Of those who consider teaching, who actually end up in the classroom?

A new Baccalaureate and Beyond study of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) examines 29,000 US students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2015-16. Of those students, 41% had considered teaching as a career in college, but less than 17% actually ended up in a classroom. 

Results vary by college major, with business, health care and STEM majors least likely to end up in the classroom. This is likely due to the fact that these fields have higher average starting salaries and long-term earnings than education. 

  • 19.7% of STEM majors considered teaching, and 9.2% actually taught. 
  • 17.9% of healthcare majors considered teaching,  and 9.4% taught. 
  • 23.2% of business majors considered teaching, and 6.8% taught.

In addition, fewer men than women actually end up in the classroom. 20.1% of men considered teaching, but only 9.9% actually taught.

While 15.6% of Asians considered teaching, only 11.8% actually taught.

So, who is going into teaching at the highest rates? Latinx candidates, women, and especially single parents with children.

For more, see https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2019/2019241.pdf