Published on June 10, 2024
Edited by Evelyn Keener
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University Headquarters (HQ) is an industry-leading, independent educational organization that provides independent college rankings using a proprietary formula to create first class unbiased rankings. The team at University HQ strives to provide accurate and trustworthy rankings that highlights the best programs for education in Indiana.

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What is an Educator?

Indiana is renowned for its comprehensive and diverse array of institutions offering high-caliber education degrees. These programs are tailored to equip you with the necessary knowledge and practical skills for a successful career in education. Indiana University Bloomington stands out with its extensive range of unique features and benefits, making it a sought-after destination for aspiring educators. With competitive acceptance rates and SAT scores, the university's education program is both accessible and rigorous, ensuring a well-rounded academic experience.

The state takes pride in hosting a selection of the best education schools in the nation, with Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University West Lafayette, and Ball State University topping the charts. Each institution provides valuable opportunities for development through associate, bachelor's, and advanced degree programs in education. Whether you are seeking a career in elementary education, student counseling, or higher education administration, Indiana's educational landscape offers robust pathways to advance your career. Accredited programs, median starting salaries, and the potential for growth come together to make Indiana a strong contender for students wishing to pursue degrees in education.

Universities and Colleges in Indiana that you might consider include Purdue University, Ball State University, Indiana University, Indiana State University, Oakland City University, the University of Southern Indiana, Huntington University, Valparaiso University, the University of Notre Dame, Manchester University, Anderson University, Franklin College, Indiana University - South Bend, Mary's College, Indiana University Southeast, etc. These schools in Indiana offer a variety of degree levels and educational experiences for graduate and undergraduate students, including teaching degrees.

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Exploring Teacher Education in Indiana

When considering a career in education, Indiana offers a wealth of opportunities through its various pathways and accredited programs for aspiring teachers.

To become a teacher in Indiana, you must typically first earn a bachelor's degree in education from an accredited school of education. During your education, you should expect to engage in both coursework and practical teaching experiences. After completing a teaching degree in Indiana, you must pass the state-required exams to obtain your teaching license. Alternatively, if you hold a degree in a different field, you can pursue the transition to teaching programs offered by many institutions, which are specifically designed for career changers.

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Indiana boasts numerous accredited colleges with teacher education programs. It's important for you to ensure the program you select is accredited as this impacts your eligibility for licensure. Accreditation signifies that the program meets high-quality standards in terms of curriculum, faculty, and student outcomes. The state offers a variety of accredited teacher education pathways, from 44 schools providing bachelor's degree programs to 31 institutions offering master's or advanced degrees in education. Among these, schools such as Purdue University - Main Campus have been highlighted for excellence in preparing students for a teaching career. By choosing a reputable school of education, you position yourself to meet Indiana's teacher certification requirements efficiently and embark on a rewarding educational career in the state.

Understanding Indiana's Education System

In Indiana, you have the opportunity to experience a structured and diverse educational system, with teaching opportunities ranging from elementary to higher education institutions that cater to different academic and career pathways.

In Indiana, school districts are the administrative organizations overseeing public education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. You can find this public education system across various counties, each with districts that tailor their curricula and resources to meet state educational standards and local community needs. This is similar to the system you will find in other states, as well.

Key facts about these districts include:

  • Number of School Districts: Indiana is home to more than 290 public school districts.
  • School Types: These districts manage a multitude of schools, including elementary schools (grades K-5), middle schools (grades 6-8), and high schools (grades 9-12).

It is important to note that the term “secondary school” often refers to a combination of middle school and high school education.

Levels of Education in Indiana: Elementary to Higher Education

When considering Indiana's education levels, you encounter a progressive ladder starting from elementary school and moving through to postsecondary education.

Here's how Indiana structures these levels:

  • Elementary Education: Focusing on foundational learning, this level emphasizes basic subjects and social skills.
  • Middle School: Where students are prepared for the academic and social challenges of high school.
  • High School: Aiming toward graduation and preparing students for either college or vocational paths.

After secondary education or high school, students in Indiana can pursue postsecondary education at various institutions including community colleges, universities, and trade schools. If you are interested in teaching at the elementary level, there are education programs within the state that offer an elementary education major, equipping you with the necessary skills to educate the younger population. You can find majors in preschool teaching, elementary education, middle school education, secondary education, high school education, and special education spanning all these levels.

Top Colleges for Education Degrees

When considering a degree in education, Indiana offers a variety of esteemed institutions. Your choice should align with your academic and professional goals, whether you're seeking comprehensive programs, sizable departments, or renowned faculty.

  • Indiana Wesleyan University: Noted for its strong education program, you can expect a blend of theory and practical experience.
  • Butler University: Known for its high academic standards and effective teaching curricula, Butler University stands out among the best teaching colleges.
  • University of Evansville: A facility that combines rigorous coursework with hands-on teaching experience.
  • Marian University: Offers innovative education programs, designed to prepare you for the modern classroom environment.
  • Taylor University: With its high student satisfaction rates, Taylor University is a top choice for future educators.

Indiana's Largest Colleges for Education Majors

  • Indiana State University: As one of the largest universities in the state, it offers a diverse range of education majors.
  • University of Southern Indiana: Boasts substantial programs with opportunities for research and field experience.
  • Ball State University: It is not just one of the biggest colleges in Indiana but also one has a prominent education department.
  • Indiana University – Bloomington: A large institution providing a depth of resources and programs in education.

Remember, each university offers unique strengths, so consider your specific interests in education when making your choice.

Online Education and Distance Learning

Indiana is home to a variety of accredited institutions offering online education degrees. Whether you are looking to start your journey in education or advance your career, online options provide flexibility to fit your schedule.

When selecting an online program, accreditation should be one of your top considerations. Accredited online colleges in Indiana, such as Indiana University-Bloomington and Purdue University, ensure that the education you receive meets rigorous academic standards.

Both institutions offer a range of online programs that cater to aspiring educators.

  • Indiana University-Bloomington: Known for high-quality, engaging online courses delivered by experienced faculty.
  • Purdue University - Main Campus: Offers a diverse selection of online programs with an enrollment of over 4,000 online students.

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Associate Degree in Education (AS)

An associate degree in education can serve as a steppingstone into the field of teaching. This degree can typically be completed in two years and is offered by various schools. It is a suitable choice if you're seeking to gain foundational knowledge and skills before transferring to a four-year program. These programs generally take around two years to complete, but they usually do not provide access to teaching certification in the state. They can still help you decide if teaching is right for you and give you the basics before you earn you bachelor’s.

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Bachelor’s Degree in Education (BS)

Bachelor’s degrees in education are essential for those pursuing teaching certifications. Online bachelor's programs in Indiana provide a convenient route for you to earn your degree while managing other responsibilities. Choosing the right program from accredited online colleges in Indiana will ensure you receive a reputable and valuable education, opening doors to various opportunities in the educational field. These degrees usually take around four years to complete, though you may be able to find an accelerated program to help you earn your degree more quickly. These programs provide graduates with access to student teaching experiences and teaching licensure. You can also specialize in a certain field by earning endorsements. This includes elementary education, special education, etc.

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Advancing Your Career in Education

To elevate your career in education within Indiana, pursuing advanced degrees or certifications is a strategic move. These credentials can lead to higher salary potential, leadership positions, and a deeper understanding of your field.

Master’s Degree in Education (MS)

Obtaining a Master's Degree in Education, or education administration, can enhance your expertise and open doors to specialized roles within educational institutions. Indiana’s universities offer robust master’s programs geared toward different focuses such as Elementary Education, Instructional Design and Technology, or Educational Leadership.

  • Benefits:
    • Higher salary prospects
    • Qualifications for administrative roles
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PhD in Education (PhD)

If you aim for the pinnacle of educational expertise, a PhD in Education is your path. A doctorate equips you with the skills for high-level positions in academic research, policy formulation, or university teaching. Grad schools in Indiana provide rigorous doctoral programs known for producing scholarly and industry leaders in education.

  • Areas of Focus:
    • Educational Policy
    • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Educational Technology
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Education Certifications

Aside from degrees, adding specific Education Certifications to your portfolio can be a strategic move to validate your proficiency in niche areas of education. Certificates often require less time to complete than degrees and focus on practical skills relevant to higher education settings or specialized educational roles.

These may also include endorsements that can help you gain access to a variety of roles within the education field.

  • Examples of Certifications:
    • Early Childhood Studies
    • Special Education
    • Higher Education Administration

By pursuing advanced degrees or certifications, you actively contribute to your professional growth and the advancement of the field of education. Indiana’s education sector provides a variety of avenues to grow your career and meet your individual goals in academia or educational management.

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Potential Career Options and Salaries for Education Graduates

Postsecondary English Language and Literature Teacher

In this role, you can expect to immerse yourself in a career revolving around the enrichment of students' understanding of English language and literature. Your tasks will range from lecturing and preparing course materials to performing research in your field. Salaries in this niche can be quite competitive, depending on your specialized knowledge.


Master’s or PhD in subject taught, as well as work experience – Growth potential 8% (Faster than average)

  • Develop an instructional plan for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which courses to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving in-person, online, or hybrid delivery of course material

Mean Annual Wage: $83,130

Middle School Teacher

As a middle school teacher, you will be instrumental in shaping the development of children during critical years of growth. You will design curriculums, impart lessons, and evaluate student progress in a variety of subjects.


Bachelor’s degree and teaching license, Growth potential 1%

  • Create lesson plans to teach students a subject
  • Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class or to smaller groups
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams
  • Communicate with parents or guardians about their child’s progress
  • Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or detention

Mean Annual Wage: $61,810

Preschool Teacher

As the foundational educator in many children's lives, a preschool teacher plays a vital role in early childhood development. Your responsibilities will include planning activities, teaching basic skills, and fostering a safe and nurturing environment.


Bachelor’s degree and teacher’s license, Growth potential 3% (As fast as average)

  • Teach children basic skills such as identifying colors, shapes, numbers, and letters
  • Work with children in groups or one on one, depending on the needs of children and on the subject matter
  • Plan and carry out a curriculum that focuses on different areas of child development
  • Organize activities so children can learn about the world, explore interests, and develop skills
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure children have enough physical activity and rest
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in each child and bring them to the attention of the child’s parents
  • Keep records of the children’s progress, routines, and interests, and inform parents about their child’s development

Mean Annual Wage: $35,330

Postsecondary Mathematical Science Teacher

Your role as a mathematical science teacher at the postsecondary level will include teaching mathematics courses, ranging from basic algebra to advanced calculus. You will prepare lectures, grade papers, and support students in their pursuit of mathematical comprehension.


Master’s or PhD in subject taught, as well as work experience – Growth potential 8% (Faster than average)

  • Develop an instructional plan for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets standards
  • Plan lessons and assignments
  • Teach courses in their subject area
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work
  • Advise students about which courses to take and how to achieve their goals
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving in-person, online, or hybrid delivery of course material

Mean Annual Wage: $83,130

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