What Does a Computer Science Teacher Do and How Do You Become One?
Are you interested in pursuing a career as a computer science teacher?
In a world that is becoming more and more reliant on technology, a career in computer science offers long-term security in the job market. Combine that with the fulfillment that comes from teaching future generations of students and you have an incredibly rewarding career opportunity!
So, what is the job description of a computer science teacher? Keep reading to learn everything you might need to know to get your career off the ground—from formal education requirements and how to improve your computer science teacher resume to landing the right job and more!
What Does a Computer Science Teacher Do?
A computer science teacher is an instructor who is responsible for equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed for successful computer science careers.
At the most foundational level, the educator must teach students the anatomy of the computer—including all of its hardware and software, and how these components work in tandem. They must also teach students core mathematical concepts and help them develop their programming skills.
Of course, as an educator, the computer science teacher must also be able to create a classroom environment that promotes learning. From developing curriculum and preparing lectures to grading exams and communicating with parents, a computer science teacher must possess the skills and abilities to juggle all types of daily responsibilities!
How to Become a Computer Science Teacher
To enjoy a long and fruitful career as a computer science teacher, follow these six simple steps:
Attend a Four-Year College or University
The first step to becoming a computer science teacher is to enroll in a four-year college or university and earn your degree. In the United States, a bachelor’s degree is required to earn a teaching license.
Many aspiring teachers major in computer science while minoring in education, which can make it easier to obtain a teaching license down the road. However, if you plan to teach computer science at a university, you will likely need to earn a master’s or doctorate degree in addition to your four-year degree.
Seek Hands-On Work Experience
One of the best ways to fast-track your journey to becoming a computer science teacher is to gain work experience while you are still completing your collegiate studies.
Whether it’s further honing your skills as a computer programmer or serving as a teacher’s assistant, there are all types of internship opportunities that can help prepare you for the workforce. While some students can manage an internship during the school semester, depending on your course load, you may opt to wait until the summer!
Get Your Teaching License
After earning your degree and gaining some hands-on work experience, you will need to obtain a teaching license—a requirement to teach in public schools in most states.
Before applying, be sure to research the requirements for your state. Many state Department of Education websites will provide a list of approved educator preparation programs, as well as alternative certification programs for those who are taking an unconventional path to teaching. Depending on the state, you may even be able to get a teaching license that has a computer science focus.
In any case, keep in mind that most teaching certification programs take one to two years. Fortunately, you can often complete them online, at your convenience, and while you are already working.
Related: How to Make Money as a Teacher
Create or Update Your Resume
With your college degree, internship, and teaching license, you have all of the main building blocks for an attractive resume!
With one eye on potential employment opportunities, carefully craft your resume to include any education, work, or extracurricular experience and skills that might give you an advantage over other job applicants. Double-check for spelling errors, inconsistencies, and any mistakes that might make you appear unprofessional to an employer.
Develop Your Professional Network
It’s true that building your network plays a crucial role in your personal development and career trajectory. Create a LinkedIn profile, participate in online forums, and attend local meetups and functions when possible.
In addition to forming relationships within the computer science community, be sure to also connect with educators and administrators in your area.
Apply for a Teaching Position
Leveraging your professional network, identify some of the best institutions in your area that are offering computer science teaching opportunities.
Whenever you submit an application and present your resume, be sure to follow up. If you are invited to sit for an interview, be sure to study potential interview questions, dress professionally, and get plenty of rest before the big day!