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How to Become a Teacher With a Business Degree

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Making the transition from the business sector to the field of teaching is fairly simple. Those who hold a business degree at the bachelor's degree level or higher can become teachers by completing what most states refer to as alternative certification. Alternative certification is used by many states to overcome teacher shortages or to simply attract talented individuals away from other fields such as business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects teaching jobs will grow by about 13 percent through 2018.

Visit the website of your state department of education to determine the requirements to obtain alternative certification as a business education teacher. Business education teachers normally teach at the high school level, so most of the requirements you will have to fulfill are similar to those needed by most secondary education teachers.

Submit your application for alternative certification to your state's board of education with all required documentation. In general, most applications will require you to also submit transcripts from each college or university you attended, letters of recommendation, a resume and possibly even a personal statement of why you want to become a teacher.

Complete your background check by getting your fingerprints taken. All states require that you complete a full background check before you can be certified to teach. Some may require this with your initial application, while others may require it after you have completed the rest of the certification process.

Pass your state certification exams. Each state has an exam or a set of exams that it requires in order for your to obtain a teaching certificate. If you have no teaching experience at all, it is likely that you will be required to take tests over your knowledge of the teaching profession that covers areas like ethics, legal issues and teaching theory. Most states also require teachers to pass a pre-professional examination which tests you over the basic areas of knowledge that most teachers should already know such as reading and writing. The final exam that is often required is a subject-area exam that test your knowledge of the subject you wish to teach.

Gain teaching experience by teaching with a provisional license. Most states will extend you a provisional license or certificate to teach business once you have met certification requirements. This will allow you to teach while taking care of any deficiencies in your background.

You may have to take courses in education theory, childhood psychology and any other areas mandated by the department of education. You will likely work under the direct supervision of a school administrator who will make a recommendation on your behalf for a full license when your trial period is over. These trial periods can last anywhere from one to three years.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.