“What Can I Do With a Teaching Degree?” Answered by 10 Career Experts

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Contents: 1. Life after teaching – 2. What can I do with a teaching degree

Life After Teaching

Many people find success far away from their educational background.

Teachers are no exception.

Do you know Steve Wozniak?  (Yes, that one… better known as the co-founder of Apple.)

Prior to becoming the tech-genius he is now known as, Wozniak was actually… yep, you guessed it – a teacher!

what can I do with a teaching degree

So the next time you’re asking yourself “What can I do with a teaching degree?” just remember you could be a few steps away from creating the next billion-dollar company! (Editor’s note: If you do, please quote this article and VIPKID as an inspiration.)

Let’s get to the heart of the matter.

You have a teaching degree but are thinking about doing something besides teaching. What jobs are available? 

We’ve covered this question before here. However, we wanted to take our advice to the next level and get some expert insight. Read below to see what we found.

What Can I Do With a Teaching Degree?

Professional Development

The most obvious alternative jobs for teachers involve something similar to teaching but don’t require any actual classroom. 

For example, professional development would allow you to guide and nurture clients without any teaching in a traditional classroom. The same applies to consulting.

A teaching degree and background offers a number of opportunities for teachers transitioning out of the classroom. Any field that requires an understanding of how people work and learn is a great avenue for former educators. Consulting in management, professional development, team building, organizational processes and procedures are key areas where an educational background is needed.

Keisha A. Rivers. Chief Outcome Facilitator, The KARS Group Ltd. 



Earn up to $22 an Hour Teaching English from Home

Writing & Editing

Writing jobs are a great way to keep your written communication and creative skills sharp. For those who may be considering a career in fiction and non-fiction writing, just think of all your classroom stories when looking for inspiration.

You wouldn’t be the first! J.K. Rowling, Robert Frost, and Stephen King are just a few writers who were teachers.

I’m a 12-year veteran public school teacher. As I’ve developed skills from teaching I’ve taken them and put them into books.  Some of them are music specific, and some of them are cross-over titles (fiction, self-help). I spun my book-writing into a publishing company and I’ve been selling them for years.

Adam Cole. Adam Cole Works, LLC. 

Human Resources

Teachers would naturally excel in this role, coming from a background of dealing with (tiny) people. Working in human resources requires patience and understanding – two attributes that teachers need as prerequisites.

You wouldn’t be the first! J.K. Rowling, Robert Frost, and Stephen King are just a few writers who were teachers.

I began as a teacher in the Pacific Northwest. Then I moved my way up through education administration, eventually becoming the Chief HR Officer for the Clark County (Nevada) School District, the fifth largest in the nation. Two years ago, I made a move into private sector and I am now the Vice President for HR at a casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

Staci McIntosh. VP Human Resources, New York New York Hotel & Casino.

Sales

It is arguable that getting children to put down their smartphones, iPads and other technological gadgets and do their homework can be classed as sales. Teachers have an inbuilt selling system and this will work well in a sales environment.

You wouldn’t be the first! J.K. Rowling, Robert Frost, and Stephen King are just a few writers who were teachers.

I left high school teaching in 2016 after six years. I ended up leaving the education world for a new career. Here’s the path I’ve taken: business consulting and sales. I’ve been doing this for about a year now. I now help entrepreneurs create online courses as they scale their business.

Jessica Terzakis. Terzakis & Associates.

what can I do with a teaching degree

Curriculum Designer

Having taught countless hours with a pre-designed curriculum, teachers will be very acquainted with how they work and also how they could work better. This is the perfect opportunity to improve education directly.

I taught for many years and now serve as the CEO of PrepForward, a leading provider of self-paced, online, teacher preparation courses. Many companies, including my own, hire teachers to serve in a wide range of roles, including as subject matter experts, curriculum designers, and content writers. 

Mary Stephens. CEO, PrepForward

Legal & Advocacy

It is no secret that the legal sector comes hand-in-hand with a plethora of paperwork whether it be contracts, agreements and other solicitation. A teacher will be used to handling a lot of paperwork from their days of marking essays, creating lesson plans and writing student reports.

I am a former school teacher who branched out into different careers after teaching public school for six years. I became an intellectual property paralegal for 12 years, then worked for a non-profit hunger organization for a year before moving to Sysco foods to oversee communications and events for their shared services company

Gaye Weintraub. Owner, Tall Texas Female Productions

I started my own educational consulting and advocacy business where I could work with families who had children with special needs; to not only educate them but to assist them in procuring support services that were desperately needed for their child.

Ilene B. Miller, M.S. Ed. Educational Consultant and Special Needs Advocate

And Many More!

Careers don’t always take a linear path! When you asked, “What can I do with a teaching degree?” you probably didn’t expect to hear “Join the military,” or “chemical manufacturing.” However, these are just a few of the career paths we heard.

Yes, there is life after the classroom! I left teaching to pursue a totally different job in the chemical manufacturing sector. Retiring from that business after a very successful career, I transitioned from part-time to full time professional speaking and leadership consulting.

Billy Arcement, M.Ed. Leadership speaker, aka The Candid Cajun. 

A person with a bachelor’s degree for the most part knows how to do the dreaded paper work that comes with most any job. In a lot of cases, a degree is a degree! I used to fight forest fires in my younger years and when teamed with fire fighters from across the state I met all sorts or majors – some still in school and fighting fires part-time and some graduated who still loving the adventure of fighting  fires.

I am sure that the managers of the state forestry and fire control of that time did not major in fire fighting – it did not exist.

Andrew G. Swapp. Wind Energy Instructor, Mesalands Community College

As a retired long time educator at the university level, I worked with several colleagues with teaching degrees who worked at the university. Their jobs included research coordinators, HR training coordinators to executive administrative assistants. When I worked as a mental health counselor at a county department of mental health there was a lady who had a teaching degree who worked there.

Carol Gee. Author, Random Notes (About Life, “Stuff” and Finally Learning to Exhale)

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