Hi, I'm in the process of exploring a career change. Before I make the leap and go back to school, I have some questions for those of you already in the industry. My desire is to teach Secondary Math. In the research I've been doing it seems every school offers a different degree to accomplish the same thing. Will I be more likely to be hired with an Education degree, or should I have a degree in Mathematics? One of the schools I'm considering is Middle Tennessee State U. They offer a B.S. with a major in mathematics and a minor in secondary education. The other school I'm looking at is U. of Central Missouri. They offer a B.S. in education with math as a functional major. Assuming all else being equal, which one would be better? Any insight and advice is appreciated!

I highly recommend that you major in math and minor in ed. I don't know how it is in Tenn, but in Cali, you can get a math job so quick and easy with that major, you get to skip out on alot of those standardized tests. Also in this state schools are looking at what your background subject wise, you can always get into a credential program, but not everyone can major in math. That's just my 2 cents, others may have a different point of view.

I also agree go with the Math Degree there are not many teachers with those these days. That will be sure to put you ahead of the competiton.

I appreciate the recommendations. Thank you! Does anyone know how closely most principals (or whomever is doing the hiring) scrutinize where the degree was obtained? I'm also looking at an online program (at WGU), but am a bit concerned that an "online" degree will raise eyebrows and put me at the bottom of the pile. Also, is there anyone on here that has made a transition to teaching from another career? I already have a B.S. in another field and am wondering (ball park) how long it might take to get the second one.

If you already have a B.S. why do you feel the need to get another? You could just take those tests, do like a year in a credential program and be done. It'd save you time and money..... But if you want the Math degree, i understand that too.

My B.S. is in Aviation Technology. I've been told I don't qualify for alt programs like "Teach Tennessee" and that the alt certification process would only work if I had a degree in math, science, etc... Is that not necessarily the case?

It could be that it depends on where you are - though I'd be surprised to find that Tennessee is so well stocked with math grads that it can afford to spurn a teacher to be whose diploma doesn't explicitly say "Math". Have you looked into teaching technology education (or whatever it would be called in Tennessee) as a way to get your foot in the door? I think maybe you want to chat up Malcolm and irishdave.

Honestly, with the shortage of math teachers, you'll probably have no problem finding a job with either. The math will probably be a lot harder, but will give you a bit of an edge, particularly if you ever have ideas about teaching college.

Most states require that you complete an education certification program (in your case math education) not just have a degree in the field. For example, my brother has a degree in computer programming but he can't teach programming in a school unless he finishes a teaching certification program. Personally, Id major in math education. Its more a guaranteed thing that way.

And that too depends on the state: I'm not even sure a math education degree (as opposed to a math degree) is even possible in California. (Yes, I know one can do an approved subject-matter program. That's not a math ed program, however, by any definition that makes sense: the ed part is all reserved for the post-baccalaureate credential program.)

The district where I live won't hire teachers w/out Educ degrees, even with Masters degrees in their subject and alt. cerification (passing tests, etc). But, we're a college town, and there's NO shortage of applicants. Some of the adjuncts teaching my classes at the univ. are actually pursuing second masters degrees so that the district will hire them.

Who told you that your degree does not qualify for the alt. certification process? And don't take the district's answer as absolute truth; I've been given wrong information by the highest of the higher ups. But if they still insist, go for the math degree. If you like math, it will be a lot more interesting and will give you a greater edge when you get hired. We definitely value a subject matter degree greater than an ed degree. Good luck db

Major in Math I would definitely major in math especially if you have an aviation degree. You probably will be able to transfer some of those classes you already have taken. I majored in Math at Penn State and minored in education. So I got the math degree but got certs a teacher at the same time. I was so glad I did that because they are very similar but the math courses i had to take were a little more difficult. It gave me an edge on the math ed teachers when applying for a job. I have taught for 9 years, 8 in public schools and 1 year at a virtual online schools for kids K-12. All of the places I have worked have noticed the math major. Hope you are able to make the right decision for you. Good luck!

I can tell you what I did in Arizona to teach secondary math (grades 7 - 12). My bachelor's is in Computer Information Systems, for which I did only 8 semesters hours in math. I did my post-bacc in secondary ed at University of Phoenix (32 semester hours) and initially was certified to teach business and computers because that was what my bachelor's was. I decided to I wanted to teach math so I went to the local community college (cheaper $$$) and loaded up on math: Algebra, Trig, Calc 1,2 to push my math semester hours past 24, then took the Arizona math test and passed, adding math to my teaching certificate. I could have done the math before or during the secondary ed as well but at the time I was more interested in getting certified as quickly as possible so I did business/computers first.