University of Minnesota Morris
UMM Home Academics Admissions News, Sports, & Events CampusLife Alumni & Friends Directories

Find us on Facebook

follow us on twitter

Morris on LinkedIn Join Morris on LinkedIn »

Career Services on LinkedIn Join Career Services on LinkedIn »


UMM Home > Career Services > Career Planning & Decision Making > What can I do with a Major in... > Elementary Education

Elementary Education

Description of Major
Coursework leading to a degree in elementary education is designed to meet standards of effective practice required for licensure and provide prospective teachers with opportunities to understand central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of disciplines taught in the elementary school; understand children and adolescents and their individual and group behavior; plan and implement instruction adapted to learners of diverse backgrounds and abilities; communicate effectively; encourage critical thinking and problem solving; use formal and informal methods of assessment; and collaborate with parents/guardians, families, school colleagues, and the community in an ethical manner.

A liberal arts education and study in a particular major will lead to the acquisition of a group of skills which enable one to solve problems, communicate effectively, and perform complicated tasks. These skills are essential in any career. The following is a list of important and commonly agreed upon career skills identified by UMM elementary education faculty as a part of the project to Improve Public Understanding of Liberal Learning (IMPULL). The skills are those which all or most students studying elementary education are likely to acquire through classroom instruction, co-curricular or extra-curricular activities.

Leadership/Management Skills:
- judging
- conceptualizing
- inventing
- applying data
- ability to work self-directedly
- organizing
- directing others
- promoting change
- making decisions
- selling, promoting, negotiating,
- setting goals
- motivating people
- analyzing
- initiating projects or ideas
- identifying problems and needs
- making and keeping a schedule
- identifying priorities and parameters
- identifying alternative course of action
- managing time, energy and resources
- predicting and evaluating future trends
and patterns
- understanding the feelings of others
- identifying people who can contribute to
the solution of a problem or task
- analyzing the behavior of self and others
in a group
- making commitments to others and
following through


Communication/Writing Skills:
- comprehending written material
- writing effectively
- conducting surveys
- persuading others to accept ideas
- dealing with the public
- speaking effectively to another individual
- speaking effectively to groups
- using media formats to present ideas
- using argumentation techniques to
persuade others
- describing objects or events with a
minimum of factual errors
- demonstrating premises and reasoning
to their conclusion
- interviewing
- coordinating or directing others in a
group performance
- writing factual material clearly and
- translating written materials
- critiquing, editing, proofreading
- using creative writing techniques
- listening objectively
- expressing one’s wants, needs, opinions
and preferences without violating the rights of others
- identifying and communicating value
judgements effectively
- expressing one’s feelings appropriately
- understanding the feeling of others
- inspiring trust in others
- articulateness
- summarizing
- reporting accurately


Instructing/Education Skills:
- briefing
- informing
- explaining
- instructing
- coaching
- advising
- ability to hear and answer questing
- discussion group leadership
- group dynamics
- training educational events
- teaching a skills, concept or principle to


Research/Analytical skills:
- sorting data and objects
- compiling and selecting information
- cataloging information
- applying information creatively to solve
specific problems
- understanding and using organizing
- evaluating information against
appropriate standards
- developing new approaches to problems
- analyzing and evaluating ideas and
- using library and research facilities
- reading
- calculating
- organizing and classifying
- gathering information
- breaking down principles into parts
- reviewing large amounts of material and
extracting essence
- receiving and defining cause and effect
- using a variety of sources of information
- applying appropriate methods to test
the validity of data
- formulating questions to clarify a
particular problem or issue
- analyzing the interrelationships of
events and ideas from several perspectives


Artistic/Creative Skills:
- creative writing
- conveying feelings and thoughts
through body, face and voice
- aware of the value of symbolism
- skill in symbol formation
- designing and or using audio-visual


Technical/Manual Skills:
- using computers  


Additional Skills, or Skills Peculiar to the Elementary Education Discipline:
- human relations skills
- the ability to see the world through the
eyes of a child
- critical reasoning skills
- the ability to create appropriate
learning environments


Jobs Obtained by UMM Art History Graduates
Studies conducted by the UMM Career Center have shown that graduates obtain jobs that are both related to their major and jobs that may not be formally related to the major. Over 82% of the elementary education graduates from 1964-1998 said their job was in the same field or related to their undergraduate major. Other studies have shown that liberal arts graduates find employment that makes uses of their skills, special knowledge, values, and interests, even though the employment field may not be related to their academic major. Listed below are some jobs obtained by UMM elementary education graduates:

Accounting Administrator
Accounting Clerk
Administrative Assistant
Administrator Supervisor
Adult Education Teacher
After-School Care Supervisor
AIDS Worker (Mental Health)
Assistant Attorney General
Bank Vice President/Loan Officer
Behavior Analyst
Business Analyst
Café Owner
Certified Nursing Assistant
Childcare Center Director
Childcare Provider
Childcare Supervisor
Children’s Ministry Director
Clinical Assistance TA
Clinical Social Worker
Commodities Broker Trainee
Community College English Instructor
Community College Vice President
Community Education
Community Library Director
Computer Operator
Corporate Auditor
Corporate Representative
Corporate Trainer
Counselor, Elementary
Counselor, High School
Customer Service Representative
Data Entry
Daycare Center Teacher
Daycare Director
Dev. Adaptations Teacher
Director of Religious Ed.
Documentation Clerk
Early Childhood
Early Childhood Educational Consultant
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
Education Administration Director
Education Coordinator
Elementary Counselor
Elementary Educational Assistant
Elementary School Health Aide
Employment Counselor
ESL Teacher
Family Development Specialist
Family Ed. Specialist
Fitness Instructor
Food Service Manager
Free-lance Artist
Funeral Director
Gifted Ed. Teacher
Handicapped Adult Aide
Healing Touch Therapist
Health Aide
Health Science Researcher
High School Counselor
Insurance Representative
Investment Representative
Job Developer
Media Paraprofessional
Medical Billing Supervisor
Museum Dev. Coordinator
Music Teacher
Music/Worship Minister
News Director
Newsletter Editor/Writer
Newspaper Receptionist
Nonprofit Director
Nursery School Teacher
Office Manager
Peace Corp Volunteer
Physical Therapist
Postal Clerk
PR Accounts Specialist
Preschool Teacher
Principal, Elementary School
Principal, High School
Program Assistant
Program Director/Meeting Planner
Real Estate Relocation Specialist
Registered Nurse
Research Manager
School Counselor
School Librarian
School Technology Specialist
Senior Inspector
Service Learning Coordinator
Sign Language Interpreter
Site Supervisor
Social Worker
Special Ed. Director
Special Ed. Teacher
Sports Medicine Business Owner
Staff Recruiter
Teacher Coordinator
Teacher, Elementary
Teacher, Junior High
Teacher, Middle School
Teacher, Multi-Age
Teaching Assistant
Telecommunications Professional
Telephone Technician
Textile Manufacturer
Title Insurance Examiner
Title I Aide (Assurance of Mastery)
Title I Teacher
Tutor for Deaf
Undergraduate Admissions
University Outreach Counselor
Vocational Ed. – Adult Director
Web Developer/Programmer
Youth Coordinator


There are many occupations that do not require a specific undergraduate major; they are often learned as a result of on-the-job training rather than prior education. What is sought among prospective employees is the development of certain skills and abilities that can be developed not only through an academic major but through courses taken as part of one’s general education, and through internships, directed studies, tutorials, seminars, study abroad, work-study and summer employment, and volunteer experiences.

Elementary Education (Adobe Acrobat Supplement)
Graduate/Professional Schools in Elementary Education