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Career Definition for Computer Teachers
A career as a computer teacher offers many different opportunities. A computer teacher might cover basic keyboarding and computer functions for teenagers in public school or adults who are updating their work skills in a night class, or they may teach more complicated elements of computer science to college students. The duties of a computer teacher typically include creating lesson plans, evaluating student performance, maintaining classroom records, meeting with parents, teachers, and other professionals, updating curriculum, and participating in campus events. Additional research, supervisory, or organizational duties may also be required depending upon the expectation of the employing school.
|Required Education||Bachelor's or graduate degree in computer science|
|Job Duties||Creating lesson plans, evaluating student performance, maintaining records|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$74,840 (postsecondary computer science teachers)|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||13% (all postsecondary teachers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
To teach in a public secondary school, a bachelor's degree in computer science is usually required. A semester of student teaching is also needed and is usually completed within the bachelor's degree program. A master's degree is typically the minimum educational requirement to teach at a college or university. Because requirements vary, contact the Board of Education in the state in which you wish to teach.
Licensing and Certification Requirements
Public secondary school teachers, like computer teachers, are typically required to hold specific certification - sometimes referred to as a single-subject certification - issued by the state. Licensing is required by all states to teach in the public school system; however, a license is not necessarily needed for private schools. A teaching credential may not be necessary for computer teachers working at the postsecondary level.
A computer teacher is often expected to solve minor technical problems that happen within their classrooms, so computer troubleshooting experience is important. No matter the topic, all teachers should be enthusiastic about the subject they are instructing and exhibit patience when working with students who don't immediately understand the concepts being presented. Professionalism and good communication skills are also important as a computer teacher must interact with parents, administrators, and other teachers on a daily basis.
Career and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) states that job growth predictions for teachers between 2014 and 2024 will vary based on the education level; employment growth for secondary school teachers is expected to increase by 6% while employment growth for postsecondary teachers is expected to be 13%. The BLS reports that computer teachers could find greater opportunities due to increased technology use in classrooms and shortages of math and science teachers, including computer science. As of May 2015, median annual earnings for secondary school teachers in general were $57,200. Postsecondary computer science teachers earned a median annual income of $74,840.
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options in this field include:
Career and Technical Education Teacher
A career and technical education teacher provides instruction to students that prepares them to enter an occupation. These teachers also prepare lesson plans, give assignments and exams, participate in supervisory duties at their schools, and work with parents and administrators to help students achieve success. Career and technical education teachers can find work in middle schools, high schools, and postsecondary schools. A bachelor's degree is commonly required for employment, although this could be waived for candidates with lesser education but extensive occupational experience or for teachers in fields where that level of education isn't typically offered. Public middle and high school teachers must earn state licensing and certification; private school teachers may be exempt.
According to the BLS, career prospects vary by institution level; from 2014-2024, job growth for these teachers in general is expected to be 4%, with stronger prospects for postsecondary teachers and middle school teachers and weaker prospects for secondary school teachers in this field. In 2015, per the BLS, career and technical education teachers at the middle school level earned $55,190, while those at the high school level earned $56,130, and vocational education teachers at the postsecondary level earned $49,470 in median wages.
Instructional coordinators lead curriculum development and professional development for teachers at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary school levels, taking into account new teaching methods, curriculum assessments, and student assessments, among other factors. This job typically requires a master's degree in a relevant field, like curriculum and instruction, a teaching or education administrator license, and relevant experience. The BLS predicts that jobs in this field will increase by 7% from 2014-2024. Instructional coordinators earned median pay of $62,270 in 2015, per the BLS.