South Carolina is not immune to the nationwide shortage of teachers in public schools, particularly in the fields of science and math. This is not good news for school districts that are already having a hard time filling middle school and high school vacancies for teachers in key areas such as geometry, algebra and calculus and also for other employers who want to fill jobs in science and math-related fields. Students who earn teaching degrees are unlikely to have to spend time living in their parents’ basement while desperately trying to find a job after graduation.
Martin Sims, who hopes to graduate in August and start teaching in January 2015, said: “The more and more conferences I go to, I really get an outlook on how much we are needed. I didn’t realize how much of a hot commodity we were.” Sims, who lives in Columbia, is working on a teaching degree with a concentration in math. By the time he completes his studies, he hopes to have already signed a contract for his first job.
Comments by USC education professor Ed Dickey indicate that Sims’ confidence could be well founded. With a recent financial grant from Duke Energy Foundation at his disposal, Dickey plans to quadruple the number of science and math graduates at USC in the next few years. Dickey said: “We don’t graduate enough majors to meet the demand. We are not very good at being there when that little light bulb goes off in their head.”
According to the S.C. Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement at Winthrop University, the state has been dogged by shortages in this field for years. In a Teacher/Administrator Demand and Supply Survey it conducted last year, science and math vacancies are only surpassed by vacancies in elementary level special education.
The center says that while teacher education programs in South Carolina supply fewer than 2,200 graduates per year, an average of 5,200 public school teachers leave the profession every year. Only 1,200 of these are retiring, while the rest move on to other industries.
An online education degree could be the start of an exciting career in this field where demand currently far exceeds supply. Explore the education degrees available online at Accredited-Online-Colleges.com.