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Education Degrees Decline in Popularity

photo of four college students wearing backpacks walking on campus

Education, once the number one major for conferred bachelor’s degrees, has declined in popularity since the 1970s, falling to the number 10 spot in 2020-2021.

The rankings, supplied by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), confirm the struggle many districts have had filling teacher vacancies. Teachers are often underpaid and overworked, making them unlikely to recruit individuals into the profession.

Additionally, the cost of education continues to rise while teacher pay remains stagnant. Additional factors preventing individuals from entering the field include:

  • Struggles with student discipline and classroom management
  • Polarized political climate

Colin Sharkey, executive director of the Association of American Educators, suggests, “…a campaign to young people stressing what that job is going to be like for them and what it means and what impact they can have.” Experts recommend being encouraging but honest about the challenges of teaching.

For more information, check out The Hill article Declining Education Degrees Compound Problems in the Classroom.

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Garrett Ward
Garrett Ward
HR Data Analyst

Garrett Ward joined HR Services in 2023. Before joining TASB, he worked as a data analyst and a personal trainer. He attended Texas State University majoring in exercise sports science.

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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