A social studies teacher could design and teach classes that touch on themes of history, geography, and humanities. These teachers tend to work at middle school and high school levels and may need a single subject credential in order to get work. This means the bachelor’s degree has to be focused on subjects like social studies and history. Those wanting to become a social studies teacher below seventh grade level, especially in places like the US, may not need the single subject major and usually will teach a variety of subjects. People interested in pursuing this profession as a college teacher will need to meet more extensive requirements.
Anyone who would like to become a social studies teacher at the middle or high school level needs to get a bachelor’s degree first. There may be variation in available degrees a person can take. Some people might major in social studies, history, geography or other fields. To determine the best major, students should contact their regional board of education or teacher licensing board and ask which degrees are specifically appropriate to become a social studies teacher. This information helps students find the right school with the best programs to meet this goal.
Different regions have varied requirements for what it takes to actually become a social studies teacher, or any kind of teacher. Many of them require people to finish a bachelor’s degree in an approved major and then apply to a teaching or teacher credential program. In some places, standardized testing is also required either before entrance to such a program or while a person participates in it. A few regions allow people to teach with only a bachelor’s degree, but this is becoming less common.
One option for those who want to become a social studies teacher is to get a credential and a master’s degree concurrently. This means more study in areas of expertise, which can be of great benefit to students. It also lengthens time spent in school, and some teachers prefer to get out sooner and start teaching. One attractive quality of earning the master’s degree is it often means starting out at a higher rate of pay. Another potential benefit is that teachers might teach at community colleges with this degree.
Those who are bound for college teaching really don’t need a teaching credential. They can become a social studies teacher at the community college level with a master’s degree. Most standard universities require even more. To become a college professor, teachers will have to earn a doctorate in social studies, and this can take, after a bachelor’s degree, three to seven years to accomplish.