The Decline of Education Major Students in the USA


Teachers have always played a major role in the education system since they are an influential and essential factor to student learning. However, recent studies have shown that there is a major decline in high school students choosing education as a college major.

In a 2017 survey by American College Testing (ACT), the top 10 intended majors by high school students shows health science, business, and engineering majors ranking in the top 3 slots. On the other hand, only 5% of the surveyed high school student population showed preference for education.

Here are the probable reasons why:


Let’s face it, a teacher’s wage sometimes isn’t enough to cover their entire cost of living for a month. In fact, a more recent study by ACT shows that the salary for a teaching position has continuously decreased in some states.

About two-thirds of the surveyed high school population cited beginning salary as the main reason why they won’t go into the teaching profession. Alternatively, if better pay rates were offered for beginning teachers, only then would they be interested in becoming an education major.

Job Security

In 2009, the policy of the U.S. federal government shifted from high quality classification of all certified teachers to incentive type where student academic achievement is accounted for during evaluation at the end of the school year.

The new evaluation system and changes in policy for job tenure are most often than not one of the reasons why students veer away from taking an education major.

Job Satisfaction

A happy employee equals a satisfied employee which equates to the employee’s desire to stay working in their current position. This also holds true for teachers.

Major budget cuts in some educational institutions have resulted in a lower number of satisfied teachers compared to schools where the budget was either increased or retained.

At the end of the day, we have to admit that there is definitely a need for the U.S. government to review their policy for teachers if they wish to entice high school students in considering teaching as a profession.

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