What is Post-Secondary Education?

Post-secondary education is better known as the world of colleges, universities and trade/technical schools — basically all institutions of learning that go beyond high school. Because post-secondary education embraces nearly every educational discipline, it represents a path to just about any career in education.

Those who work in post-secondary education usually are professors or instructors, but they might also be professional researchers or laboratory technicians.

Education Requirements

Usually those who work in post-secondary education are expected to earn a master degree or even a doctorate, but this is far from universal. At the very least, though, if you hope to teach you’d probably need a bachelor degree and a teaching certificate approved by the state where you live.

Some learning institutions require that teachers hold a master degree or doctorate in either education or a single specialty. Technical schools and junior colleges, however, might hire somebody with a bachelor degree and considerable work experience for certain highly specialized courses.

Career Options

Teaching and education: Post-secondary teachers can find work in pretty much every department of a college, university or technical school. The type of work you qualify for depends on how far you advance your education. To work as a university professor you’ll almost certainly need to earn a doctorate, but many community college teaching jobs require only a master degree.

Governmental positions: Many government jobs also require a degree in post-secondary education. These include positions that work to develop curriculum and standards for schools. Positions also include jobs that work in accreditation of universities and schools. There are jobs that employ people to develop training programs, certification programs and policies within the government.

Corporate training: Many large corporations have extensive training and education programs that could employ people who have experience in post-secondary education.

What To Consider if You Pursue This Degree

The median annual wage for post-secondary educators was just over $62,000 in 2010, according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS). The top 10 percent of those working in this career have a median annual wage of just over $130,000 while the bottom 10 percent have a median wage of just under $31,000 per year.

Some positions may also require continuing education units (CEUs) as part of an annual recertification process. Continuing education units are usually obtained by taking specialized classes or attending lectures. Some continuing education units can be obtained through online training that is designed specifically for CEUs.

Job growth for post-secondary teachers is projected to be about 17% through 2020, which is about average, according to the BLS.

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