The best education research universities are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best education degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding education faculty.
Majoring in education can help you start a career as a classroom teacher, guidance counselor, special education expert, district administrator, university professor and much more. The education major is among the most popular college degree programs both because it provides a clear pathway to a career in education, and because it is extremely versatile. Majoring in education can open the door to a wide range of career prospects.
Note: If you plan to teach public school for grades K-12, you must earn a bachelor’s degree from a recognized teaching education program, sit for your state license, and in some states or districts, earn an advanced degree. To learn more about earning an advanced degree, find out what you can do with a master’s in education.
If you’re getting started on the path to an undergraduate degree in education, note that the best bachelor’s degrees in education are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of education concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.
Degree popularity: Education bachelor’s degrees are the 24th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics. It’s most popular among women, for whom it ranks as the 13th most desired degree. Education bachelor’s degrees rank as he 7th most popular degrees for white women, 11th for white men, and 15th for black women, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics
Frequently Asked Questions About Education Bachelor’s Degrees
Majoring in education can open you up to a wide range of career prospects, not just in public school teaching, but also in child psychology, family counseling, corporate training, educational technology and much more. Leaders in education have a profound influence on those whose lives they touch—both those who work one-on-one with students in the classroom and those who produce innovations that impact the lives of thousands. Today, top influencers in education are focusing their efforts on the theory of multiple intelligences, examining critical race theory and its relation to education debt in America, the modern small schools movement, and much more.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that rising enrollment in elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. will increase the demand for teachers at every level of compulsory education over the next decade. The BLS does warn though that this demand will vary by region. As an aspiring educator, take stock of the career opportunities in your community and region.
However, note that wherever you teach, you have a good opportunity to achieve long-term job security. Once hired as a public school teacher, you’ll begin on your path toward tenure. While it can be challenging to achieve this status, tenure will provide you with inbuilt job protection against unfounded dismissal or dismissal based on budget cuts. Moreover, teachers are represented by a powerful labor union, which creates a strong negotiating position for fair pay, health coverage, retirement benefits and, of course, summers off!
Once you’ve declared your major in education, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized education electives, there are a number of common courses that most education majors will be required to take, including:
Naturally, majoring in education is the starting point if you wish to teach in the classroom. But it’s also the logical starting place if you hope to become a guidance counselor, high school principal, or college professor, as well as a good place from which to launch a career in educational technology, online teaching, college consulting, and much more. Your education major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:
Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges
In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.
Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.
Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.
Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.
Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.
Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.
The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Influence”.
The influence of a college or university is based on the schools’ top academic influencers related to the discipline in this ranking. We track the influence of faculty and alumni affialiate with these school counting not only the publicaitons and citations of the school’s affiliated people, but we also consider the overall web presense of the faculty and alumni. The greater the citations, authority of web links, web searches, and pageviews, the greater the individuals’ influence. Those combined make up the departments’ influence in the field of study. We believe tracking the academic influence of the people affiliated with a school is the best indicator of academic excellence.
If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and misuesed performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is more insulated from manipulation, and more reflective of real-world educational outcomes.
Ranking: Best Research Universities for Education Degrees