Education & Training
I like the teaching side of academia but dislike the pressure to publish. Where else can I teach?
Teaching is a very portable skill that can be used in a variety of classrooms as well as outside the classroom. Educational sites outside of college campuses might be
• public or private K-12 schools,
• private institutes or academies,
• corporate offices, or
• various types of schools outside the U.S.
Students might be young people or adults and could have a variety of goals. You could be attached to a particular institution or site, or you could work as a consultant and go where the students are.
There are also other ways to stay involved in education without directly teaching students, including administration and curriculum development. Most graduate students have some teaching experience, and if that’s been a rewarding part of your academic career, it can easily be pursued outside of academia.
Private High School
Perhaps the most natural alternative to teaching college students is teaching slightly younger students, and those most likely to be somewhat familiar to you are college-bound high school students.
Teaching at a private high school can be an attractive option for former college instructors because of the motivation and ability level of the students. Particularly if you’re passionate about interacting with young people, you might find this career satisfying because you can have more of impact on their lives than is usually possible as a college instructor when you are likely to have a more transient and formal relationship with students. At a private high school, teaching is expected to be your main focus, not publication.
For some, not having the time to research could be a drawback. Other downsides to teaching at a high school are that you will probably have to discipline students and spend more time on classroom management than in your college classroom.
Salaries and Licensing
Renumeration can be substantially higher than teaching the same number of classes at a community college or even a four-year university, and the course load is likely to be smaller than at a public high school. You also don’t need a state teaching license as you would at a public high school. Private high schools are either “day schools” and “boarding schools.” The pay is usually lower at boarding schools because room and board are furnished.
How do I get a job at a private high school?
Private high school teachers need to show a long-term commitment to teaching adolescents and willingness to engage in service and extracurricular activities. Any past experience you have had in dealing with adolescents needs to be highlighted in your application. These schools are looking for teachers who are highly knowledgable in their subject area, and having a PhD on the faculty increases the prestige of the institution. However, they will not be interested in a teacher who views this career path as a second choice, as something they needed to fall back on even though they would rather be teaching at a college.
• Volunteer with an organization that serves youth
• Conduct an informational interview with a faculty member at a local private school, especially the schools listed below, where post-academics from UT have found satisfying positions:
⁃ Sterling Classical School
⁃ The Griffin School
⁃ St. Stephen’s School
⁃ The Girls’ School of Austin
Print and Web Resources
Carney, Sandoe & Associates - the nation’s largest recruitment firm in private school education:
Bradley, Gwendolyn. “Careers for Ph.D.’s at Private Schools.” Chronicle of Higher Education. 17 Mar. 2000.
Woolf, Eliza. “The Private High School Option.” Inside Higher Ed. 17 Jan. 2011. Web. 4 June 2012.
English Language Institutes and Test Preparation
College students who need to improve their oral and written English communication often take classes at private English language institutes before enrolling or concurrently while taking college classes. Professionals might also attend these types of institutes to improve their language skills for their job. These institutes often require that you have certification or a degree in teaching English as a foreign language, but they may be flexible about your degree if you have previous professional experience.
Another option if you enjoy working closely with college students is at a test prep or tutoring school, where students go to prepare for various admission exams like the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT. Both of these types of schools also have staff and administrative positions that would allow you to work in the educational environment and working with motivated, often high-achieving students and teachers.
• Contact schools in Austin to inquire about job openings and requirements:
- Texas Intensive English Program
- Aston English Academy
- House of Tutors
If you are interested in living internationally, teaching high school or college classes is a popular way to support yourself in a foreign country. In some situations, you may not be required to speak the local language (though of course it would be to your benefit if you did or could learn). Having a TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) certificate is a big plus for obtaining these jobs, and if you don’t have one, there are many options for becoming certified in the U.S. or abroad, in a traditional classroom or online. The Oxford Seminar is also a popular certification for teaching English abroad.
Governmental Agencies for Teaching Abroad
The U.S. Government has at least two agencies involved in education overseas. The Department of Defense Education Activity is charged with educating the children of active duty military. Their schools are located on military bases in countries where the U.S. maintains an active peacetime military presence such as Korea, Japan, Guam, Germany, Italy, and several other countries. The Peace Corps is another program that provides opportunities to teach abroad, but the students are natives of their country, not Americans.
• Check out LACS’s handout, “So you want to join the Peace Corps?”
• Research TESOL or Oxford Seminar certificates
Print and Web Resources
Griffith, Susan. Teaching English Abroad: Your Expert Guide to Teaching English Around the World. 11th Revised ed. Richmond, UK: Crimson Publishing, 2012. Print.
U.S. State Department
Association of International Educators
Institute of International Education - administers the State Department’s Fulbright Teaching Exchange program
Berlitz language schools
Dave’s ESL Cafe - long-running and respected site for ESL teaching resources, job postings, and more
Footprints Recruiting - places teachers in jobs abroad
Museum Education Director
Museum educators have a particular type of job—they don’t work exclusively with a specific age group like teachers do, instead they work exclusively with a type of content or material and develop programs for learners from all walks of life. Their responsibilities might include
• defining and instigating the museum’s educational mission,
• writing educational materials,
• collaborating with curators and exhibition designers,
• analyzing markets for the museum with an eye to improving educational programs, or
• the managerial tasks of supervising and training volunteers and docents.
As in other types of museum jobs, advanced degrees in the subject area are welcome. Experience in education and/or working with the public is strongly preferred. These positions might be advertised as Educator/Volunteer Manager, Director of Education, Programs Manager, or Director of Outreach.
Print and Web Resources
American Association of Museums’ Educators Committee
American Association of Museums’ Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation
Journal of Museum Education
Schlatter, N. Elizabeth. Museum Careers: A Practical Guide for Novices and Students. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, 2008. Print.
Training and Curriculum Development
Education doesn’t stop after people leave school or college. Businesses and government bodies need to train workers for specific tasks and positions, and they need educators for these jobs. These types of educational positions often appear as “training,” “facilitating,” or “development” in the private and public sector, and once you start looking, you’ll see that there are quite a lot of them.
Some training positions are housed in the 2,500 or so “Corporate Universities”located across the country and across the world. In other situations, trainers could work in-house or as consultants, working primarily in teams or individually. Job growth for trainers is expected to be higher than average, and career advancement could involve managing other developers or trainers.
Curriculum developers create training materials to educate employees about internal policies, procedures, technologies, or more general professional skills like writing. This involves breaking larger goals into smaller ones and planning smaller instructional units to guide employees through the curriculum. You also need to be able to translate from technical or jargon-filled language to more accessible language that relative novices can understand. Multimedia presentational skills are certainly a plus. These jobs may only involve developing the curriculum, or facilitating the training might also be part of your responsibilities. Trainers deliver the provided curriculum to new employees requiring orientation or existing employees who need professional development.
Print and Web Resources
International Society for Performance Improvement
American Society for Training and Development
Echaore-McDavid, Susan. Career Opportunities in Education And Related Services. 2nd ed. Checkmark Books, 2006. Print.
- See especially pages 264-269. This is a great book overall for those wanting detail about a wide variety of education-related jobs.