There will always be a need for great teachers. Regardless of temporary economic conditions, hiring practices, budget cuts or any other factors that impact the education system, the need for teachers is timeless and universal. Society will always need educators, and in that respect, teaching is one career in which you can be confident you will always have a purpose.
A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.
The need for teachers is quite real. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011, employment of teachers is expected to grow by 13% between 2008 and 2018. In 2008, there were about 3.5 million kindergarten, elementary, middle and high school teachers in the country, so we can expect almost another 500,000 to be hired by 2018. Also indicative of the high demand for teachers is the large volume of grants available for teachers.
The specific needs of schools vary from district to district. Some areas, particularly in high-needs schools in the south and west, have higher needs for teachers. There is also a demand for teachers by subject, with certain academic areas needing teachers more than others. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is a great example of an area where there is a high demand for great teachers.
The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.