Is Teaching Science the Right Route for You as a Science Graduate?
There are lots of things you can do with a science degree. However, for a lot of people, a very appealing choice is teaching science to others. Science is taught in most schools at all ages, from very basic physics taught to young children through to university level teaching. If you want to teach high school or younger, then you’ll need to study as an educator as well as a scientist. To teach at a university, you will usually have to continue with your scientific studies to doctorate level, but won’t usually need any teaching qualifications.
Becoming A Science Teacher for High School or Below
If teaching high school or younger is what you are thinking might be the right path for you, then the kind of qualification you will need to be looking to attain is a masters in education. You can study for a masters in education online or at a private college and the prerequisite in most cases is a bachelor’s or higher in the subject that you want to teach. Generally, in high school, teachers teach sciences separately, divided into chemistry, physics, and biology, whereas younger students may study ‘science’ as an umbrella topic, though this varies between schools.
Things to Consider About a Career as a Science Teacher
While teaching can be fun and rewarding, teaching younger students brings with it its own demands. While at college, everyone who studies science has chosen their field of study, younger students may not have quite the same passion or interest and may also struggle with the subject matter if they are not scientifically inclined. A good science teacher will be able to help everyone in their class understand their teachings, from the most enthusiastic and gifted through to the least interested. However, this is something that you need to be prepared for. This is one of the reasons why teaching qualifications are important for teachers who work with kids and teens.
The Professional Life of a Teacher
Another thing to consider is that the life of a teacher is quite different to that of a researcher, and all the other roles you can consider going into with a science degree. While you do get significant time off between semesters, you also have to work long hours during the semester due to the time it takes to plan lessons, grade your students’ work, and oversee things like extracurricular activities. You may also find yourself having to get involved to some extent in the lives of your students or disciplining disruptive people in your class. This means you have to be pretty flexible, and also someone who can relate to young people.
If you think you have what it takes and are interested in teaching, then it can be a long and rewarding career in which you will see a lot of inspiring young people to achieve some great things with your help. However, it is not for everyone, so make sure you really feel like it is the best choice for you. If you don’t like the idea of some of the non-scientific aspects, then teaching at a university or working in research may be a better path for you.