Adult education programs will enable you to work in various environments. If you have an adult education degree, you will be qualified to educate adults. Adult educators work with their student to introduce then to new technologies, as well as strategies for them to update their skills for the workforce or self-improvement. A driving force in the growth and development of career-focused education is the ongoing change, where working professionals looking to update their skills or change careers. Online distance learning education programs play an important role in filing this gap. From another perspective, adult education is given to members of underprivileged communities who were not sufficiently educated as children. Working as a teacher in this area involves tutoring small groups of people who only attended school up to 6th Grade level, or below. Many non-profit organizations like schools and public libraries offer these programs.
Adult Education Training and Preparation
Teaching adults is very different to teaching children, therefore an understanding of how adults learn is essential. This is known as adult learning theory, or andragogy. Although adults are more mature than children, they are less flexible and slower to catch on to things. Having said this, adults however generally know exactly what and why they wish to learn. Courses may include:
- Fundamentals of Training
- Adult Learning Theories (Andragogy)
- Educational Psychology
- Human Behavior and Development
Some adult education programs of study include literacy programs, technology skills, and various hand-on skills. In this respect, knowledge of psychology and consumer science would be advantageous. This will enable you to know about specific issues that affect adults and also improve your communication skills. Furthermore, you will be able to identify their weaknesses and strengths as students and implement the most appropriate teaching approach.
Adult Education Careers
Adult education can take place in the workplace through continuing education or extension-education courses, as well as at high schools, universities, and colleges. Other learning venues include life-long learning centers and community colleges.
A career in adult education can also be referred to as ‘Professional Development’ or ‘Training and Development’. In this context, it involves vocational education to improve skills in the workplace. It is also related to the non-formal education of adults who wish to learn new skills or improve personal development. Adult literacy and GED teachers are work at community colleges, community-based organizations, and public schools (Bureau of Labor Statistics – BLS).
To broaden your scope as an adult educator, you should study for a Master of Education (M.Ed) degree. With this, you will be considered a professional who can work in many different fields. These include continuing professional education, distance education, education technology, corporate training, as well as family and adult literacy.
The organizations that provide training may pay the teachers, or teaching might be done on a voluntary basis after hours. Choosing a career as an adult educator can be very varied and many teachers who work in full-time jobs also participate in voluntary projects. In whatever field you work, your job description essentially the same.
You will have to plan lessons and keep track of your students’ work and progress. In addition, you will need to give counseling and advice. Whether you work for a school, a government agency, or in a corporate environment, you will be expected to attend conferences and workshops. Some positions for graduates of adult education programs are: ESL instructors, G.E.D instructors, adult literacy instructors, career and vocational instructors, corporate trainer, online instructor, self-enrichment instructor, etc.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
The salary for a person holding an adult education degree will depend on the environment in which they work. On the corporate front, you can expect a salary commensurate with whatever skills you are teaching. Remuneration will also depend on the going-rate in that particular industry. Adult educators in the United States who help their students achieve a high school education earn an average of $23.95 per hour, while those who work in communities are receiving an average of $19.68 an hour.
American economists say that the demand for adult teachers is higher than in many other employment sectors. Job growth projections range from 14% for adult literacy educators to 23% for self-enrichment and vocational teachers. In 2007, adult educators earned an average salary of $47,830.
The median annual wage of adult literacy and GED teachers (adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors) was $46,530 in 2010 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The lowest 10% earned below $27,090 while the top 10% earned more than $83,580, and the employment is expected to grow by 15% from 2010 to 2020. Adult education programs therefore continue to serve an important role in the workforce.
Adult Education Programs
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- Instructional Design & Technology