Education majors often face a dilemma of sorts when they enjoy studying Education degree course material and also the skills that they need for graduating, but don’t want to pursue a career in teaching. If that’s the case with you as well, then be assured that a degree in Education does not necessarily translate to a career in teaching.
It is a common misconception among Education majors that the degree trains them for a career only in teaching.
This article will try to dispel such misconceptions, and, at the same time, inform about the various alternatives to teaching that an Education degree major can pursue.
What Is An Education Degree?
A degree in Education equips you with certain skills that will help you in effectively communicating your ideas to others. Although Education degree is usually pursued by people who want to be teachers, you can decide not to go with teaching, if you so desire. The degree equips you with a broad set of communication, leadership, and organizational skills, so that you don’t have to be confined to teaching in a classroom alone. In addition, interactive skills acquired through the program can help you to communicate with any age group regardless of background.
While a bachelor’s and master’s in Education will give you an overview of the coursework and skills required to be successful in this field, a more specialized doctorate in Education is going to equip you for highly specialized learning systems, like special education and early childhood education. But, if you are someone already working in the field, an online doctorate in education is better suited for your needs as you’ll have the flexibility to keep up with your course work and assignments at your own leisure.
Prospects, Salary, And Growth Opportunities in Education
A career in Education is diverse as well as flexible. The students who major in Education find vast prospective opportunities for employment. In your role as the teacher, you have the opportunity to shape the minds of the future generations. If you have a knack for the arts and crafts, you can put your education degree to good use and teach your crafts to students.
If teaching is not your cup of tea, you can work in school administration, or even become the head of a department. A teaching experience will put you in a better position to influence reforms in education, but even without a teaching experience, you can design curriculums for school and university courses and programs.
Teachers are usually paid lower than other professionals, like lawyers or doctors et cetera, but their work is so much more valuable for the future of a country. Although the situation now has improved greatly in terms of pay for teachers, an Education degree holder now has more chances of employment elsewhere as well.
According to Payscale.com, Education majors designing courses earn around $71,600 per year, while teachers at different levels earn between $40,000 to $50,000.
A person who majors in Education and plans for a career as an educator has many career opportunities to choose from.
What Are The Alternatives To Teaching?
If you feel that you do not belong in a classroom full of students, there are a variety of career options you can go for that may or may not require further study.
- Administration: Leadership roles in education settings are often reserved for people with experience in education and teaching. This is because a school or any other learning institution for that matter is run differently. Roles like that of the department head, principal, superintendent, and director are collectively called the administration. These positions are open for people with a background in education.
- Counseling: If you love working with children, but don’t want the overwhelming responsibilities of a teacher, then consider working as a student counselor. With a course in Child Psychology, you can become a student counselor and help students with their motivation, their mental health issues, and other study-related problems they may have to encounter during an academic year or semester.
- Consultancy: Working as an education consultant is another excellent alternative to teaching. An education consultant’s job is to assess the needs of the students as they may arise and strive to meet them. For example, the incorporation of technology in classroom is an idea that a consultant might advise administration to implement to help the students better integrate their learning.
- Curriculum Designer: A teacher who is an expert in a given field or subject knows what concepts or ideas are necessary and should be included in a course. Therefore, as a curriculum designer, your work will include working with learning institutions in developing curriculum, explain the thinking behind it, and give suggestions on implementation. Also, an Education major with a teaching experience is recommended for this role.
- Researcher: If you want to help students on a larger scale, research may be your calling. A researcher works with education policymakers, politicians, and non-profit organizations to bring about educational reforms.
- Writer: One of the skills that a teacher acquires in Education degree programs is the skill of writing. With decent writing skills, you can work as a technical writer for big multinational firms, as a content writer for blogs online, or as a creative writer.
- Entrepreneurship: An entrepreneur should have good organizational and leadership skills. Fortunately, a degree program in Education trains students in these skills. If you think you have a big business idea that can make you millions, then why not go for entrepreneurship. Although, you may need an additional business degree to pull this off.
An Education degree can equip you in other diverse areas apart from teaching. You should do proper research before choosing a career path. It’s never too late to switch career paths even after majoring in a particular degree. The purpose should be to look for ways to apply your knowledge to make the world a better place.