If you know that you’d like to become an educator, you might be in the process of figuring out what grade level you’d like to teach. Maybe you’d like to shape elementary school students, igniting their passion for education at a young age. Or perhaps you’re interested in inspiring high school students, shaping them for college and careers. An often overlooked age group that educators can work with are adult learners. Whether they needed to drop out of high school to make money for their families or simply didn’t get around to getting their General Education Diploma (GED), adult learners can be just as bright and passionate in a classroom setting as adolescent students.
Working with adult learners differs greatly from teaching children and teenagers. However, a career as an adult continuing education professional can be just as rewarding as that of a K-12 teacher. Read on to find out what there is to know about a career as an adult educator and discover how you can pursue this career.
Even though adult learners may be reviewing similar curriculums as those being administered to high school students, they learn in completely different ways. Here are some of the major differences you will encounter when working with adult learners:
Before deciding that this is the right path for you, it’s important to make sure you are cut out for a rigorous career as an adult educator. Even though it’s an extremely rewarding and respectable occupation, it surely isn’t an easy one. Here are some characteristics you may need to have to succeed in this fulfilling career:
The path to becoming an adult educator is somewhat similar to that of becoming a K-12 educator, but it has some key differences. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many states will hire adult literacy and high school equivalency diploma teachers that have completed a bachelor’s degree and hold a teaching license in the state for this age group.
However, many community colleges prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in adult education. These comprehensive programs teach future educators how to work directly with adult learners and how to develop curricula that meet their needs. Some programs even allow adult educators to specialize in certain areas, such as special education or English as a Second Language (ESL). This additional certification allows educators to work with a larger population of adult learners, increasing their marketability for job applications as well as their salary outlooks.
Whether you plan on specializing in special education or ESL or earning a holistic master’s degree in adult education, there are plenty of universities that offer programs for future adult educators. Maybe you’d like to get your graduate degree online or perhaps you think you would benefit from an on-campus education. Regardless, you should have no trouble finding a master’s program that fits your needs.
A graduate degree in Education, with a specialization in working with adult learners, can lead you in the right direction to becoming an effective educator. You can use Graduate Guide’s search functions to filter through advanced degree programs and find which one works best for your learning goals.