Jobs in education

The United States needs well-trained teachers and education professionals more than ever. While private and public school enrollments are projected to be higher in 2027 than they were in 2015,1 the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) confirms an alarming shortage of well-qualified teachers.2

When you choose a career in education, you choose to positively impact the next generation of students. You choose to make a difference. And when you choose the University of Kansas School of Education and Human Sciences, you can rest assured your investment in education will pay off. Alumni across all of our online graduate education programs report a 36% average increase in salary three years after graduating.3

Data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the following numbers of job openings, on average, per year, through 2032:

  • 33,500 job openings for special education teachers4
  • 56,300 job openings for preschool teachers5
  • 109,000 job openings for kindergarten and elementary school teachers6
  • 42,200 job openings for middle school teachers7
  • 67,100 job openings for high school teachers8
  • 118,800 openings for postsecondary teachers9

We invite you to explore your options for careers in education.

With a KU degree, you're a lot more marketable. I have heard, through word of mouth and from those hiring, KU is such a top program, especially in the field of special education. KU puts us at the forefront for being hired over other candidates. I look forward to all of the opportunities to come and to utilizing the degree that I just earned.
Jennifer C. '16
M.S.E. in High Incidence Disabilities (Teacher Track), Graduate Certificate: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Earn More with a KU Online Education Master’s Degree10

Master’s degrees in education provide a positive return on investment, increasing marketability and earnings.10

KU Careers - 14-percent-KU.jpg
With a master's in teaching, you immediately qualify for a median salary that's approximately 14% higher, or more, than the salary of your professional counterparts who only have a bachelor's degree.10
KU SOE careers page 44 percent
Education administrators had the highest percentage wage premium, with 44% higher wages for master’s degree holders than for bachelor’s degree holders.10
KU SOE careers page 43 percent
The wage premium for preschool and kindergarten teachers was nearly as high, at 43%.10
KU SOE careers page 400k
Elementary and middle school teachers make $400,000 extra over their lifetime with a master’s degree.11

Career Paths Within K-12 School Districts

The following reflect career paths for those who want to directly interact with students on a daily basis, lead and guide teachers, and/or influence the policies designed to improve classroom outcomes.

KU SOE career paths within the classroom
  • Preschool teacher
  • Elementary school teacher
  • Middle school teacher
  • High school teacher
  • Special education teacher
KU SOE career paths in the administration
  • Assistant principal
  • Athletic director
  • Principal
  • Superintendant
KU SOE career paths in curriculum
  • Content coach
  • Curriculum developer
  • Grade-level chair
  • Instructional coordinator
 $14,420: The average additional base salary earned by teachers who hold master's degrees compared to those with bachelor's degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.12
$106,850: The mean annual education administrator salary in elementary and secondary schools in 2022. 13
KUSOE careers graduate level

Specific licensure, certification and/or endorsement requirements vary by state, and every student's situation is different.

View Licensure Information

Careers in Education Outside the Traditional School Environment

An advanced degree in education doesn’t limit you to K-12 schools. The following roles reflect a few of the options available for those who want to pursue an alternative career in education in the public or private sector:

KUSOE careers page adult literacy icon
KU SOE careers education policy analyst icon
KUSOE careers art therapist icon
KU SOE careers education consultant icon
KUSOE careers state federal icon
KUSOE careers occupational therapist icon
Female educator works with student on laptop

Consider Your Career Goals

What do you want to accomplish in your education career? If you enjoy working with students in the classroom, additional skills and credentials can render you a much more effective teacher or advocate in your current role.

If you want to advance your career and pursue a role as a principal, dean or other type of administrator, a master’s degree is often required.


"I’ve received compliments from my administrators on the quality of my teaching and the knowledge that I bring. When I’ve gone to IEP meetings, I’ve been complimented on my knowledge of special education law, my knowledge of different disabilities and ways to support the students. That's all thanks to KU’s high incidence and ASD programs."

Sydney C. ‘20
M.S.E. in High Incidence Disabilities (Teacher Track), Graduate Certificate: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The Value of KU’s Graduate Programs in Education14

91% of alumni report they are able to use what they learned in their program in their current role 14

93% of KU SOE alumni would recommend KU’s online programs to a friend or colleague 14

Enrolling in the Secondary Education and Transition Master’s program was one of the wisest decisions I have ever made. I have been a Transition Coordinator for about 10 years, but once I enrolled in this program, I learned so much more. I have been able to—during the program and up to today—elevate the transition program at our school district.
Rita B. '20
M.S.E. in Secondary Special Education and Transition
KU Graduates celebrate in cap and gowns

Benefits of Joining the Jayhawk Family

When you enroll in an online graduate program in education at the KU School of Education, ranked the #35 Best Online Master's in Education Program and #13 Best Online Masters in Education Programs for Veterans,15 you become an integral part of a forward-thinking community of educators—and a Jayhawk for life.

We support you both during your time in the program, through your assigned Student Success Coordinator, and after graduation, at which point you can continue to tap into the Jayhawk network and various career resources.

IMPORTANT DATES

AUG
12
Application Deadline
August 12
Fall 2024 Term
AUG
26
Next Start
August 26
Fall 2024 Term

EVENTS

Sources
  1. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019001.pdf
  2. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from epi.org/publication/the-teacher-shortage-is-real-large-and-growing-and-worse-than-we-thought-the-first-report-in-the-perfect-storm-in-the-teacher-labor-market-series/
  3. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from alumni of the University of Kansas School of Education and Human Services online programs in education from graduating cohorts between 2019 and 2021.
  4. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm#tab-6
  5. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm#tab-6
  6. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm#tab-6
  7. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm#tab-6
  8. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-6
  9. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-6
  10. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm
  11. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from ed.gov/policy/highered/reg/hearulemaking/2011/collegepayoff.pdf
  12. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d22/tables/dt22_211.20.asp
  13. Retrieved on November 28, 2023, from bls.gov/oes/current/oes119032.htm
  14. Based on a limited sample of self-reported data from alumni of the University of Kansas School of Education online programs in education from graduating cohorts between 2020 and 2023.
  15. Retrieved on February 8, 2024, from usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-kansas-155317