People seek a teaching degree for a variety of reasons. Many have a desire to work in the classroom and affect the lives of students. For others, working toward a teaching degree reflects their love of learning and their interest in education.
In addition to teaching in a classroom, graduates with a teaching degree can apply the skills they developed in their teaching program to other kinds of jobs. The transferable skills of a teaching graduate can be used in a diverse range of industries and work settings.
Alternative Jobs for Teachers in Education
Other than teaching in a classroom, professionals with a teaching degree have many opportunities to put their education and skills to good use. They can find work in the extended field of education programs. A career pivot may also be interesting to teachers who have worked in the classroom and are ready to try something new. The experience they have as educators is valued by and transferable to many different education-related ventures in curriculum and instruction.
1. Curriculum Writer
Education graduates and experienced teachers possess skills that can be applied to a career in curriculum writing. They can work for textbook or educational technology companies that provide curriculum. Such companies sometimes contract with school districts and the Department of Education to revamp existing curriculum. Alternatively, curriculum writers may be employed to create new programs in emerging subjects such as social-emotional skills, mindfulness and career-readiness.
Curriculum writers create things including:
- Lesson plans
- Teacher guides
- Assessment items
- Video scripts for lessons
- Games workbooks
This role is excellent for teachers who have strong writing skills and want to put their knowledge to work for a large number of students and teachers.
2. Educational Policy Expert
Most positions in educational policy are in research, government, higher learning institutions and private think tanks. Professionals in this field investigate and communicate the impact that policies and other forms of legislation would have on students and teachers.
They collect research to use in their recommendations and write briefs on key issues in education. A degree related to education is important in this area since an educational policy expert must be just that–an expert. Studying teaching practices and pedagogy is an invaluable first step toward a career in this field.
3. Admissions Counselor
Anyone who has chosen to complete a teaching degree program cares about education and wants students to feel the same passion for their own fields of study. This makes working as a college admissions counselor a rewarding alternative for teachers who enjoy getting to know students’ strengths, needs and interests.
Admissions counselors help potential and incoming college students make decisions about their educational path. They can help students decide what to major in or which classes to take. Admissions counselors may also help students find extra help or become familiar with the resources available on campus.
Education graduates who like to teach but prefer a non-classroom environment may enjoy the flexibility involved in tutoring. A tutor provides additional assistance to a student or group of students in any of a variety of subject areas. Tutoring can take place in the student’s home, the tutor’s home or a designated tutoring center. For many, tutoring provides a much more adaptable learning environment in which the teaching style can be modified to fit the preferences and cognitive styles of the individual student and tutor.
5. School Choice Consultant
Families know there are many options when it comes to their child’s education. Many cities and towns offer the option of attending any of several kinds of schools. These may include:
- Neighborhood public schools
- Magnet schools
- Charter schools
- Private schools
- Home schooling
- Online schools
Families may not necessarily be education program experts and may require some help in understanding all these options. Graduates with teaching degrees can work as school choice consultants to help them make personalized decisions about their children’s education. School choice consultants first get to know the family and what the child wants and needs from a school environment. They then use their information and training to make appropriate recommendations.
Alternative Jobs for Teachers Outside of Education
Teachers have many transferable skills. The work they do requires intelligence, flexibility, communication and problem-solving. Most employers know this and are willing to hire people with teaching experience into a variety of jobs.
1. Instructional Designer
Instructional designers use their understanding of how learners best acquire knowledge to create training programs, classes and sessions within their desired curriculum. Many instructional designers work closely with the human resources team to ensure effective onboarding and training of new and existing employees. Teachers and teaching degree graduates have enough experience designing lessons and units to understand how to design training programs for businesses.
2. Corporate Trainer
Trainers take the work of instructional designers and deliver that content to an audience. They often work within a corporation to teach new employees about processes and procedures. They may also work with human resources and other departments to engage all employees in developing new skills. One possible benefit of being a corporate trainer is travel. Teaching degree graduates who are interested in using their teaching skills while exploring new places may want to consider corporate training.
Sales can be a rewarding career for teaching graduates who are excellent verbal communicators. Teachers stand in front of a class and explain things with clarity and in detail. These skills certainly apply to working with potential customers. Sales also involves showing enthusiasm for the information you are sharing-a skill teachers develop in order to engage their students. Additionally, people in sales must be able to connect with others and build relationships, another skill teachers learn during their degree program.
4. Life Coach
Life coaches help people work through multiple aspects of their lives. They may help individuals make healthier choices or counsel them through overwhelming times. They can help clients become better organized or more fully equipped to lead an authentic life. Life coaches seek to develop deep relationships with their clients to help them achieve the best results. Teaching degree graduates can excel as life coaches by using both the research and the people skills they developed in their degree program.
Teachers make excellent entrepreneurs because they are not afraid of hard work. Many choose this alternative vocational path because it brings all their skills and talents together. Teachers who have a hobby or skill can monetize that effort and start their own business. A teacher who loves to sew may start making and selling clothing. A teacher who spends weekends gardening may launch a vegetable delivery service.
As entrepreneurs, teachers can apply their many skills-such as attention to detail and the ability to plan-to the future of their business. Since teachers are lifelong learners, they may enjoy many of the exploratory aspects of entrepreneurship, such as reading about competitors and learning how to build a company website.
If you earn your teaching degree and ultimately decide that classroom teaching is not the career for you, there are still plenty of options. When you enroll in the College of Education at Grand Canyon University, you will have the support of your peers and professors as you find the right career path.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.