It is said that teaching is a noble profession. Apart from being knowledgeable in one’s area of expertise, teachers must be keen observers, could occasionally transform into performers, and have buckets of patience. While on-site teaching schools train future educators on how to acquire those skills, taking an online bachelor’s degree in teaching often develops those same skills as well.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022) projects a 7% increase in all professions in the education field, providing 658,200 opportunities by 2031. This opens doors for graduates to become certified teachers, coaches, librarians, or trainers working in different industries. Getting this degree arms students with the pedagogies in education and equips them with the most effective communication and classroom management skills.
At Research.com, our team aims to cover valuable information on getting an online teaching degree. In this guide, we will explore the costs, courses, requirements, and other key factors to shed light on questions that prospective learners might have about getting this qualification.
Getting a degree completely online is possible, especially if the degree is from an accredited institution. Although online classes, programs, and degrees existed long before COVID-19 began, demand for and popularity of these greatly increased due to pandemic lockdowns all over the world, causing a growth in enrollment.
For instance, students exclusively enrolled in distance learning in the fall of 2017 included 48.9% (private for-profit), 19.1% (private nonprofit), and 11.3% (public) (Ginder, Kelly-Reid, & Mann, 2019). Meanwhile, in the fall of 2020, these numbers increased to 73% (private for-profit), 34% (private nonprofit), and 44% (public) (National Center for Education Statistics, 2022). Other reports and online education trends also project that this mode of learning will prevail in a post-pandemic world (Seaman & Johnson, 2021). Therefore, getting a degree completely online will continue to be a breeze.
Sources: Ginder, Kelly-Reid, & Mann, 2019; National Center for Education Statistics, 2022
An online teaching degree from a reputable institution is just as legitimate as a traditional degree, especially at a time when almost all postsecondary educational institutions have switched to digital modes of learning due to the pandemic. In fact, in 2021, 71% of employers perceive that online credentials are generally equal to or higher in quality than those acquired traditionally (Gallagher & Ferrari, 2021). Furthermore, even alternative credentials earned from online diploma and certificate programs are gaining employers’ attention since they could bring fresh opportunities to the table (Society for Human Resource Management, 2022).
Online degrees are widely accepted around the world, especially since these also provide countless opportunities for international students to study abroad without leaving their home countries (International Consultants for Education and Fairs, 2022). Online education statistics reveal that global revenue in 2023 could reach $166.60 billion and grow to $237.10 billion by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.22% (Statista, 2023). Additionally, the U.S. is projected to generate the most online university education revenue at $70.23 billion, followed by the U.K. ($8.64 billion), Canada ($4.65 billion), Australia ($3.52 billion), and Japan ($3.07 billion). This helps prospective students consider obtaining quality online degrees at top schools anywhere in the world.
Source: Statista, 2022
Our team of review experts referred to the most credible sources to come up with a short list of the best online bachelor’s degree in teaching. We looked into the institutions’ online reliability, affordability, academic ratings, enrollment rate, and other key metrics to help prospective students factor in their decisions.
The University of Missouri-Columbia offers more than 300 degrees and certificate programs to help students be prepared for the future of work. It provides flexible schedules for all types of learners and foster a caring online community. The online degree in education, in particular, takes on a multidisciplinary approach and allows learners to personalize their educational pathway.
The University of Phoenix prioritizes work-life balance while maintaining online education standards through its 100 online programs. Its instructional approach helps students get the edge they need to prosper in today’s workforce. In addition, the online education degrees are career-focused and designed to equip students with the skills companies are looking for.
Centered on Christian values, Liberty University offers affordable degrees and courses for students anywhere in the world. It ensures that learners get the best education from top professionals and decrease time-to-degree completion by giving flexible online schedules. The university offers both non-licensure and licensure degrees in education, including tracks in English, math, and special education.
Prescott College offers experiential learning experiences to its learners by focusing on a program learning outcomes approach. Apart from its main campus in Arizona, it also offers various online programs in expansive fields. The education programs train students to use evidence-based instructional methods and learner-based curricula to thrive as educators.
North Greenville University is a Baptist university based in South Carolina that centers on student engagement and spiritual formation in all its programs. It encourages students to learn as colleagues and work with mentors that foster a caring online environment. With over 1,200 education graduates, they mold students to be passionate teachers who work in elementary schools, ministries, and even missionaries.
The world needs 69 million more teachers—24.4 million in primary and 44.4 in secondary education—to meet global basic education by 2030 (UNESCO, 2022). One way to bridge this gap is to obtain an online teaching degree. This provides degree holders with opportunities that help them become competent educators in a digital world.
The primary difference between an education degree from a brick-and-mortar university and an online degree is schedule flexibility. Students in on-site classes need to stick to a specific schedule and must attend all synchronous lectures. Online degree takers learn at their own pace and are provided with both synchronous and asynchronous learning outputs to help manage piling deadlines. Schedule flexibility is also a plus for working students who need to balance their time.
As for the courses, both learning modes generally cover the same topics. Some courses offered at a later period in physical classes are introduced much earlier in online classes since degrees online can be completed in less than four years. On the other hand, some very specific majors or specializations in education are offered only in traditional schools, so that is one thing students need to consider as well.
Getting online degree programs in teaching will not reduce one’s credibility as a teacher. In fact, it strengthens it because holders of the degree will have experienced both being a student and an educator in a digital classroom. With no assurance of the pandemic completely ending any time soon, potential graduates of this degree can definitely gain an advantage by living in both worlds.
One edge online learners have is their exposure to learning management systems (LMS). Their knowledge of LMS tools can come in handy when they become full-time teachers who need to administer lectures digitally. While this is not entirely new to traditional school learners, those who have been able to access LMS entirely online may know of other advanced tools or techniques that they can use in the future.
Lastly, teaching demonstration or pre-service courses may also vary. Usually, these are held in partner basic education schools that are near universities or students’ residences. Immersion in these partner schools is required for degree holders to complete this course. In colleges offering online bachelor’s degrees in teaching, this could be either in-person or online learning sessions, or even a mix of the two. Some institutions ask students to do their pre-service courses fully online while others only require this particular course to be held in physical classrooms. However, a recent report stresses the importance of conducting this in the digital world.
A study called “Teacher Efficacy for Online Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Dolighan and Owen (2021) suggests, “Online skills for instruction and design of online learning environments are and will be an important aspect of teacher pre-service or initial teacher education and ongoing teacher professional learning. Understanding that in-service teachers need the resources and training to transition to online teaching can start with providing access to virtual tech support and ongoing support for using LMS as part of their day-to-day teaching.”
Their work in Brock Education Journal adds, “Professional development (PD) also needs to look long term, providing teachers with the means to design and provide meaningful and engaging learning experiences for students in online learning environments. With the reality of a new need for designing and implementing effective online learning environments, teacher PD and ongoing professional learning will have to adapt to better support the new reality.”
Online degrees are generally cheaper than traditional in-person classes. On average, an on-site undergraduate degree costs around $9,400 in public institutions and around $18,200 to $37,600 in private schools on average (NCES, 2022). In comparison, some of the cheapest private and public online institutions cost anywhere from $1,000 to $12,500 (UOPeople, 2021).
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, 2022; Carlton, 2020
An online bachelor’s degree in teaching is generally the same as a traditional degree in terms of curriculum courses. Likewise, the credit hours are around the same number. The main difference is the medium of instruction. Therefore, an online degree is as legitimate as a regular degree, especially if it is acquired from accredited well-known schools.
The average tuition for a four-year online degree in teaching ranges between $5,000 and $45,000, or around $300 to $450 per credit, with some institutions ranging from $100 to $750 per credit. Degrees from brick-and-mortar institutions cost around $9,000 to $65,000 on average (College Tuition Compare, 2023; 2023). However, online degrees are not exempted from in-state and out-of-state fees, which is why some degrees can cost up to $80,000.
There are several factors that could affect the cost of online education. Almost all institutions will charge students for technology or technical fees, which are allotted for the upkeep of school IT services. Program and course fees could also apply to some tuition costs for degree-specific expenses. Another factor that could impact the cost of a degree is the student resource fee, which is used for student engagement or extracurricular activities and programs. Lastly, some ebook and digital library fees could also be added to the overall cost.
Keep in mind as well that online degrees can be accomplished in under four years and that some online institutions have not increased their tuition fees for several years. In addition, most online degree-giving institutions also allow students to transfer credits for as many as 100 credit hours. These all result in reduced costs in tuition.
An online bachelor’s degree in teaching is the best choice if imparting knowledge and caring for the youth’s future is your passion. Apart from that, it also has a great return on investment. A teacher’s salary typically ranges from $30,210 to $79,640 (BLS, 2022), depending on the position and experience level. Advanced degrees and other credentials also affect one’s wages. However, passionate educators consider the success of their students as the most valuable thing that their degree will yield.
Students who aim to take up online teaching degrees need to prepare their documents and requirements in order to have a smooth transition from high school. Apart from standard application forms, we have listed other documents and skills that applicants must keep in mind.
Degree takers of any online class must meet the minimum technical requirements for distance learning. For starters, they must have a laptop or computer with a stable high-speed internet connection. It must also be compatible enough to run video conferencing apps or other collaboration software in order to attend classes or work with classmates.
In addition to that, students must be familiar with the best LMS for schools since they could encounter these once they start teaching. The market growth of LMS saw a spike during the onset of the pandemic, and it is even projected to reach $43.6 billion by 2027 (Markets and Markets, 2023). Furthermore, reading a guide to online learning can also help students have a conducive learning environment.
Source: Markets and Markets, 2023
To give prospective students an idea of the lessons they will study, our team has listed a few online degree courses in teaching. The scope of these courses will also depend on the specific teaching program or specialization that degree takers will choose.
Before enrolling in any degree, it is important for students to cross-check the qualifications of the program or school that provides it. Our team has provided a few factors that students need to look out for in an online bachelor’s degree in teaching.
In this guide, our team provided a rundown of the key details to consider when getting an online bachelor’s degree in teaching. Pursuing this program can open many job opportunities in different fields. In addition, students should consider looking into online master’s degree programs to develop their skills, improve their mastery of the subject, and boost their credentials.
Educators do not stop learning even if they have already graduated or obtained their licenses. Rather, they continue learning every day inside the classrooms from their students. Whether you obtain a traditional qualification or an online teaching degree, future educators must be sure of one thing: they must exert a tremendous amount of dedication, patience, and compassion to shape the lives of the youth.