’re single with wanderlust, summers off could be the perfect opportunity to backpack Europe or hike Patagonia. Having summers off is one of the best perks of being a teacher.
Many don’t think about the advancement opportunities that may come with a secondary education degree. Education is the third largest financial sector in the United States. What might start as a career in teaching may blossom into a number of other industries and career paths. One such path is education technology. As the role of technology in education increases, there are positions in the tech realm that demand the experience and insight of experienced teachers. A secondary education degree doesn’t have to be a single-track career; it can lead you to a number of other places.
Take Assistant Superintendent Barkey, for example. She spent the first ten years of her career as an art teacher. After earning an MA in Education Administration, she became an assistant principal, went on to become a head principal, and now serves as an assistant superintendent. Reflecting on her 20+ years in education, Barkey admits that she never expected her career to turn out this way.
“I never thought I’d be able to make a salary like I’m making, and I don’t think that people realize how many opportunities exist in education,” she said.
Great educators make great leaders. If you’re looking for a place to hone your soft skills in communication, management, and leadership, the classroom is a great place to start a career that leads just about anywhere!
And speaking of going anywhere, are you looking for a field that could launch you into global missions? For Grace and Jon McDillon, secondary education was an ideal way to engage in global missions opportunities. After they had both spent several years in the classroom here in Warsaw, they moved to Taiwan as missionaries with Send International at a Christian school called Morrison Academy.
“We went in with the plan to be ‘missionaries to the missionaries.’ But many of our students at Morrison were not Christians, and so we ended up being evangelists as well. Day by day, we were able to show our students the lives of Christians. And many kids do come to know the Lord. He’s using Morrison for his glory,” said Grace.
Even educators who spend their entire career here in the U.S. have an awesome opportunity to impact lives for Christ. As Barkey described it, “My mom grew up in Nigeria on the missions field, but I found that my mission field is right here in Indiana.”
Secondary education is a steady and enjoyable field that leads to opportunities for personal growth and global impact. If you are a part of Gen Z, consider a secondary education degree!
Discover more about our secondary education programs:
Secondary English Education Major