If you are looking to become a teacher, you have some important decisions to make. Selecting an appropriate major is a decision that could ultimately determine how much time you spend in school and if you are able to get a teaching job upon graduation. So, it is important to weigh your options, do some research, and choose wisely.

The first question you need to ask yourself is – what kind of teacher do you want to be? If the answer isn’t immediate, think about which subjects you most enjoyed in school and which age groups you are most fond of. Make a list of any areas/age groups that appeal to you so that you have a number of possible options to choose from.

Another thing to consider when deciding your major is your marketability when you enter the workforce. While doing research, you’ll want to figure out if the teaching area you are most interested in is in demand. If it’s not, you may want to consider dual certification and, by extension, a possible dual major. These are all things to consider as you move forward.

Before you select a major you need to investigate the teaching profession and the unique requirements in place for your teaching area of choice. For starters, talk to your school guidance counselor if you are still in high school. If you are already attending a college or university, go speak to someone at the counseling center or consult with the education department. Additionally, if you know of a teacher in the area you want to teach, ask them what they majored in, if they would have selected a different major if they had known then what they know now, and see how they would recommend you proceed.

The most important point to remember when selecting a major is that each certification area is unique and has its own program design. If you are looking to become a preschool teacher, for example, then you will want to major in early childhood education or something with a similar title. Secondary school teachers generally require a major in the subject matter they are going to teach (i.e. English teachers would major in English) and a minor in education. The requirements will be different depending on what kind of teacher you want to be and your geographic location and that is why researching it is essential.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of variables and that is why it’s important to tap into all of your resources before making the decision. The climate in education is evolving daily and making yourself as marketable as a teacher as possible is in your best interest. Select the major that will allow you to teach the subject/area you want to teach but also leave you room to grow.