Online secondary science education degrees are designed for students who want to become science teachers in middle school and high schools. Students will take coursework in both science and education in order to combine the two fields and become an effective teacher.
Depending on the state in which a student gets certified to teach and the school from which they pursue their degree, they may be taking advanced courses in several sciences, such as chemistry, biology, astronomy, and physics, or choose a particular field of science, such as earth science, and take most of their science courses in one field. Students will also take education courses in education technology, educational psychology, curriculum development, and teaching sciences.
Requirements for becoming a secondary science teacher vary by state, but in general, students can expect that once they earn their degree or as they’re completing it, they will need to take state certification exams in their science subject area or areas, and in state-approved best teaching practices. They will also need to complete a certain number of hours of fieldwork through classroom observation and student-teaching, which is usually accomplished in the last semester of a degree program. While some programs allow for some observation hours to be completed online, students in secondary education programs will have to complete most of their required hours in-person. Many colleges offer programs that coincide with their state’s certification requirements, so students may want to consider schools based on the state in which they’d like to teach or consider alternative means of certification if they attend an out-of-state school.
Secondary science education graduates with teaching experience can pursue career opportunities leading science departments at their schools or school districts, or perhaps even at the state level. They may also be interested in careers in research or non-profit organizations.