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Robert Vega, Director FAC 18 / 2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200 78712-1508 • 512-471-7900

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. 
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. 

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.

Action Steps

•    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

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.

Action Steps

•    Contact schools in Austin to inquire about job openings and requirements:
     -    Texas Intensive English Program
     -    Aston English Academy
     -    Berlitz

Teaching Abroad

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.

Action Steps

•    Check out LACS’s handout, “So you want to join the Peace Corps?
•    Research TESOL or Oxford Seminar certificates

Additional Resources

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


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.[1] 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.

Additional Resources

International Society for Performance Improvement
American Society for Training and Development


1. Jerald M. Jellison, Life After Grad School: Getting From A to B (Oxford: Oxford University Press, USA, 2010), 8

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