Job File: How To Start a Career in Education
If you want a job in an industry that’s always in demand, then a career in education might be for you.
With the population growing, there is a big demand for people who can help to shape the future of the next generation. Indeed, the Department for Education reckons there will be a need for an extra 750,000 school places by 2025.
Another selling point of education is the sheer variety of positions open to you. Here are some things to consider to kick start your career in the classroom:
Which role do you want?
Some people think education means teaching, but that’s not entirely accurate. While teaching forms an important part of school life, teaching assistants, specialist support staff, business managers, and caretakers are all needed to keep a school running. Many people also choose to pass on their wisdom as tutors – be it in sport, music, or more academic spheres. If you have a passion for education but don’t fancy being a teacher, you should explore some of these other avenues.
Which age would you like to teach?
This makes a big difference. Some people thrive around young children and garner great satisfaction in getting enthusiastic little ones to pick up reading, writing and maths basics and setting them on their way to their future. Some, though, prefer to pass on in-depth knowledge of their chosen field to secondary age children.
What routes are available?
Once you’ve chosen the role and age range that you wish to focus on, it’s time to turn your attention to jobs in education.
Many non-teaching jobs can be applied for directly in a relatively normal way. Teaching jobs, however, require you to follow one of several routes to prove you have the credentials to impart knowledge to the next generation.
The most common way to train is to study for a degree with a university or further education provider. Within this route you can study for an entire undergraduate degree – lasting three to four years – that explores education in an academic and practical context. Alternatively, graduates can study for a degree in a different discipline and then work towards a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). The latter is the most common of the two and involves a very practical-heavy year to prepare candidates for life in the classroom. Regardless of which option you take, however, you’ll need to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
People who already have a job and want to switch to a career in education can ‘train on the job’ thanks to the School Direct programme. On top of that, Free Schools are also able to recruit teachers based on their skills rather than qualifications, opening the door to people with no formal training.
How to get help with funding your course
With a need for new teachers to address a shortage in the profession, bursaries and scholarships are available to help people fund their training. These can provide up to £30,000 – with the most money available for subjects in which there is the biggest shortage, such as maths, science and languages.
Are you keen to head back to school? This guide will help you explore the various different funding options open to you.