Getting Started: Careers for a BS History/Social Studies Education graduate
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a degree in our program only leads to a career in 9-12 social studies classrooms. In fact, the list of potential careers is long, and our degree aligns with the attractiveness of any history major to employers in multiple job sectors. For a list of possible careers with a BS degree in History/Social Studies Education, click here. We also recommend you speak with any HEP faculty or staff member, faculty and advisors in the Department of History, and the App State Career Development Office.
Graduates of our program have moved on to successful careers in teaching, administration, law, business, museums and public history, and technology, as well as pursued advanced degrees in history and/or education. Visit our Alumni Spotlight series for particular stories of App State History Ed graduates.
Going on the Job Market
Before applying for jobs in education, all students should register to take the PRAXIS II exam for 9-12 social studies and other PRAXIS exams for licensure (see requirements for each state). In NC, licensure of 9-12 social studies includes passing one exam; see PRAXIS II handout (PDF, 66 KB). PRAXIS exams are offered each month at various test sites in NC and neighboring states. Make sure to register for the PRAXIS II exam before student teaching if possible.
Once you have cleared one teaching license, it becomes easier to add on a second license. For more information on licensure, seeking a 2nd license area, or teaching outside of North Carolina, visit the FAQs page of the NC Dept. of Public Instruction.
Where You Can Teach
Teaching occurs in many areas, including public and private schools, overseas schools, correctional facility schools, on bases with Department of Defense schools, and as an education specialist at museums and national parks.
If you desire to teach in an NC public school, TeacherMatch is an excellent place to start. Most school systems advertise on this site; be advised, though, that some school systems do not use TeacherMatch. We recommend bookmarking the HR/Employment/Job Vacancies page of the top 5-10 school systems you would like to apply to and following the HR Director or Asst. Superintendent on Twitter or other social media. Many job postings are first advertised via these social media platforms.
Most of our graduates seek jobs teaching in NC public schools, while a few apply for teaching jobs in public schools in other states. Some have also secured jobs with state-funded charter schools. The best opportunity to meet with representatives from school systems in several states is to attend the App State Education Career Fair, which takes place in mid-October and mid-March. You will find between 70-100 school systems at this fair - most from NC.
Private schools - faith-based and non-faith-based - are an attractive option for those who prefer smaller class sizes and more autonomy over their curriculum. There are two agencies that will help you connect with private or independent schools across the nation: Southern Teachers Agency and Carney Sandoe & Associates. Another option in NC is to apply to be a teacher with Juvenile Education services, which is always looking for licensed teachers who enjoy smaller class sizes and making a real difference in the lives of children seeking a new direction in their lives. Department of Defense schools are yet another option for those interested in working with children of service families, either on bases in the U.S. or overseas. Please read the DODS application requirements - you will likely already meet requirements based on your degree and licensure preparation at App State.
If you want to pursue a teaching job overseas, there are many websites to get you started, including (but not limited to): U.S. State Department overview, Teachaway, International School Services, and an article by an international teacher on the National Association of Independent Schools website. It is important to attend an international school job fair if you want to land that perfect job overseas. But it is also important to be open and flexible in your search.
Header Image - Di'Sheena Watson (2016) and her cooperating teacher for student teaching, Jennifer Loveday-Donovan, at NW Guilford High School in Greensboro, NC.