Of all the states, California ranks among the best for teachers. The pay is higher than in most other states, as are the number of career opportunities.

The Golden State currently faces a teacher shortage, according to the Learning Policy Institute. While there is a larger need for teachers in math, science, special education and bilingual education, the shortage also exists across many more subject areas.

The pipeline of new teachers has remained at the same levels in recent years, while demand has increased. That’s why it’s worthwhile for teachers in California to consider earning a master’s degree in teaching.

It can benefit both your career and your teaching skills.

Careers for Teachers in California

California requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and to earn a Single-Subject Teaching Credential before getting a full-time job in a classroom. This applies to secondary school teachers.

Teachers can first earn a preliminary teaching certificate. They then have five years to earn the single-subject credential. Part of obtaining a certificate is to complete a Teacher Induction Program, such as the one offered by San Diego Christian College.

Those who earn a master’s degree open the door to increased job opportunities. They include school administrator, lead teacher or jobs in higher education.

The job market is good for teachers across the country, with an 8 percent increase projected by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But, as noted above, the demand in California is expected to be even higher than that.

Teachers also made a median annual salary of $77,390 in California as of May 2017, according to BLS numbers. That’s the fourth highest in the country, and far higher than the national median for teachers of $62,860.

Earning a master’s degree positions teachers for the best jobs in this rapidly growing career in California.

Benefits to Your Skills

Of course, what makes those with a master’s degree in teaching so attractive for teaching jobs in California are the expertise and skills they develop in the degree program.

With programs now offered 100% online, such as the Master of Arts in Teaching program from San Diego Christian College, it also is more convenient than ever to earn a degree while maintaining a full-time teaching job.

Skills learned in a master’s program include:

  • Classroom leadership best practices
  • Ethical dispositions and decision-making in leadership
  • Community partnerships in multicultural education
  • Qualitative methods in educational research

All these skills make for better teachers. They also position graduates to take on leadership positions, even those outside of the classroom and the education system. Corporations value highly educated teachers for training programs. Nonprofits that focus on education issues also value teachers with master’s degrees.

California also has number of EdTech companies that are creating innovative ways to implement technology into classrooms. Those with a master’s degree in teaching and an interest in technology could find themselves suited to work for such companies.

Further, education research companies in California, such as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, offer those with advanced degrees the opportunity to conduct research into educational issues as well as develop training programs for teachers.

California truly has a wealth of opportunity for those who earn a graduate degree in teaching. If you’re a teacher who wants to prepare for the highest-level jobs in teaching, there’s never been a better time to do in California.