NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

More Wanting to Teach

February 25, 1997

Despite continuing problems in public school classrooms, a surprising 10.2 percent of college freshmen last fall said they were interested in going into elementary or secondary education as a career, according to a survey by the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1982, only about half that proportion expressed such goals.

Job growth in the teaching field is expected to exceed overall job growth between 1994 and 2005.

  • The increase in the number of elementary teachers needed over that period is estimated at 16 percent.
  • The demand for secondary school teachers is expected to grow 29 percent.
  • The Department of Labor projects an increase of 53 percent in the number of special education teachers needed.
  • These figures compare to an increase of only 14 percent in the overall workforce during the period.

Experts attribute the heightened interest in teaching to improved teachers' salaries -- which now average $38,000 -- a feeling of increased societal respect for teachers, and an increasing ethic of service and duty among young people.

One reason more teachers are needed is the dropout rate: slightly more than 17 percent of teachers with less than a year's experience left the profession between the 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 school years.

Source: Tanya Albert, "Teaching is Hot," USA Today, February 25, 1997.

 

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