Four year bachelor's degree programs in technology education prepare students for licensing as public school teachers. Bachelor's degree programs include courses in electronics engineering, software programming, and information systems. Students learn about computer-aided design and desktop publishing, and they also take courses in teaching methods and education theory. Most programs require a period of supervised student teaching in a real classroom.
Master's degree programs in education technology are designed for teachers who want to improve their technology skills or who want to become technology coordinators. Students can specialize in areas such as technology in the classroom or integrating technology into a curriculum. An internship and a research paper or thesis may be required.
Bachelor's students will need to have a high school diploma or GED to enroll, while master's students must have a bachelor's. Online programs may be available.
Bachelor's Degree in Technology Education
A bachelor's degree program in technology education equips graduates to teach a wide range of technology courses at private or public schools, colleges, and universities, as well as professional business training institutions. These programs cover technical topics, such as hardware, programming, and networking, and integrate teaching education to prepare students for state licensure.
A technology education curriculum covers a broad range of topics that could vary based on a chosen concentration. Students could learn about computer graphics, energy, power, and transportation technology, computer-generated manufacturing, or video production. Program specializations might include teacher education or career development. Common technical and education courses include:
- Electronics engineering
- Software programming
- Information and communications systems
- Print media systems
- Teaching technology with technology
- Desktop publishing and graphic design
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Master's Degree in Education Technology
Graduate programs that prepare students for a career in academia typically confer an Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree. Teachers with non-technical backgrounds who would like to improve their classroom technology skills, become a technology coordinator, or want to specialize their technical knowledge can earn a master's degree in information technology, technology education, or instructional technology development. Degree holders can mentor other professional educators, teach the use and design of technology applications and help students use technology in specific subject areas.
Master's coursework is based on a program's or the concentration's specific area of focus. Programs in education could cover technology implementation in the classroom or integrating new technologies into curricula. Technology program course topics depend on the specific area of study a student selects, which could include software engineering, network architecture, or advanced communications. Some possible courses and electives include:
- Technology evaluation strategies
- Productivity enhancements through technology
- Technology budgeting
- Programming concepts
- Instructional design
- Computer-based instruction
Popular Career Options
There is a higher demand for technology teachers and those that integrate technology into academia than there are qualified educators, according to a 2009 peer-reviewed paper in the U.S. Department of Education's Education Resources Information Center (www.eric.ed.gov). However, schools are not the only places a technology teacher can find employment. Certified trainers can provide instructional, vendor-approved classes designed to prepare individuals for professional certifications. Additionally, those experienced in a particular technology can offer vocational or business training through schools, corporations, or independent learning centers.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported average job growth between 2014 and 2024 for teachers at elementary, middle, and high schools. Median salaries for these educators ranged from $54,890 to $57,200 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). Computer science teachers who taught at the college level earned a median wage of $74,840, and the BLS projected better opportunities for these teachers at colleges, universities, and community colleges.
Continuing Education Information
Bachelor's degree graduates seeking to teach at the K-12 level in public schools must obtain a state teaching license. Each state regulates the teaching profession differently, but a bachelor's degree and teaching experience are usually the minimum requirements. College-level teachers and those working at private schools do not require licensure. Business technology trainers also don't need to be licensed, though they could improve their employment opportunities with technology or training certifications.
A bachelor's in technology education or master's in education technology prepare graduates to teach others to use and implement the latest classroom technology. Teachers in K-12 education must be licensed in order to work and, while not necessary for employment, higher education professors and business technology trainers may also seek licensure.