Strengthening Pathways to Teaching Careers

According to recent research and projections, there will soon be a need for more than 800,000 K-12 teachers across the United States. For past generations, teaching was a career that many aspired to. It was a respected position, with positions highly sought.

In recent years, though, more and more individuals have questioned whether a teaching career is worth all of the hard work and sacrifice. Today, only 3.6 percent of high school students aspire to be teachers, even with all of those expected job openings. And those numbers are declining from this year’s seniors to this year’s freshmen.

While it is clear we, as a community, need to do a better job of helping today’s students see a future as tomorrow’s educators. We know a fair amount about those who seek a pathway into the teaching profession.

    • 58% say their own interest in the profession is what motivates them
    • 4 times as many aspiring teachers cite their own teachers as an influence in their career aspirations, compared to non-future-teacher classmates
    • 79% of aspiring teachers are female
    • 4% of white students aspire to teaching careers, compared to only 2% of African-American students.


Check out this infographic for more information.

This is an important issue that warrants a great deal of discussion and further understanding, and it is a topic that ERCA is committed to continuing to explore in its research.

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