Teaching and Education Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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Working in education might make you immediately think of teaching children in classrooms - but this is not the only way your skills could be put to use if you choose this sector after graduation. There are many varied jobs you could look into if you consider education to be your calling, and only a fraction of them involve traditional classroom based learning.

Some of the most popular jobs in teaching include:

  • Primary teaching
  • Secondary teaching
  • A-level teaching
  • Prisoner/ youth offender education
  • Education within charities
  • Hospitals
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • Supply teaching
  • Special Educational Needs (SEN) teaching
  • Museum/ gallery education
  • Professorship

Teaching is a career choice for thousands of talented graduates every year. Working within the education system will offer you stability, good holidays, clear career progression and the chance to positively impact and inspire a generation of children. It will also offer you the opportunity to directly use the knowledge that you have gained throughout the course of your degree.

If you want to make a real difference but don't fancy traditional teaching you could consider working within charities or the prison or probation system, where you will be able to change the lives of people who may not have had a good education previously.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

If you do decide to go into traditional teaching at school or college level, there are various ways you can go about this. Options include:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course, followed by PGCE
  • School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT)
  • Graduate Teacher Programme

You can go into teaching with any university degree. A PGCE, completed at university with various school placements, will give you the skills required to teach - whether you choose primary or secondary level.

If you want to teach a subject that is not what you studied at undergraduate level, you will be able to take a one year Subject Knowledge Enhancement Course that will give you the knowledge and skills needed to go on to complete a PGCE in the subject that you will then go on to teach.

Alternatively, if you want to train in the classroom rather than in university with a PGCE, you could take a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) course or the Graduate Teacher Programme. SCITT courses last one academic year and offer on-the-job training in the classroom, led by teachers. The Graduate Teacher Programme is similar in that it allows you to train as a teacher whilst working in a school, and it also means you will be paid a wage. Both these routes lead to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Organisations such as Teach First and the School Direct Programme also offer teacher training courses.

In addition, science and mathematics teachers are in extremely high demand, and there are numerous schemes that encourage highly qualified graduates from these areas to get into the profession.

If you decide that you want to travel abroad to teach English to children or adults, you will need to take a short training course - for example the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course or the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

When working in education, in whatever sector or role, you will be in a position of responsibility and will be looked up to by those that you are teaching. For this reason, the skills required by teachers are similar across the board.

Skills typically required by teachers in all fields include:

It is also extremely important that you have a good character and lead by example, both in the way you speak and present yourself, and in your opinions - being too open and crossing boundaries with students, however old they are or however similar your interests, is something that should be avoided at all costs. The ability to stand back from situations and not let personal opinions affect your work in paramount.

What graduate education job can I do? TOP ^

If you have picked the traditional teaching route, i.e. in an educational establishment, after completion of your teaching course you will be in a position to apply for jobs within schools. Many of those who have PGCEs or similar find jobs within the schools that they completed placements with. At the beginning of your career you will be classed as a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) for one year. This is an introductory year, and after passing this you will be fully qualified.

Many graduates, particularly those with humanities degrees, choose to travel abroad to teach English as a foreign language after their studies are complete. This job will see you working in a school overseas, teaching the language to either children or adults - whichever you choose. Graduates can choose to teach English in a large variety of countries across the world.

There are of course less traditional options for graduates working in education, including working in the education department of a museum running programmes for children, managing libraries, lecturing privately in your chosen subject, or working in an environmental charity ensuring the message about climate change is spread.

Average salariesTOP ^

Primary school teachers may begin on £21,500, but after working their way up may earn as much as £52,000, depending on expertise and location.

At secondary level, NQTs earn between £21,500 and £31, 500.

There are often financial incentives for teachers working in deprived areas, or in low performing schools.

In the charity sector you may be paid slightly less than this, whilst salaries for those teaching English abroad vary hugely depending on the country in question – wages in China are high, whilst in Hungary teachers are paid very little.

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