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Careers In Education: Most In-Demand Teaching Positions

Micah Fikes
Micah Fikes on January 12, 2024

There’s little doubt that Texas needs teachers. 


Between 2011 and 2020, the attrition rate (a metric used to determine the pace at which employees leave a company or organization) hovered at around 10%. Currently, state data shows the attrition rate is a whopping 13%.


Many of these teacher shortages are found in specific subject areas, as well as in middle schools and high schools (known as secondary levels). However, severe shortages in specialized subjects like English as a Second Language and Special Education are found in elementary schools across Texas as well, leaving many school districts scrambling to fill open teaching positions. 


The door is open for those who want to pursue careers in education, but pursuing a teaching license that helps meet these in-demand subject areas can open up opportunities for employment and impactful contributions in Texas' education landscape. 


By targeting in-demand subject areas, aspiring educators address critical shortages and position themselves favorably in the job market. 

Texas Teacher Shortage Areas



One way to discover some of the most in-demand teaching positions in Texas is to look at what the state identifies as the teachercareers in education shortage areas.


Every year, the Texas Education Agency identifies subject areas that are currently experiencing the most severe teacher shortages. For the 2023-2024 school year, the TEA declared these areas as those experiencing shortages:


  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language
  • Career and Technical Education (secondary level)
  • Computer Science/Technology Applications
  • English Language Arts and Reading (secondary level)
  • Mathematics (secondary level)
  • Science (secondary level)
  • Social Studies (secondary level)
  • Special Education


This list can vary from year to year, but Special Education teachers, English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and Mathematics teachers are routinely needed.


Let’s take a closer look at what teaching each of these areas involves:

  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language: Teaching in this area involves instructing students who are learning English as an additional language, focusing on language acquisition, cultural integration and academic development.
  • Career and Technical Education (secondary level): Educators in this field provide specialized instruction focused on practical skills, preparing students for careers in various industries through hands-on training and real-world applications.
  • Computer Science/Technology Applications: Teaching this area involves educating students on computer programming, technology concepts, coding languages and applications, fostering skills crucial for navigating the digital landscape.
  • English Language Arts and Reading (secondary level): Educators in this domain focus on enhancing students' literacy skills, teaching critical analysis, literature appreciation and effective communication through written and oral expression.
  • Mathematics (secondary level): Teaching mathematics at the secondary level involves guiding students through complex mathematical concepts, problem-solving techniques and practical applications in algebra, geometry, calculus and other areas of math.
  • Science (secondary level): Educators in the field of science cover a wide array of subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics and environmental science, engaging students in scientific inquiry, experimentation and discovery.
  • Social Studies (secondary level): Teaching social studies encompasses various disciplines like history, geography, civics, economics and sociology, fostering students' understanding of societal structures, cultures, and historical events.


It’s worth noting as well that if you choose to teach in these in-demand areas, you may apply for TEACH grants and/or Public Service Loan Forgiveness:


  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language
  • Career and Technical Education (secondary level)
  • Computer Science/Technology Applications
  • Special Education


Within each of these areas are several opportunities for teaching positions or other types of jobs that entail working with students. For example, the role of a special education teacher includes services like speech and language pathology and audiology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological and counseling services, and recreational therapy.

Demand Varies By District



The demand for teaching positions can significantly vary across districts, influenced by several factors such as population growth, budget allocations and specific educational priorities. 


If there’s a certain geographic region you wish to teach in, thorough research to discern the specific needs and trends within different districts can offer valuable information when considering which Texas teacher certification to pursue. 


Some regions might have a heightened demand for STEM educators due to a push for technology and innovation. In contrast, others might prioritize special education or bilingual instructors to cater to diverse student populations. Some school administrators may be looking to fill more teaching jobs in their elementary schools, while others may be looking for high school teachers. 


Understanding these variations is crucial in making informed decisions about obtaining a Texas teaching credential. Doing this homework aids in positioning you for success in securing a job that aligns with your passion and expertise while contributing meaningfully to the academic landscape of your chosen community.

What’s Next After Choosing Your Teaching Future



Once you have pinpointed which in-demand teaching position you want to pursue, an educator preparation program becomes ancareers in education invaluable pathway to transform aspirations into reality. 


These programs serve as comprehensive platforms offering the necessary training, coursework and practical experiences essential for success in the chosen field. Whether specializing in STEM, special education, bilingual instruction or any other high-demand area, these programs equip future educators with pedagogical skills, teaching methodologies and classroom management strategies tailored to their specific domain. 


In fact, it typically takes just 4 to 6 months to complete an educator preparation program, depending on a few factors like when you complete your testing requirements. Whether you’re pursuing a second career or returning to the workforce after temporarily stepping away, teaching is one of the fastest paths you can take, even if you’re coming from a completely different profession with no teaching background.


To be eligible for an educator preparation program, you must have a bachelor’s degree and meet a few other requirements. However, some circumstances will allow you to enroll in an alternative teacher certification program, even if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree. For example, if you have wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field to be taught and a current professional licensure to teach Health Science Technology, Criminal Justice or Cosmetology, you may qualify.


If you’re leaving the military, you can also take advantage of an educator preparation program through a Health Science or Trade and Industrial Education (TIE) certification. According to the TEA, eligible military experience may be used to meet the experience and license requirements for this type of certification. 


Through a combination of coursework, supervised teaching internships and mentorship opportunities, these programs ensure that aspiring teachers develop the required expertise and confidence to excel in their chosen field. Educator preparation programs also often provide networking opportunities and resources, further aiding new educators in securing positions and making impactful contributions within their field of expertise.


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Written by Micah Fikes

Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank. In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.

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