How to Use an Education Degree Outside of Teaching
Everyone knows that teachers have one of the hardest jobs in the world (parents who are forced to help teach their children during the COVID-19 pandemic can especially attest to this). But what if you have an education degree and you don't want to teach? What other options are out there for you? The good news is that the answer is: a lot! Read on for some ideas if you have earned your education degree but want to steer clear of the classroom.
Writer or editor
With your degree, it is pretty much a given that you have excellent writing and reading skills. These attributes are in high demand by those looking to hire writers in all sorts of different fields: social media, book-flap copy, marketing, technical copy, etc. Depending on your concentration, you may even find a position as an expert writer in a particular field, such as literature or biology.
Editors who edit copy and deliver feedback to individual writers or writing teams, must be clear and concise when communicating with others, as well as unflappable in the face of any issues that (inevitably) arise during the process—which are all strengths you have most likely already picked up through your formal education. Consider freelancing or working with a writing company that hires you out for specific projects.
Curricular materials designer
It takes a multitude of media and materials for a teacher to utilize his or her time in the classroom—and that is where you come in. From websites and supplemental workbooks to testing reviews and textbooks, educational companies are almost always looking for those with an education background to design and create these classroom materials.
Angela Watson, a national board certified teacher with a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, suggests ways to get paid for sharing what you already know: through professional development in local schools, online webinars, instructional coaching for individual teachers, etc. You will most likely be surprised at how many people seek the expertise you have gained through your degree and experience.
If you are no longer interested in anything having to do with education in any form, you might consider becoming a manager for a store or restaurant. While some companies are specifically looking for people with business degrees, many places simply require a general bachelor's degree. The Balance Careers suggests you might find this line of work desirable if you enjoy giving practical feedback, encouraging employees to perform their best, and making sure everyone is functioning as a cohesive team. Those are many of the same skills you learned either through your college experience or by previously teaching in the classroom and are sure to be highly sought after by the interviewer.
Educational materials sales representative
Another option for (mostly) stepping outside of the education realm is working as a sales rep to sell textbooks and other instructional materials. Establishing relationships with potential customers is key, as is being knowledgeable about your audience. If you have previous classroom experience, it is likely you were used to spending time talking in front of people and know the ins and outs of what individual classrooms and school systems need. This insider knowledge could work to your advantage as a salesperson.
School system employee
There are plenty of other jobs within the system of education that do not actually involve teaching. Whether you want to pursue a more managerial role in the form of vice-principal or principal or prefer a more student-oriented position like a guidance counselor or curriculum specialist, there are a wide range of roles that might just provide the change you are wanting.
An education degree is a useful launching pad from which to begin your dream job search. Think of the above list as a starting point and use it to consider what sort of things interest you the most—chances are high there is a paying position that fits your needs, no matter how niche they may be.