Online Teaching Degree Guide

An online teaching degree program allows you to train to be a teacher from your home computer. Like traditional teaching degree programs, you have a choice of degrees. Among these are early childhood education (for those wishing to be elementary school teachers) and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees (for middle and high school teachers.)

Are you looking to join the more than three million men and women who teach in America's public and private elementary, middle and high schools? Few careers are as rewarding as helping children learn. If you've always wanted to pursue a teaching career, but didn't have the time or money to attend classes at a university, you'll be pleased to know that many universities now offer online teaching degrees.

An online degree program has many advantages. Chief among these is that you can set your own schedule, allowing you to work around your job, child care and other responsibilities. In addition, you don't have to commute back and forth to a campus or even live near the school you want to attend.

Programs That May Be Currently Accepting Applicants

Earn your Master of Arts in Teaching and teaching credential online from top-ranked USC Rossier School of Education. A Bachelor’s degree is required to apply.

Earn a master's in educational leadership online from the University of Dayton's top-ranked online education program. No GRE required to apply.

Online Teaching Degrees by Degree Level

To teach in any school, you must have a teaching license, and this can only be achieved by earning a teaching degree. Teaching degrees are no longer offered only at conventional brick-and-mortar colleges. Today many colleges and universities are offering teaching programs online. Learn more about online education and the various online teaching schools.

Although states may vary in some of their teaching requirements, all states require that teachers working in public schools K-12 have at least a Bachelors Degree in Education. Many colleges and universities offer bachelor degree teaching programs through distance learning or online education. Online programs may be offered as 100% online or as blended (hybrid).

Online Bachelors in Education Degree

Bachelor of Education programs include everything the student needs to work as a certified teacher of grades K-12 upon graduation. Many are 3+1 degree programs, which allows students to choose from the following areas of specialization: elementary, secondary and special education.

The bachelor in interdisciplinary studies program, in general, prepares students to work as certified elementary school teachers. Courses include health, fitness and wellness, English composition, instructional planning and preparation, elementary education methods and critical thinking and logic. Be sure to look for NCATE-accredited schools (which our entire directory is based on), in the areas of special education, mathematics and science as well as several master degree and post-baccalaureate teaching programs.

School Spotlight

Notre Dame College has an online Bachelor of Arts in Education program that gives students the choice of specializing in early childhood education (Pre K-3) or mild to moderate intervention specialist (K-12). This field-based program provides students with the practical skills they need to teach children of all ages.

You can view our degree summary and universities that offer a Bachelor’s in Teaching Education.

Online Masters in Education Degree

Master degree education programs are often chosen by teachers to who want to teach at master levels and earn potentially higher wages in the process. Some states require their teachers to earn a master’s degree after they’ve obtained certification. There are also many colleges and universities that offer online teaching degrees at the graduate level.

Several universities offer an online Master of Education program that includes twelve areas of specialization. Among the areas are curriculum and teaching, general education, special education, PK-12 principal leadership, early childhood education, athletic coaching and accelerated educational leadership.

As an alternative, some programs offer Master of Arts degrees in Teaching. Although the coursework is similar, a Master of Education both develops your teaching abilities and prepares you to move into positions outside of classroom instruction while Master of Arts in Teaching is more geared toward advancing your career as a teacher.

School Spotlight

Students have several master degree education programs from which to choose at Liberty University. Liberty offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) with concentrations in elementary, secondary and special education as well as a Master of Education (M.ed.) with four program options and various areas of specialization within those options.

You can view our Master’s in Education Degree summary and find universities that offer a M. Ed..

Online Teacher Specializations & Certifications

Teachers must also have certification and a teaching license. Elementary school teachers may also be required to specialize in certain subjects like science or math.

Types of Online Teaching Degrees

There are many different teaching programs available, and many of these programs are offered online. Below we give summaries of the top online teaching degrees offered at universities in the US.

Advanced Teaching Degree Online

With the constantly fluctuating state of education in this country, having properly trained teachers is very important. In addition to passing certification exams, most teachers have bachelor’s degrees in education or bachelor’s degrees in complementary fields with a minor in education. However, education for a teacher does not have to stop at an undergraduate degree. There are multiple options for advanced teaching degrees that those dedicated to education can pursue.

There are two general categories of advanced teaching degrees: master’s degrees and and doctoral degrees. A Master of Education is an a popular advanced teaching degree that covers topics such as curriculum, psychology, teaching strategy, counseling and administration.

Doctoral degrees, on the other hand, are terminal degrees. A Doctor of Education is the highest degree you can seek. However, unlike master’s degree programs, a Doctor of Education degree will prepare you to research and instruct others in the art of teaching rather than help you develop your classroom abilities.

Which degree you prefer largely depends on your future career goals. If you are interested in advancing your skills in the classroom, a Master of Arts in Teaching might be the answer. If you are hoping to branch out into counseling or administration, a Master of Education might be the best fit. Or, if you would like to share your affinity for education with new teachers, you might consider a Doctor of Education. There is no right or wrong answer, so long as you continue to seek the education you need to succeed.

One example Doctor of Education program that is offered entirely online is the University of West Florida’s Online Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction, which is 100% online, takes 48 months (estimated, check with UWF for details), and has a reasonable tuition rate.

Early Childhood Education Degree Online

As most teachers and parents know, instruction is most formative in the earliest years of life. From learning language to exploring societal customs and norms, young children are highly influenced by the world around them. Early childhood education is a very useful and in-demand field for the impact it makes on the beginning of one’s schooling. Pursuing an online early childhood education degree can both help you find a rewarding career and make sure children are learning and growing in a nurturing environment.

While middle education and high school curricula focus on individual subjects and the knowledge students must gain to succeed, early childhood education has a stronger emphasis on the development of cognitive, verbal and mechanical skills. Early childhood education, which includes children up to age eight, often focuses on using playtime to teach basic functions essential to a successful life. Different children learn at different paces, making early childhood education a different experience for every child.

View all Early Childhood Education Degrees >>

A degree in early childhood education will teach you important skills, such as approaches to guide children in their individual development, strategies for integrating playing with learning, ways to identify individual strengths and weaknesses, and formative discipline techniques. Additionally, you will study the research and theory behind working with young children to help you better offer care, support and assistance to children as they learn and grow.

For many adults, life is simply too busy to make going back to school a priority. Online programs, however, can make schooling more flexible, allowing you to take classes around the demands of everyday living. Pursuing an online early childhood education degree will not only help you start on the road to your next career but will allow you to maintain a balance between school, family and work. For most busy, working individuals, online coursework provides an option for educational advancement that would otherwise be difficult to pursue.

Early childhood education is a very important career path and one many people find to be very satisfying. If you are passionate about helping children learn, grow and develop, pursing an online early childhood education degree can be the start to a fulfilling and exciting career.

Online Teacher Certification Degree

In every state, teachers need both a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certification, which is basically a professional license, in order to teach. However, each state does have its own specific requirements in addition to those very basic specifications. Some states allow you to have your bachelor’s degree in any discipline, while others require you to have a B.A. in the subject you will be teaching. Some even require you to have a degree in the grade level you plan to teach.

Most states also require you to take a standardized test like the Praxis exams before you can receive your teacher certification. You should find out about the specific requirements in your state, and how they apply to you.

Why Should I Consider Getting My Certification Online?

Many colleges and universities now offer students the option of getting their teaching degree online. This is a wonderful option that provides students with a lot of flexibility. It’s perfect for students who have other responsibilities, or who are unable to attend regular classes. It enables you to study in your free time anywhere where there is an Internet connection.

This could be a good option for you if you have a full-time job and a family to support. Rather than give up your income, getting your teaching certification online would allow you to continue working while you earned your certificate. It’s also a good alternative if you have a young family and you don’t want to leave them to go to school, or if you don’t want to move or commute to attend a university program.

Through earning your teaching certification online, you will have access to the coursework 24 hours a day, and will be able to complete it at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

Elementary Education Degree Online

An elementary education degree online can be a wise decision if you are considering going back to school to complete your education. If you are currently working with children, or you would like to work with them, then this degree could help you pursue your goal.

With a degree in elementary education, you will gain the basic knowledge that is necessary to work with a range of children from infant, to toddlers, preschoolers and children all the way up to age 8. Your courses will have a heavy emphasis in childhood education, nutrition, health, caring for kids, creative activities, and even curriculum planning. In addition, you will also:

  • Promote literacy and language development
  • Promote the development of social skills
  • Use play and games to teach, and as a part of enforcing rules of behavior
  • Keep records of student progress, and keeping parents informed
  • Organize activities that help physical, social, and mental development
  • Oversee field trips, arts and crafts, and story telling abilities

View all Elementary Education Degrees >>

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 12 percent growth between now and 2022. As there are more early childhood education providers, there will also be a demand for those who are trained and skilled in providing the supporting services. If you have always dreamed of shaping and molding young minds, then a degree in early childhood education is for you.

Online degree programs offer you an opportunity that you may not have otherwise. If you are currently working full time or taking care of a family, it can be difficult to schedule in person classes. However, online offers you amazing flexibility in when you can attend class, and when you can complete your work.

To learn more about the benefits of earning your elementary education degree online, take a look at the different programs available.

Career Information for Teachers with an Online Teaching Degree

If you’re looking for a job where you can make a big difference in your community, you’d be hard pressed to find a better choice than becoming a teacher. And, with the increasing popularity of online teaching degrees, training to be a teacher can be completed around your busy schedule.

Online Degree in Early Childhood Education

Working in early childhood education is one of those career paths that can turn into a rewarding professional and life-changing experience. The best part is that each year presents new faces of students you can help teach, shape, and mold their formative years in positive ways. If you love working with children and want have the drive to work in this ever-eventful field, the first step is finding the right degree programs in early childhood education.

As you know, most learners these days are juggling careers while trying to move forward in their education. Campus programs have always been heavily skewed towards high school graduates and gap year students, but all of that has changed with the heavy influence online learning plays in degree completion across the nation.

According to the BLS, elementary school teachers can expect to earn a median wage of $54,550 per year, with a growth that meets the national average of 6%.

During your search for the right program, we urge you to request information about online programs whether you have considered this option or not. What you’ll find is that most all accredited state colleges with long histories of providing quality education now offer many degree options for online and distance learners.

Continue reading about what it’s like to take an online program in relation to early childhood education. Then take the next step by contacting multiple schools that offer programs that match your career aspirations.

What Are Your Options for Online Degrees in Early Childhood Education?

The great thing about learning early childhood education online is that you can find a wide variety of programs and unique courses related to many aspects of the field. You can find programs that focus on helping students with special needs, trauma and abuse, as well as programs that can train you to work with exceptional children who are learning at a rate beyond their years. Learning to juggle the many challenges and gifts your students have is one of the core components of being successful in the field. With the quality of distance programs available, you can be prepared for these roles, as well as your state’s licensure and required examinations.

The most common online degree programs are simply called Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate in Early Education. You can find versions of this all-encompassing program in online formats. This type of degree program will give you a broad foundation in working with all types of students. The higher degree level you choose will determine the concentrations and specializations you can attach to your core courses.

There are other types of online degrees in early childhood education that are more specialized and focused than the broader program just described. Common online specialization include: preschool, infant/toddler, English as a second language, and educational administration. Many online program options can also help you earn your Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. When you compare programs be sure to ask if the program you are discussing is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). This agency can help you be sure that your online program meets the requirements that are expected from campus based programs.

What classes are common in online early childhood degree programs?

Because online degrees seek to give students the same quality of education as their campus counterparts, student can expect to take the same courses. There may be modifications to the end of the program where internships and field work are generally required. However, if you choose an online program close to home, you can connect with local schools your college has relationships with to gain experience and potentially transition to the workplace.

Courses should include psychology based topics that help you understand child development, everyday assessment and monitoring of behavior and social interaction, as well as courses that focus on curriculum and student performance assessment.

What career options are available for graduates?

When you graduate with a bachelors degree in early childhood education, you can start pursuing teacher roles at pre-K and elementary schools. This applies to state-funded schools if you meet the other additional licensure requirements. Of course, if you earn your masters, specialist, or doctorate level degree, you can qualify for positions at the executive level, such as instructional coordinator and others. However, even students who earn their associate’s can start working in daycare facilities to get their initial experience while continuing their education.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elementary school teachers can expect to earn a median wage of $54,550 per year, with a growth that meets the national average of 6%. Those who teach special education can expect to earn a little bit higher of a salary, with the median pay being $56,800 per year, also according to the BLS.

School Spotlight: Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University stands out as a top choice for online degree seekers in early childhood education. The main reason is the numerous options you have for degree tracks in education, including an early childhood degree, which focuses on the time of birth through the 3rd grade year of school.

This program can teach you instructional and curriculum development strategies, as well as advanced assessment and behavior modification techniques for students who have different challenges and socioeconomic backgrounds. Courses also cover family dynamics that can help you better relate to the parents of the students you teach, since they are such a big influence in their development and behavior at this age.

This program is recognized by the Higher Learning Commission and offers students a wide variety of financial aid opportunities, since cost is always on the list of factors students use to determine the right program. Graduates of this online program also work in two student teaching positions to gain valuable first-hand experience in the field. With their additional top-ranked education degree programs offered online, you have a unique opportunity at Grand Canyon State to create a degree track that fits your specific career goals.

If you’re ready to learn more about how you can receive a quality online degree in early childhood, start comparing the options for students in your state today.