Always in High Demand - The Educator

Aristotle said, "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Education touches on every aspect of human life-and those providing that education continue to be in high demand. Teachers make the world a better place for everyone.

But not only is the field of education one that has great value-it is also a field where plenty of job opportunities exist for those interested in becoming educators. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 2.8 million teachers are employed in the United States, not to mention more than 200,000 administrative staff members.

Because the field of education is so incredibly diverse, demand varies for different positions. In large urban areas, job openings may be quite numerous, thanks to expanding populations. Suburban areas continue to see rapid growth and expansion as well. In more rural areas, however, there may be less turnover so there are fewer openings for teachers and others in the educational field. But wherever you are, the next few years will hold solid prospects for everyone in education as many "baby boomers" are nearing retirement age-leaving many open positions.

Hot Jobs In Education

Besides your average kindergarten through grade 12 teachers, there are many additional job prospects within specific teaching fields and related areas. Here is a look at some of the hottest areas in education today.

o Bilingual teachers. As a nation, the United States continues to grow more diverse, presenting challenges for those educating students who don't speak English as their native language. Therefore demand is rapidly increasing for teachers who can teach in two languages. Not only are teachers needed to teach English itself, but teachers that can conduct a class in two languages are also desperately needed. Teaching a course in two languages allows students the opportunity to both improve their English skills while better grasping the subject matter in their native language. This means teachers need to be fully adept in more than one language. Teachers who are bilingual may have an inside track on job openings, especially in districts with large immigrant populations. Once employed, they often face stimulating and challenging work as they help students from other cultures make the most of their educational experience.

o Special education teachers. Thanks to general population growth, enhanced testing programs, and legal requirements for meeting the needs of students with special needs, Special Education teachers are badly needed. In addition, the challenges of working with students in this group, which may include those with physical, perceptual, developmental, or emotional problems, make it less popular than many other teaching areas. If you have the patience to work with students who need the extra help provided by special education faculty, you might find this the perfect opportunity for you. In many states, the need for special education teachers is so great that school districts are hiring candidates who are not yet certified in special education, and then paying for the classes they need for full certification. For those eager to break into education or to switch over from other occupations, this can be a good way to start.

o Math and science teachers. Teachers of math and science are among the most sought-after educators today. Some specialize in one field, such as chemistry or biology; others focus on math. Still others, especially at the lower grade levels, teach more than one subject. Teachers in this area focus heavily on the content of their respective disciplines. Since their fields are often considered among the most difficult subjects offered, they face special challenges in presenting the subject to students. Many school districts can't find enough qualified math and science teachers because fewer college students major in these disciplines, and of those who do, most take jobs in industry or go on to graduate school. So the demand for math and science teachers is very, very high.

o Educational administrators. Teachers are the heart of any school system, but other educators are also important. Among them are principals, assistant principals, superintendents, and other administrators. They provide leadership for schools and other educational organizations. Administrators hire teachers and other staff, manage budgets, and oversee the day-to-day operation of schools or school districts. They also help develop new programs, evaluate the success of existing operations, and make plans for the future.

Whatever you choose, you'll find that as a graduate of an Education program, you will always be in high demand. Opportunities abound!