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Career Paths in Primary Education Vs Secondary Education

primary and secondary education

Training Paths for Primary and Secondary Education

Many future educators ask about the difference between primary and secondary education. Finishing up my degree in English and getting my extra teacher’s certification, I often heard about the differences. Primary education is going to be the younger kids of course and secondary education is high school, though teachers with secondary certification are also able to teach middle school.

Now, there is one main difference in the educational path of a primary education teacher vs a teacher in secondary education. Let’s take a look at that for a minute.

Teaching as a Primary Educator

Say you want to be a teacher, and you want to teach 4th grade. You are going to go to college with a major in education. Your degree path will be focused on education, specifically primary education. Alternatively, let’s say you want to teach high school. You are going to have to decide what subject or subjects you want to teach. In my case, that was English and History.

After you pick the subjects you are going to teach, you make one of them your minor and the other your major. You can pick only one subject to teach as your major if you want and then minor in something else. However, many of the teachers designate their minor as another teaching field to make themselves more marketable, among other things. You choose, but you get your degree in the subject and you take all of your education classes on the back end.

Teaching as a Secondary Educator

What a teacher in secondary education does is essentially get teacher’s certification attached to their degree. It includes an entire year of teaching and education classes, and remember now that the requirements can vary by state. They also change over time. However, that gives you a good idea of what to expect if you choose either primary or secondary education. My choice to teach high school was a good one for sure.

You have to decide what type of teacher you want to be. Do you want to focus on a full curriculum and a classroom of young minds, or do you want to focus on a single subject and life application for teens or young adults in high school? Don’t forget the middle schoolers now, too.

Become the teacher you want to be, but know the degree path that is going to get you there. Then chart your course at the university of your choice.

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