Career Opportunities in Social Studies

Teaching Opportunities

In recent years the state of Oklahoma has experienced a shortage of qualified Social Studies Education teachers. Jobs are available every year and students can do a number of things to enhance their chances of employment. For example:

  • Produce the best academic record that is possible. Whenever there are a large number of applicants for a job (the situation that prevails for almost all vacant social studies positions), school officials employ culling techniques to reduce the number of applicants receiving serious consideration. Probably the most widespread practice is to separate the applicants by GPA and consider which to interview from among those that survive the cut.
  • If you qualify for an honor society, join. Membership will not guarantee a job, but it will earn you serious consideration in many school systems and may be among the factors that get you an interview.
  • Participate in student activities. If you enjoy student activities (student government, clubs, interest groups, etc.) join with others and participate. If possible become an elected leader and be sure to list your involvement on your resume or job application. Sponsorship of student groups is a job responsibility of many public school teachers.
  • Demonstrate traits characteristic of professionals. Being to class on time, having work finished by deadlines, displaying respect for one's self as well as for classmates and instructors, offering intelligent participation in class discussion, and other similar positive actions will result in a positive job recommendation by instructors.
  • Be open to relocation. In a tight job market it is probably not wise to assume that a job will be available in your ideal location as you graduate and are looking for employment. There are social studies teaching positions every year, but they not necessarily where you would want them to be.
  • Become certified in another academic area. Consider acquiring middle school teaching credentials in an area of high teacher demand. Any certified Oklahoma teacher can test in another credential area and teach in that field if they pass the certification exam.
  • If coaching appeals to you take as an elective course " Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries" (H ED 4383) and qualify to drive a school bus. Most schools will require coaches to have this course and to be able to drive a bus.
  • Continue your education. Acquire a Masters, Ph.D., or other advanced degree in order to qualify to teach in higher education or to gain some type of school administrator's certification.

It could happen that despite a person's best planning there will be no job in an acceptable area. Should that be the case students should explore one of the alternate areas of employment listed below.

Other Employment Opportunities

Students with the NSU Social Studies Education degree have entered a wide range of non-teaching fields and experienced a profitable and successful career. Examples of jobs include employment with local, state and federal government agencies (National Park Service, Social Security Administration, State Historical Societies, Museums, etc.), a variety of careers in business, employment with foundations, and self employment. Many of these fields offer greater financial opportunities than teaching.