What is an Education Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you love helping people and spreading knowledge? Are you passionate about a specific academic subject (or subjects)? If so, an education major might be for you.

What is an education major?

An education major is designed to help college students develop the skills to teach others. Combining the ability to create engaging lessons with the desire to spread knowledge, this major is all about learning the most effective ways to become a teacher. Typical classes in this major include educational psychology, history of education and public policy classes.

Is it right for me?

Fast-moving and always changing, the field of education is best suited for someone who welcomes challenges and looks for variety in their work. An educator’s job never stops; you can never truly know where your influence on others will begin or end and choosing this as a career means that you are dedicated to continually helping others grow intellectually and socially.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if an education major is right for you:

  • Am I creative? Do I enjoy looking at something from a variety of perspectives and discovering ways to connect divergent topics?
  • Am I curious? Do I constantly seek out new technologies, research and ideas?
  • Am I communicative? Do I listen with the intent to understand others when they are speaking and then find ways to relay information for a diverse population in a manner that they can relate to?
  • Am I conscientious? Do I make a concerted effort to know the purpose behind my actions and reflect on ways to continually grow?
  • Am I compassionate? Do I empathize with others and seek to improve the state of the world for all around me?

If you responded “Yes” to all of the above questions, then being an education major might be for you.

What can I do with an education degree?

Although teaching is the obvious career path for those in the field of education, education majors are not limited to teaching once they receive their degree. Education majors can look into positions and graduate degrees involving:

  • library sciences
  • instructional technology
  • special education
  • administration
  • curriculum design
  • counseling
  • educational development
  • managerial training
  • …and more

What do educators earn?

Although this is probably not surprising, most careers in education don’t pay a great deal of money. The average salary for an elementary or high school teacher is $45,000. However, the average salary goes up significantly for educators working at the university level, with full-time professors earning an average of $114,000.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for an Education Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How Much Should I be Paid at an Entry-Level Job?

What Types of Skills are Best for an Education Major?

A scientist, an actor, a chief executive officer and a philanthropist. What do these four professions have in common? They all possess skills that you will need as an educator.

This is because the list of abilities that define an effective educator is almost endless. However, there are several qualities that the best educators do have in common: curiosity, creativity, communication and compassion.


An educator’s learning is never complete; you must be the type of individual who has an insatiable hunger for knowledge. An educator is the type of person who is curious about what will inspire his students, how his students learn best and how to guide his students to learn as much as possible. Educators cannot be afraid to look ahead, attempting new things and reflecting on the impact of past and current practices.


Being an educator requires a great deal of creativity and the ability to generate new ideas and then combine those with prior knowledge in order to problem solve for the best results. What helps one student learn may not work for another, so an educator is always flexible in his thinking, seeking to create novel ways to engage his students.


As an educator, you must first listen to understand others and then be able to discover ways to relay information for diverse populations in a manner that they can relate to. Because education is a major in which the expression of thoughts is vital, educators have to enjoy other’s stories and seek them out.


Knowledge is meaningless without an underlying desire to use it for the betterment and welfare of others. Tolerance, acceptance and the ability to empathize with others are important elements of compassion and vital for an effective educator to possess. A compassionate educator is an advocate for her students, for himself and for the profession.

In summary, skills required for education majors can vary but the dispositions that guide how skills are used is vital; an educator should be intellectually curious with the ability to creatively problem solve in order to make informed decisions for the good of all involved. Education as a career path will reap rewards beyond the material to those of inspiration, gratitude, kindness, and the extension of knowledge for future generations.


Next, learn more about this college major such as Global Studies and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Set Career Goals.