Better Job Opportunities: HS Math or HS Science?

Discussion in 'High School' started by JoyfulSpirit, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. JoyfulSpirit

    JoyfulSpirit Rookie

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    Feb 26, 2012

    Hello All,

    I'm a career changer and have the opportunity to enter a graduate, teaching program for secondary mathematics or secondary science.

    Which area provides better job opportunities? I've heard HS Math and HS Science are in high-demand, but I've also heard it's hard to find a HS Biology position. When they say science is a shortage area, do they mean Chemistry and Physics?

    HS Math and Science teachers, please chime in! Thanks :)
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 26, 2012

    In my district, there are no biology positions, but there are almost always positions in chemistry and physics. Math teachers are always needed here, especially at the high school level.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Feb 26, 2012

    For science, there is definitely more need in chemistry and physics.

    Do some research in your area by going to hiring websites and see which has more job postings. Are there more math or science jobs posted?
     
  5. JoyfulSpirit

    JoyfulSpirit Rookie

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    @Caesar: Thanks! Glad to know I was right when it comes to Biology :)

    @Mopar: I've looked in my area--I definitely see more math positions. With that said, everytime someone finds out that I have a biology degree, they insist on telling me how easy it would be for me to find a HS Biology position. (This has come from quite a few principals I've worked for). I just wanted to know if I was missing something. Guess not. I will stick w/ my research and go with HS Math. To be honest, I prefer to teach math; it's just a longer route due to the pre-req work I will have to complete.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    In my experience, high school Physics teachers are impossible to find.

    High school Chemistry teachers are very difficult to find.

    High school Math teachers are pretty difficult to find.

    Everything else is pretty easy to find.

    Biology is different-- every wannabe doctor in the world finds it easy to get a biology degree.
     
  7. JoyfulSpirit

    JoyfulSpirit Rookie

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    I considered Physics a while ago (I did the best in that science field, despite thinking I'd hate those classes) but I don't see very many job postings for Physics. I'll assume it's because it's not a mandatory science for graduation...
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I would also think that it has to do with the science teachers being split into subjects, while all the math teachers are lumped together. So there would be more math positions than biology or physics positions to start with.
     
  9. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Feb 26, 2012

    In California, biology is required for graduation, while chemistry and physics are not. So while chemistry and physics job openings get fewer applications, there are more total biology positions. If you have an interesting resume with more than just the premed biology courses, you won't have a problem finding a biology job.
     
  10. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I agree that Physics is the easiest job to get a job in. I think it's just a really hard degree to get.
    I'm a math teacher and I needed to beat out about 300 applicants for my job. (but this is at a school in a very high socioeconomic area)
     
  11. biologyland

    biologyland Rookie

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    Feb 29, 2012

    In my grad program, all of my professors told us to persue biology certs because everyone needs biology teachers. When I was applying for jobs, I found very few biology positions, but luckily I got certified for Earth science too. I am in a lower socioeconomic area and I know a lot of teachers who have been planning to retire are postponing it until they finally get another pay raise (some districts have gone 5 years with nothing at this point), so that was part of the reason why there weren't a lot of positions (I know at least 6 teachers in the area that want to retire soon!).

    The problem with Chemistry and Physics is that they're not required for a standard diploma. At our school of 2500 students, we have 4 Earth science teachers, 5 biology teachers, 2 chemistry teachers, and 1 part time physics teacher. While those fields usually have fewer qualified applicants, the demand for them in out area is pretty low. Our school has a major retention problem and a high frequency of first year teachers who do not return, so there's usually a lot of openings for us. :)

    My best advice would be to pick the subject that you enjoy the most. 2 of our biology teachers only got their certs in biology because of the supposed high demand, and they really don't enjoy their jobs. We don't want you to burn out because you're teaching something you hate! The jobs will come, but it may take time. I didn't get hired full-time until the middle of the year, and I was a substitute all before that. You might have to wait a while, but I think it would pay off in the long run. :)
     
  12. mistermitchell3

    mistermitchell3 Rookie

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    Ditto for my district. Few biology positions, but the other sciences aren't too bad. We would love to find a few decent math teachers.
     
  13. JetShack

    JetShack Rookie

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    I don't know how different OK is from other states... My original certification was in Middle School Science and Physcial Science... That's what I left college with.

    Since then I've taken (and passed) the exam for just about everything else. As of now I'm certified to teach nearly every science offered, as well as every math, and every History. I haven't taken any of the English exams but plan to in the near future.

    If this is a possibility my suggestion would be to just get certified in something and then start taking the other certification tests.
     
  14. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I wish my state were like that, but it isn't. Here, you have to take actual coursework. It kind of stinks. :(
     
  15. PTonga

    PTonga New Member

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    Aug 25, 2015

    Country where I live The shortage of personnel in science and biology, which is vital to the needy. And here I want a teacher or instructor in this field.
     
  16. PoliticalFutbol

    PoliticalFutbol Rookie

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    About 40 years ago I used to work as a clinical lab tech, then went to off to National Guard Duty. When I returned, I didn't force them to give my job back (different story), bounced around and landed in teaching chemistry, physics and math. I loved making up experiments - could make them very accurate and to the point focusing on exactly what was to be learned. Now days many of the schools will not allow the labs we used to do back then without a ton of safety measures in place. Now many teachers have to resort to virtual labs. In math there are a few hands-on manipulative that really make clear what the students are learning. The ability to do labs might be a consideration for you.
     
  17. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Oct 25, 2015

    Ditto to everyone else- chemistry positions are always available. I don't see as many physics, and hardly any biology/earth science. Math positions sometimes pop up.

    Another idea would be to get dual certified math/science for middle school, if you are interested in that age group.


    Aaannnddd... this post is from 3 years ago. I hate when I do this...
     

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