There are several levels/types of teacher certification in New York state. Ultimately, a master's degree and at least three years of teaching experience are required for professional teacher certification. Previously, teachers had five years to complete a master's degree. As of February 2004, New York state allows three years to complete a master's degree, with a one-year extension possible.
For information on certification requirements and on public and private institutions in New York state that offer alternative master's degrees, traditional master's degrees, or bachelor's degrees leading to teacher certification, see the New York State Education Department's Office of Teaching Initiatives.
There is a teacher shortage in public schools in major urban and some rural school districts. Certification areas for which there is a need include special education, middle- and secondary-school math, science and foreign languages, in some cases English, and in some cases other K-12 areas. There is generally no shortage of teachers at the elementary-school level, in social studies or in suburban school districts.