Published on June 11, 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 Iowa.

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What is Education?

Iowa boasts an abundance of employment in its education sector, employing approximately 152,000 individuals working across schools, colleges, and other educational institutions across Iowa in 2020 according to Iowa Workforce Development estimates. This includes teachers, administrators, support staff, and other education professionals serving schools or educational institutions across Iowa.

With a strong emphasis on education and a high number of individuals employed in the sector, Iowa is a great place for those interested in pursuing a career in education. Whether you're considering becoming a teacher, school administrator, or educational support staff, Iowa offers a range of opportunities for individuals looking to make a difference in the lives of students.

Students interested in elementary education, early childhood education, graduate programs, or starter programs at local community colleges before doing their student teaching will have plenty of options from across the state for their teaching degree. This diverse range of options include Iowa State University, Upper Iowa University, Drake University, the Univeristy of Northern Iowa, Central College, etc. You can find a community college, college of education, private or public university, and more college and university options in large cities like Des Moines and local institutions that offer many resources to their students.


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Online Education Degree Programs in Iowa

Teachers provide instruction and guidance for their students in specific subjects or skills. Teachers play a significant role in shaping both individuals and society as a whole. Their responsibility includes sharing knowledge, instilling values, encouraging critical thinking skills development, and developing problem solving abilities among their students.

Teachers are present everywhere, from schools and universities to online platforms and even informal settings like community centers or tutoring centers. Teachers from diverse backgrounds come together as teaching experts with various degrees of expertise; some may specialize in subjects like math, English, or science, while others might explore broader subjects like history, art, or music.

In addition to teaching content knowledge, teachers also serve as mentors, role models, and motivators for their students. They provide guidance and support, helping students overcome challenges and achieve their full potential. Teachers create a positive learning environment where students feel safe, valued, and inspired to learn.

Becoming a teacher requires patience, empathy, and a deep-seated desire to help others. Teaching can be an incredibly fulfilling career, with its own set of challenges and responsibilities including adapting to various learning styles, handling classroom management issues, and keeping abreast of changes in educational technology and curriculum standards, among others.

Overall, a teacher is more than just someone who imparts information – they are agents of change who have the power to shape minds, inspire creativity, and positively impact the lives of their students.

Online Associate Degree in Education (AS)

An associate degree in education can provide those interested in teaching but seeking a quicker entryway into the field with a quick start into classroom management and theory. These two-year programs equip students with foundational knowledge in educational theory and classroom management techniques - giving them skills applicable as teacher assistants. While not as comprehensive as a bachelor's degree, an associate degree serves as a steppingstone toward further studies down the road.

An associate degree in education stands out from its counterparts with its emphasis on practical training and hands-on experience, including internships or fieldwork placements to give students real world classroom experience. Students often participate in internships or fieldwork placements that give them direct interaction with children enrolled in educational settings - this application-based learning helps individuals build essential teaching skills and confidence to support student learning effectively. Furthermore, due to shorter program durations associated with associate degrees graduates can enter classrooms sooner and start making positive impacts than their counterparts with higher degrees.

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Online Bachelors Degree in Education (BS)

Bachelor of Education programs provide an exciting journey for those dedicated to cultivating young minds and inspiring the next generation of leaders. Not only does this degree equip educators with essential pedagogical knowledge but it also cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving abilities vital for navigating modern education systems. Through teaching experiences coupled with coursework focused on child development, curriculum design, and classroom management aspiring teachers become equipped to create engaging learning environments tailored specifically for diverse student needs.

A bachelor's degree in education goes far beyond classroom instruction; it fosters collaboration among future educators and promotes constant professional growth. Graduates of this program have the chance to make a lasting impression on student lives by sparking curiosity, encouraging lifelong learning, and advocating for educational equity. With education rapidly changing over time, individuals with bachelor's degrees in education will be well equipped to adapt quickly to evolving trends while creating innovative teaching strategies tailored toward 21st-century learners.

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Online Masters Degree in Education (MS)

Pursuing a Master of Education can open doors of opportunity for educators in Iowa. Not only will you deepen subject knowledge, but this advanced degree also equips professionals with research-based teaching strategies and leadership capabilities designed to drive meaningful change within the education sector. With specialization options, such as curriculum development or educational technology, Iowa educators can tailor their master's degree toward fulfilling their career goals and interests.

Earning a Master's of Education can lead to both increased earning potential and career advancement. Iowa, with its rising demand for highly qualified teachers, presents individuals with advanced degrees with better opportunities for leadership roles or mentorship positions within schools or districts. Furthermore, such an education enhances educators' abilities to effectively engage diverse student populations.

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Online PhD Degree in Education (PhD)

Pursuing a PhD in education is more than a mere academic endeavor; it's also an incredible transformative journey that equips individuals with the expertise to transform educational practices. Focused around research and scholarly inquiry, this advanced degree encourages critical thinking and innovation when dealing with complex educational issues. A PhD provides opportunities to make a contribution through cutting-edge research, which can lead to advances in teaching methodologies and policy creation.

Pursuing a PhD in education offers unique opportunities for making positive impacts both micro and macro levels of education. Graduates can lead initiatives that foster inclusive learning environments, promote diversity, and advance systemic improvements within educational institutions. Through rigorous training and deep understanding of educational theory and practice, people who hold such degrees may influence policies that shape the future of education for generations to come.

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Online Education Certifications

Education certifications serve as valuable credentials that demonstrate expertise in various fields. Iowa provides its students with opportunities to earn various certifications ranging from teaching, healthcare, and technology - each certification not only expands one's knowledge and abilities but can also lead to exciting career prospects.

One of the primary advantages of earning an education certification is standing out in an increasingly competitive job market. Employers tend to prize candidates who possess specialized knowledge and training, making certified individuals more desirable candidates for jobs. Furthermore, earning additional credentials can increase earning potential since those with more credentials tend to command higher salaries.

Education certifications offer individuals an opportunity to continually hone their skills and remain current within their fields of work. From learning new teaching methods or mastering cutting-edge software technologies, certifications help professionals stay ahead of industry trends while adapting quickly. Pursuing education certifications can be both personally enriching and professionally fruitful journeys in Iowa.

Certifications For Education

Become an Educator in Iowa

If you have a passion for teaching and are considering a career as an educator in Iowa, there are several steps you will need to take to achieve your goal. Whether you are interested in becoming a teacher, school administrator, or support staff member in the education field, the following steps will help guide you through the process.

  • Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

    To become an educator in Iowa, the initial step should be earning a bachelor's degree in education or another related field. Choosing an accredited program by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) will help ensure you meet licensure requirements and can practice teaching safely and ethically.

  • Step 2: Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

    In Iowa, prospective educators must complete both a bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program to achieve success. These programs equip you with all the knowledge and skills needed for effective teaching practice.

  • Step 3: Pass the Required Exams

    In Iowa, educators are required to pass both the PRAXIS Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) test as well as any specific content area PRAXIS Subject Assessment exams to become licensed teachers. These examinations aim to assess both your knowledge and expertise within education.

  • Step 4: Apply for a Teaching License

    Once you have successfully completed a bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program and passed all applicable exams, the Iowa BOEE allows applicants to apply for teaching licenses that correspond to different grade levels or subject areas they intend on teaching.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Education?

Bachelors degrees in education provide graduates with a wide array of career possibilities beyond simply teaching. Graduates may explore careers in policy making, curriculum development, educational technology, and school administration - fields in which skilled educators are in high demand due to growing student populations that require innovative educational programs tailored specifically for them.

Graduates with bachelors degrees in education possess valuable skills such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership that are transferable across industries. For instance, graduates may use these abilities in corporate training departments, non-profit educational outreach organizations, or even starting their own tutoring business. With these degrees, individuals are enabled to make an impactful contribution while remaining committed to the field through advocacy efforts and community engagement initiatives.

Potential Careers for Education Graduates

Postsecondary Social Sciences Teacher:

Postsecondary social sciences teachers are responsible for providing guidance and support to college or university students in subjects like sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, and economics. Their role includes creating course materials, leading lectures, and leading discussions, as well as evaluating student performance while offering guidance and providing support.

Necessary Requirements:

  • A master's or doctoral degree in a social science field such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, or economics
  • Previous teaching experience at the postsecondary level preferred
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of instructional design principles and educational technology
  • Ability to work collaboratively with students and colleagues
  • Passion for teaching and fostering student learning

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers in the US in 2022 was $80,840
  • The mean annual wage for postsecondary social sciences teachers in Iowa is $75,200

Special Education Teacher, Secondary School:

A special education teacher will be responsible for providing specialized instruction and support to secondary school students with disabilities in an inclusive secondary school environment. By working closely with students, parents, educators, and coordinating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), accommodations or modifications that enable their academic growth will also be established.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in special education or a related field (Master's degree preferred)
  • Valid teaching certification in special education
  • Experience working with secondary school students with disabilities
  • Knowledge of special education laws and regulations
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills
  • Patience, empathy, and a passion for supporting students with diverse learning needs

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for special education teachers in the US in 2022 was $62,950
  • The mean annual wage for special education teachers, secondary school in Iowa is $62,970

Postsecondary Education Teacher:

Postsecondary education teachers are accountable for instructing college and university students in various subjects through lectures, discussions, assignments, assessments, and exams. Postsecondary educators may teach in traditional classroom settings, as well as virtual learning environments or hybrid platforms.

Necessary Requirements:

  • A master's degree or higher in the relevant field of study
  • Previous teaching experience at the postsecondary level is preferred
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to create a positive and inclusive learning environment
  • Proficiency in using educational technology and online learning platforms

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers in the US in 2022 was $80,840
  • The mean annual wage for postsecondary education teachers in Iowa is $52,770

Kindergarten Teacher:

As a kindergarten teacher, your role will be to create a nurturing and stimulating environment that supports the socio-emotional and academic development of young children aged 4-6 years. Working closely with them through play-based learning activities, you will introduce basic concepts of literacy, numeracy, science, social development, and more.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field
  • Teaching certification or licensure for kindergarten level
  • Strong understanding of child development principles and educational best practices for young learners
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to engage with students, parents, and colleagues effectively
  • Patience, creativity, and a passion for working with young children

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for kindergarten and elementary school teachers in the US in 2022 was $61,620
  • The mean annual wage for kindergarten teachers, except special education in Iowa is $55,840

Substitute Teacher:

Substitute teachers serve an integral function in maintaining continuity in classrooms when regular teachers are absent, providing new learning experiences in a short amount of time for the students. But being a substitute teacher comes with its own set of challenges - from quickly adapting to various teaching styles and classroom environments quickly enough to earning student trust quickly enough.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in education or a related field (preferred)
  • Teaching certification or substitute teaching permit (depending on state requirements)
  • Previous experience working with children or in educational settings
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to follow lesson plans and adapt to different teaching styles
  • Flexibility and availability to work on short notice

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for substitute teachers, short-term in the US in 2022 was $42,680
  • The mean annual wage for substitute teachers, short-term in Iowa is $37,980

Postsecondary Communications Teacher:

Postsecondary communications teachers are accountable for creating and providing instructional materials to postsecondary communication students at colleges and universities. Their main task involves helping students develop written and verbal communication skills while offering advice regarding various aspects of communications theory and practice.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Master's or Ph.D. degree in communications or a related field
  • Previous teaching experience at the postsecondary level is preferred
  • Strong communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Knowledge of instructional design principles and techniques
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse groups of students

Estimated Salary

  • The mean annual wage for communications teachers, postsecondary in the US in 2022 was $84,700
  • The mean annual wage for communications teachers, postsecondary in Iowa is $73,300

Middle School Teacher:

Middle school teachers are responsible for creating an engaging learning experience for their 6-8 grade pupils, whether through facilitation of classroom instruction, creating lesson plans, and providing feedback aimed at helping their pupils excel academically and socially.

Necessary Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree in education or a relevant field
  • State teaching certification or licensure
  • Experience working with middle school-aged students preferred
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to create engaging and innovative lesson plans
  • Patience, flexibility, and a passion for working with young adolescents

Estimated Salary

  • The median annual wage for middle school teachers in the US in 2022 was $61,810
  • The mean annual wage for middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education in Iowa is $58,950
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