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Computer Science Teacher: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a computer science teacher. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Computer science teachers educate students on how computers work, from the basic science and mathematics behind their operation to the actual hardware and the software built on those foundations. Education and career requirements vary depending on the level at which one is teaching, but a minimum of a bachelor's degree and a state teaching license is typically required for high school teachers.

Required Education At least a bachelor's degree; postsecondary teachers typically hold a doctorate
Licensure State license required for high school teachers
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 6% for high school teachers, in general
19% for postsecondary teachers, in general
Median Annual Salary (2013)* $55,360 for high school teachers, in general
$73,100 for postsecondary computer science teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

Computer science teachers are responsible for instructing computer science to students at both high school and college levels. They guide and assist students in their entire learning experience, including welcoming them to the class, creating a curriculum and presenting all class information. Computer science teachers specifically teach their students about computer science, which is the study of how computer process and store information. They teach students to write computer programs, algorithms and even programming languages; computer systems design is also covered.

Job Duties

Preparing the curriculum and presenting the material to his or her class is one of the main duties of a teacher. Computer science teachers complete many other general tasks as well, such as tracking attendance, assigning homework, grading assignments, giving feedback and communicating effectively with students at all levels of technological understanding. Other tasks that teachers may complete include holding office hours, ensuring that class materials are up to date, reviewing curriculum and demonstrating professionalism in dealing with others. Computer science teachers at a high school may also be responsible for overseeing a homeroom or study hall.

Education Requirements

Prospective teachers generally start their education path by earning a bachelor's degree in either education. Potential computer science teachers may also earn a bachelor's degree in computer science and take teacher preparation courses. Most undergraduate teaching programs also require a student teaching experience.

Licensing

All secondary education teachers in public institutions must be licensed by the state in which they will teach. All 50 states have specific requirements regarding teacher licensure, which usually include a bachelor's degree and a specific amount of time spent in teacher education courses. States may also require that specific competencies must be tested, such as reading and writing, before a teacher may be licensed. Teachers may also choose to earn a voluntary professional certification from an organization such as the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Post-secondary computer science teachers typically do not face the same licensing requirements as high school level teachers do, but most colleges hire only teachers with doctoral degrees or, in the case of 2-year institutions, master's degrees for full-time teaching positions.

Salary Information and Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicts that the number of jobs will increase by 6% for high school teachers and 19% for all postsecondary teachers between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also reported that the median annual salary for high school teachers was $55,360 as of May 2013, and the median for postsecondary computer science teachers was $73,100 at that same time.

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