How to Become a Post Secondary Teacher

Vocational and technical schools hire post-secondary teachers.
Vocational and technical schools hire post-secondary teachers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Post-secondary teachers teach in universities and colleges. They include professors, graduate teaching assistants and post-secondary career and technical education teachers. Many post-secondary teachers work on a degree or certification to advance their knowledge in their fields of study while they teach. They also often conduct research and write articles.

The number of post-secondary teachers is expected to grow by 15 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tenure-track positions are more competitive than part-time or non-tenure-track positions, and Ph.D. holders are expected to receive more positions in the field than master’s degree holders.

Earn your bachelor’s degree in the subject you want to teach. This might be English literature or calculus, for example. Your bachelor’s degree gives you a good foundation in the subject from which you can draw when you begin to teach.

Complete a master’s degree in the subject you want to teach. Although master’s degrees are more specific than bachelor’s degrees in most cases, you may still be able to teach a few subjects within a broader subject field. For example, if you earned a master’s degree in calculus, you may still be able to teach college algebra. A master’s degree will enable you teach at the community college level and perhaps be an assistant professor at a university while you work on your Ph.D. Some four-year colleges and universities will hire teachers with master’s degrees for arts positions, or openings that are part-time and/or temporary.

Earn your doctorate degree in the subject you want to teach. A Ph.D. degree is the key to being eligible to teach at most universities. Like having a master’s degree, having a doctorate will enable you not only to teach the subject in which you earned your specific degree, but you will likely be able to teach other subjects under the same umbrella.

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