Seeking Non-Teaching Job Positions
Some people finish student teaching or a teaching internship and decide classroom teaching is not for them. Still others have been in a classroom and have been laid off and need a job. What are your options?
Other industries love people with education degrees because they are known as hardworking self-starters who are creative and always willing to learn. (So, use those characteristics right on your résumé!)
When you prepare your résumé, list skills at the top and show how you have put them into practice.
- Creativity and Innovation
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Communication and Collaboration
- Information, Media, and Technology Skills
- Life and Career Skills—flexibility, adaptability, initiative, self-direction, time-management, meeting goals, being a self-directed learner, social skills, cross-cultural skills, working on diverse teams, project management, produce results, leadership (guiding or leading others—great for teachers), being responsible
There are a variety of education-related jobs both for entry-level and for those with a master’s or doctorate. Many companies have training departments or some sort of training or education. Many companies do a great deal of education of their clients and need people with education backgrounds. Use your networking and craft a broadcast letter to send to everyone you have ever met to see what kinds of interesting jobs you can find. This list of ideas is to start you thinking.
Remember if you really want to get a teaching job later, you must show that you were using your education and you were working with children in some way during this time. That does not have to be in your full-time job; it can be volunteer work with Girl or Boy Scouts (they need people to teach badge skills), teaching in a church, doing after-school activities or tutoring, being a Big Brother or Big Sister, or even caring for your nieces and nephews on the weekends.
- Textbook Sales—Visit websites of textbook publishers. This work requires travel to call on schools, set up conferences, and display at sites where teachers and committees gather to learn about choosing textbooks.
- Textbook Writing or Editing—Visit websites of textbook publishers or upwork.com and guru.com for freelance assignments—often you will be asked to write only a section or a chapter.
- Online Teaching—Many courses are offered online (K–12, 9–12, and college) by a variety of entities, so investigate your state department of education.
- Tutoring—You can do this in your own home, at a library, or for a company like Kumon or Sylvan Learning. If you opt to do it on your own, visit local schools and share your résumé and business cards with information about what you will be tutoring. Most communities have tutoring programs like School on Wheels, Head Start, and community centers and churches that offer tutoring. Find out about their teaching styles and expectations and offer to work closely with them when they send you a student.
- Course Design—Usually designing instruction calls for experience or a master’s degree but is something museums need as well as schools—many colleges now offer a certificate you can earn (often online) while working.
- Course Writing—Even if you did not design the course, often you can get a job writing parts of it or putting it into a format to go on the internet or into a platform.
- Museums—Many museums have education-oriented programming, which you can write or design or implement.
- Instructional Guides—All publishing companies do some type of instructional guides (like series of books for “dummies” or “how-to” series)—many companies need instructions written.
- Public Radio and Television Stations—A great deal of what public radio and TV do is education.
- Nonprofit Jobs—Find your local listing of nonprofit job openings because many of these can be filled by an education major—writing how-to information, answering questions, making phone calls, supporting and guiding people, planning meetings or webinars.
- Educational Consultant—Check out faith-based educational programs and see how you can become involved—often teachers in faith-based preschools or English as a Second Language program have no education background and you can share learning strategies and support them.
- Bilingual Positions—If you are bilingual, consider serving as a translator for a school district, hospital, not-for-profit, or business—most cities have a translator group you can become a member of and find jobs through requests to the group –also consider working elections and other civic events.
- English as a Second Language Positions—With an increase in immigrants and refugees, almost every community is answering the need to help people learn English. Look for community-based or church-based ESL programs where you can volunteer. You usually don’t need any background or training in teaching English as a new language in these programs (and you don’t need to know any other language), and they will often give you some basic training. Then take that training and apply for ESL jobs at immigrant help centers and school systems. This really broadens your horizons!
- Trainer—Most companies have a trainer to train new employees or to train franchise owners or even to train customers—look for “trainer” in job search engines like CareerBuilder and Monster.
- State Department of Education—If you live in the same city or a suburb of the city where your state department of education is located, look on their website for positions for which you qualify. They like to hire teachers to do research and to work with schools.
Non-Education Related Jobs
- Outside Sales—This means traveling around selling items or services. You will be trained. You may or may not have a vehicle provided You could be stocking items in stores, or you could be talking with highly skilled professionals like doctors and pharmacists.
- Inside Sales—This is usually sitting on the phone all day, trying to sell items or upgrades or take orders. You will need training to become highly knowledgeable about the products.
- Marketing—This could be through social media (posting on Facebook and Twitter) or writing copy for advertising.
- Administrative—There is no end to the variety here as every company has many administrative positions—search for “Administrative” and for “Assistant.”
- Manager Training—Many manager-in-training positions require a college degree but are unconcerned with the major. Most stores and restaurants have these positions.
- Insurance Agent Trainee—Find an insurance agent for whom you can get training while being an administrative assistant. You’ll find that what he or she does is almost all educational sales. A few insurance companies will hire you directly and train you; however, securing enough clients to make a living the first few years can be challenging.
See various job resources at: Quintessential Careers
What did you do for jobs during high school, college, or summers? Is there something related that interests you and you would be qualified to do? For example, if you worked at a restaurant, could you be a manager? Or, if you were a sales associate, could you do manager training?
If you are a secondary (or middle school) teacher, what is your area of expertise? Science teachers are in high demand as sales representatives for pharmaceutical companies. Math teachers can often find jobs in accounting firms. English teachers often go into editing for non-profits, newspapers, self-publishing book companies, and other organizations.
Can you qualify for the new job of your dreams by taking a few more courses? Sometimes a job demands a major in an area and you only have a minor, but by taking 3-6 courses, you could qualify for another area of jobs. Some companies are willing to hire you as a trainee or an intern while you take your courses.
Don’t make the mistake of just continuing to go to school and rack up debt because you “can’t find a job”—you will regret that, and you risk becoming so overqualified nobody will hire you.
Do you want to go into another area entirely? The medical profession is bursting, so there are many colleges that have 20-month intensive programs for nurses to get their RN (Registered Nurse) degree if the person already has a bachelor’s degree. However, before being accepted, you will need to take some very heavy science and math courses.
Do your research. Learn ways to fund further education using a job or part-time job, grants, and any scholarships available.