Introduction to Education
From primary school to secondary school, college and university, the Education industry encompasses a wide range of fields, roles and subjects. Traditionally one of the most popular sectors for new graduates, the benefits of a career in education are numerous and include good starting salaries, excellent annual leave entitlement and rewarding work.
What roles are open to me?
There are many roles available within the education industry.
- Teaching Assistant
- Early Years Teacher
- Primary School Teacher
- Secondary School Teacher
- Further Education Teacher
- Special Educational Needs Tutor
- Private Tutor
- Educational Administrator
- Hospital Teacher
- Youth Worker
Major employers include TDA (Training and Development Agency for Schools), Teach First, TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign language), TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language), Department for Education, local education authorities and a range of private schools and universities.
What qualifications and skills do I need?
To teach in the public sector, you will need to have completed an initial teacher training programme or course (ITT) in order to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). The quickest way to get QTS is by studying a BEd (Bachelor of Education). You could also pursue a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) or a Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), if your degree is in the subject you wish to teach. Employers also look for relevant skills such as a passion for your subject, leadership, good communication skills, patience, enthusiasm and organisational skills.
As a non-graduate, you can apply for an entry-level tutor role, especially if you have previous experience tutoring specific subjects. Another option is to apply as a teaching assistant. Both these roles give you an entry-way into the education industry from where you can develop your skills and progress your career. As with graduate roles, employers will also look for additional qualities including communication and leadership skills and a real interest in the subject you wish to teach.
Throughout your PGCE, BEd or GTP you’ll be mentored by experienced teachers and gain hands-on experience in the classroom. During your career, you’ll also have regular training courses to ensure your skills and knowledge remain current.
The application process will generally follow the steps below:
Starting salaries range from £21,500 - £27,000 for newly qualified teachers. As you gain experience and take on additional responsibility, such as staff management, your salary will increase along a set scale.
Are there any downsides?
Despite being immensely rewarding, there are several disadvantages to a career in teaching, including large classroom sizes, budget cuts, lack of parental involvement and a lot of paperwork. You’ll also have to deal with a heavy teaching schedule and workload, and may have to teach unambitious, unmotivated or rowdy students, which can be frustrating.
Is it right for me?
Despite the downsides, there are many upsides to a career in teaching, not least a competitive salary and circa 10 weeks paid holiday per year. In addition to this, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping inspire and educate your students, making a difference in their lives and giving them the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.