The Pros and Cons of Alternative Teacher Certification

chloe-donian.jpg  Digital Marketing Strategist, Luden Digital.

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Alternative certification for teachers presents certain benefits that can fast-track your teaching profession, but there are drawbacks you should be aware of as well.

Teaching Profession: The Pros and Cons of Alternative Teacher Certification

Teaching is a noble profession that ensures future generations get the proper knowledge to help them succeed in their careers. Most educators get their certification the standard way where they sign up for an education degree and go through university to attain the relevant credentials.

Others have to use an alternative certification program to get to the same point. Educators who opt for this option can enjoy perks and demerits during and after the training. 

If you’ve been thinking of joining a fast-track program, you’re set to enjoy certain benefits.


Benefits of Alternative Teacher Certification


  • Alternative teaching certification allows you to go back to school without taking a step back from your career. So, you keep the job and attain an alternative teacher certification simultaneously.
  • Unlike regular teaching certification, you enjoy hands-on experience early in the program, allowing you to grasp teaching concepts much earlier.
  • The program allows you to impart the knowledge you’ve learned over the years, which is monumental in sustaining the profession.
  • You get a chance to try a new career.
  • The tuition fee isn’t as costly as traditional education degrees since you do not complete the regular school hours.
  • Studies show that teachers with regular education and those that acquire certification using alternative methods give the same effort and attain the same results in everyday teaching situations.
  • You complete the program in a shorter period than you would have if you took up a traditional education degree program.
  • The programs are often better organized than traditional degree programs, allowing you to grasp the necessary content more effortlessly and enjoy a smooth transition from school to work.
  • Considering that teachers with certificates from these programs work in regions with teacher shortages, you contribute to the edification of children in marginalized areas, which is an impactful gesture.
  • A steady income, access to health benefits, and a state pension await you once you find employment.
  • While joining alternative certification for teachers’ programs may look rosy, educators with alternative teacher licensure face a few drawbacks. Let’s discuss some of them.


Drawbacks of Alternative Teacher Certification


  • The most ill-prepared teachers take to the stage and work with the more prepared ones and are expected to yield the same results.
  • Traditional educators have the luxury of selecting where they would like to work after completing their education, but alternative teacher certification holders are placed in regions with teacher shortages.
  • These programs have different characteristics, making them unequal. Consequently, the performance is never the same in students under teachers with alternative licensure.
  • Considering that alternative certification programs differ from state to state, your license may be deemed invalid in other states, rendering you jobless if you relocate.
  • Most states have a shortage of English, math, special education, and science teachers. Therefore, most of the openings are within these areas. If you specialize in other subjects, you slim your chances of landing a teaching job soon.
  • Students enrolling in regular education programs pay for their university tuition fees using education kitties or loans. However, alternative programs do not have these options, which can cause a dent in your finances.
  • The state has the liberty of posting you anywhere, meaning you may have to relocate on short notice.
  • Face-to-face interactions with your facilitator are minimal, meaning you may miss out on some in-person learning aspects that make the difference.
  • The risk of missing out on networking opportunities is high since you do most, if not all, of your schooling online.

Bottom Line


Nothing is without a cost. Whether you choose to join an alternative teacher certification program or prefer to stick to your regular job, you will face the repercussions. 

Nevertheless, it pays to sort out the pros from the cons and see if these variables have an equal measure on the scale or if one outweighs the other.

Chloē Donian is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Luden Digital.