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Career Pathways


How to become a teacher

Congratulations on choosing to pursue a career in teaching. Teacher preparation in California is different from most states. In California, teaching candidates acquire content knowledge before entering a credential program. In the credential program, students learn how to teach.  The steps below outline this process.

  1. Earn a Bachelors Degree in the subject area(s) you intend to teach, such as a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies.
  2. Establish subject matter competence in the subject area(s) you intend to teach; for most candidates, this is done by passing the appropriate California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET).
  3. Complete a credential program at an accredited university. These programs, which include student teaching, can generally be completed in 2-4 semesters.


What to do now to increase hiring opportunities later
During their Liberal Studies program, students can make choices that are likely to increase hiring opportunities after obtaining a teaching credential.  These choices include:

  • Pursuing a pathway through Liberal Studies that will lead to credentials and authorizations for teaching science and math. Math teachers and science teachers are always in demand, particularly science teachers.

  • Choosing Liberal Studies courses that will lead to a Special Education Credential. Special education teachers, especially those with a credential to teach children with moderate to severe disabilities, are often hired as soon as they earn their credential.

  • Choosing Liberal Studies courses that will lead to a Multiple Subjects Credential (a credential for K-6) with a Bilingual Authorization. Bilingual teachers are in high demand due to the increasing number of dual language schools. 

Details on the courses required to pursue these goals are in the Program Requirements area