One growth area in this slow economy is education. The need for teachers is increasing and working professionals are moving from their jobs in slower industries to return to college for teaching credentials.
If you have a bachelor's degree, you can gain teaching credentials and / or a master of Education degree both on-campus and online. While most adult students are gaining credentials in elementary education or secondary education, you can also obtain credits in Early Childhood Education, Reading Specialist, Special Education or ESL.
Many schools offer cohort groups for teacher education in an accelerated format over 18 months to 2 years, part-time. This allows workers to keep their jobs and still take classes in the evening until they start student teaching.
The online Teacher Education programs are offered by state universities, private college or for-profit schools. Rio Salado College, a community college in Phoenix, offers teaching credentials online at a less expensive option than most other online schools. Rio Salado will work with your local college to arrange student teaching and partners with several universities to offer the Master of Education by adding a few extra courses.
If you are taking an online Teacher Education program from a school from another state, make sure you understand that all states have different requirements for teachers. Some states require passing a state and local government test. Some states require fingerprinting and a background check. You can find out what your state requires by searching: How to Become a Teacher in (name of state).
Although you will have tuition and fees to pay when you take your Teacher Education program, there is a lot of financial aid available. The federal government offers some stimulus money for teachers working in the science and math fields in low-income schools. There are also grants, scholarships and loans available.
Becoming a teacher is a career change that is being considered by workers in industries that are slowing or disappearing. State universities, private schools and online colleges have stepped up by offering accelerated Teacher Education programs. These programs differ in tuition costs, format and length of programs so there are many choices if you are thinking about becoming a teacher.