A career in education can lead you down a number of different pathways, all with different challenges, rewards and responsibilities. A degree in education doesn’t mean that you’ll be bound to a traditional classroom setting for the rest of your life, and there are many specialist teaching jobs out there to pursue.
Where you end up will depend on your ambitions and goals, and what you want to achieve professionally. Whatever route you choose, a career in education allows you to lead and inspire, and become a formative influence in the lives of children across the country. Here is a list of some of the different career paths for your future in education.
Early childhood teacher
Working in early childhood education is perfect for those who love working with young children and having the opportunity to help them develop critical skills that will stick with them for life. As an early childhood teacher, it will be your responsibility to help young kids develop their confidence and social skills, as well as an early introduction to literacy and numeracy.
Teachers in this field will need to have a close relationship with the parents of the children they’re responsible for and give regular updates on their progress and development. To be an early childhood teacher you’ll need a 4-year Education Degree or a 2-year Master of Teaching if you have a bachelor’s degree in another field.
Primary or secondary teacher
Primary and secondary teachers play an extremely important role in our society and are tasked with the responsibility of teaching young children and teenagers a variety of subjects. While primary teachers will need the same degrees as early childhood teachers, they’ll also need to specialise in one subject during their studies. However, they will be required to teach their students everything from English to mathematics, all while performing administrative activities and keeping their classroom fun and engaging.
Secondary teachers can follow the same educational path as primary and early learning teachers, but it’s highly common for them to complete a bachelor’s degree in a certain area such as English or science and then acquire a Masters of Teaching. Working with teenagers can come with its fair share of challenges, but secondary teachers are often paid higher and some educators may prefer teaching more advanced content.
Being an ESL teacher gives you a chance to teach English to students who are new to the country. Whether you want to work at a specialised language school for adults or in the ESL department at a traditional school, there are many opportunities that this role can provide.
ESL teachers have to be patient and have excellent communication schools, and the qualifications required will depend on the environment they work in. If you want to work in a primary or secondary school, you’ll need either a Bachelor of Education or Master of Teaching, whereas language schools can vary in the degrees they require.
Special ed teacher
As a special education teacher, you’ll need to be flexible and adaptable, as every child you teach will have different needs and ways of learning. It’s also important that you know how to motivate your students and are understanding and knowledgeable of their circumstances.
Although this role can be challenging, it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences available as an educator. An education degree that specialises in special education will help you to get into this field, and several relevant postgraduate qualifications are available too.
Vocational education and training instructors are tasked with training their students for the workforce. It involves teaching both knowledge and practical skills across a variety of industries, such as healthcare, hospitality and trades.
Working as a VET instructor can be very appealing due to its flexibility and the high salaries available. The qualifications required will depend on what you’re teaching, but industry experience and vocational experience are highly valuable when it comes to working in VET teaching positions.
Being a tutor means that you can either work for a larger tutoring company or run your own business. Tutoring allows you to work closely with your students and give them the tools to excel in the subject you’re teaching.
Tutoring positions are often casual or part-time and are paid at an hourly rate. Having qualifications or thorough experience in a subject can help you get tutoring positions, and many high-achieving high school graduates go on to tutor part-time while they pursue tertiary education.
Workplace trainers have the responsibility of teaching skills to employees, most often while on the job. They generally are required to have an extensive professional history in the field, qualifying them to train others to hopefully follow in their footsteps.
Many workplace trainers also have additional training qualifications, although this is not necessarily a requirement. It’s also important that you have excellent communication skills and a passion for what you’re teaching.
With so many different career paths available, working in education remains a varied and dynamic professional environment. With so many specialised areas, educators have the opportunity to constantly challenge themselves and explore new avenues. With school jobs always in demand, pursuing a degree in education remains a safe and stable opportunity with plenty of chances for growth and development.