Where are the Best Education Jobs in the Future?

Education is a hot-button topic in today’s culture; however, a degree in education isn’t enough to secure employment. A future teacher must plan and prepare to specialize in a certain area of education, to ensure the swiftest route to employment. For example, a recent report suggests that there are twice as many students currently in training to become an elementary school teacher as there are available jobs.

Some Teacher Surpluses Exist Around the Country

The National Council on Teacher Quality released figures that suggested the surplus of elementary school teachers was so high in the state of Illinois that there were 10 teachers seeking work for each available job. And this surplus is echoed around the country. Therefore, the best way to find work soon after graduation is to seek out areas of the education system that are experiencing – or expect to experience – shortages of job applicants.

Content Specialization Needed

The best areas in which to specialize include areas like math, special education, and science. For future teachers who are not yet enrolled in a course of study or who haven’t chosen a specialization, searching the departments of education for the states in which a student wishes to teach is a good first step. Most states will offer data on employment projections for different areas of the education system.

For example, in California the number of credentialed teachers has fallen each year for the past several years from a high of over 24,000 in the 2006 – 2007 school year to less than 19,000 in the 2010 – 2011 school year. The state expects a teaching shortage in some counties due to population growth, so fewer credentialed teachers in the state presents a great job opportunity for future teachers willing to move to California.

Future Teaching Jobs

One of the most relied-upon sources of future employment data is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which supplies estimates on the number of jobs expected for different professions in the next several years. For kindergarten and elementary school teachers, for example, the BLS estimates that there will be around 280,000 jobs added in this area of education over the next decade. Areas of the country where teachers may expect to find employment quickly include states located in the South and West.

Funding Issues Across the Nation

One facet of the job hunting process that many future teachers don’t consider is how the economy and budget of a state might impact future teaching jobs. Students who were in school a few years ago and have entered the work force as a potential teacher have reported that budgetary cutbacks have created a difficult situation for some states. Teachers are needed yet the states can’t add jobs because of a lack of money in the budget. Although the economy is in a state of recovery, many state budgets remain tight.

Locating Future Teaching Jobs

There are opportunities to teach in every state in the country; however, each state offers different projections regarding future teaching jobs. The BLS suggests that the states with the highest demand for current teaching jobs include Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, California, and Florida. In addition, other states with healthy teacher populations include New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Graduating from college and obtaining a teaching certification won’t be enough to secure teaching employment in the future. Students must pay close attention to employment trends around the country and what type of teaching jobs will become available.