(NewsUSA) - A career in teaching is one of the most demanding and challenging jobs that exist today. For those considering this path, the decision may be fraught with questions, and some not easily answered.
That said, if becoming a teacher is the direction you want to take, there are some things you need to know, especially if you are considering online schools:
* It's doable. It may seem overwhelming, but online schooling has become better with each passing year. You can keep your job while taking classes online. And if you already work in the field or have taken classes before, take placement tests and move on to new classes and information.
* It's affordable. Cost is a big setback for many students today. Online schools help people take part in higher education without many of the costs associated with a traditional college experience.
For example, Western Governors University (WGU) is a nonprofit school that has a record of high placement with more graduates employed five years after they earn their degrees compared to the national average, according to wgu.edu.
WGU's competency-based learning model makes it possible for students to fit studying into their busy lives. Students complete courses as soon as they demonstrate that they have mastered the subject matter, enabling them to move quickly through material they already know and spend more time focusing on what they still need to learn.
* It's gratifying. As everyone knows, teachers make a difference. Every time you feel stressed about classes, focus on why you want to become a teacher -- to see the smiles on students' faces, to be a role model for students, and to do what you love.
* It's financially beneficial with a master's. A benefit of online schooling is that you can continue your education while educating others. In addition to furthering your abilities in the teaching field, a master's degree will help you earn more money.
Teachers from elementary to high school make about $7,000 more per year with a master's degree, according to teacher.org.
"By earning a master's degree, you also have the option to take on more advanced roles in the field of education, and these positions typically come attached with higher salaries," Masters in Teaching says.
* It's possible to achieve balance. Another advantage of online classes is that you can balance your life at work, home and school. Of course, adding to your schedule will keep you busy, but you can attend classes while sitting at home or on your lunch break. With a few tweaks to your schedule, you can manage your time to fit it all in.
"Choosing to become a teacher may be one of the more noble decisions one can make in life," teacher.org says.
"Teachers have the ability to shape the lives of children and young adults of varying ages and in a variety of learning stages."