Online degrees in early childhood education prepare graduates for careers as teachers of younger children. Students in online early childhood education degree programs will study child development and how to best teach young children, primarily in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, but also in infancy and pre-school ages.
Students in online bachelor’s degree in early childhood degree programs will take courses in pedagogy, typical and atypical childhood development, special education, literacy, gifted and talented students, childhood assessment, classroom diversity, and curriculum design. Depending on a student’s particular interests and goals, they may want to pair their early childhood education degree with a minor in psychology, sociology, or a specific teaching field such as English or math.
Students interested in teaching need to become familiar with teaching requirements in their state. Many states require testing and certification before one can have their own classroom. Many schools offer certification in conjunction with their program, but it is important to note that this is where state lines can really matter. Students who want to be certified to teach in Oregon may not benefit from earning an online education degree in Maine, for example. Many states also require a certain number of classroom hours through observation and student teaching, some of which can be completed virtually, but some of which will need to be completed in a physical classroom.
The skills early childhood teachers develop in school are transferable beyond the classroom. Certified teachers can go on to work in education policy, non-profit management, education administration, or curriculum development, and may have a leg up in fields such as psychology or management. While national and state education systems are constantly changing, the job prospects for teachers remain bright—people will always have children, and those children will always need an education.