How do I find a job?
Most jobs are advertised. For vacancies in the sector generally, see:
Vacancies in universities and colleges are also advertised on Jobs.ac.uk
and in the Times Higher Education (THE)
. For vacancies in independent schools, see Independent Schools Council (ISC)
Specialist recruitment agencies, such as Capita Education Resourcing
, handle vacancies for a range of jobs in education, both temporary and permanent.
Vacancies are advertised throughout the year. For school teaching roles, the peak recruitment period is April to August.
The largest number of vacancies in education is for teaching positions, but demand varies according to location, key stage and subject taught. Currently, the need is greatest for teachers of maths, physics, chemistry and modern languages. In post-compulsory education, there is a need for teachers of literacy and numeracy.
If you are seeking a post as a higher education (HE) lecturer, making contacts through conference attendance, participation in national subject area networks and membership of relevant associations will help.
For non-teaching roles you are unlikely to find formal graduate training schemes. Most graduates seek an opportunity suited to their skills and experience and progress by a combination of on-the-job training and appropriate courses.
Find out more about applying for jobs.
What skills do I need?
- Good communication, organisation and teamworking skills are important for any job in this sector.
- In order to teach in schools you will need to have a GCSE grade C or above in mathematics and English. For primary school teaching you will also need to have a GCSE in science at grade C or above.
- A degree is also essential for teaching in schools, and at secondary level its content should usually be at least 50% in the subject you intend to teach. From 2012, candidates must have at least a 2:2 to secure a funded place on a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course and many institutions require, or prefer, a 2:1.
- If you are applying for an initial teacher training course which starts after 1st July 2013, you will have to have passed a QTS Skills Tests
in literacy and numeracy (if training in England) before your training commences.
- The minimum requirement for teaching in post-compulsory education is a level three qualification in your subject area, although most academic courses require a degree.
- For non-teaching roles, a degree is usually desirable and often essential for entry or for promotion to more senior roles. Degree subject and classification are usually not as significant, particularly where some previous experience has been gained.
Where can I find work experience?
For student-facing roles, experience of working with young people is essential. For other roles, experience in your professional field is more relevant. Experience of working within an educational setting is an advantage for all roles.
- Contact schools directly to ask to observe classes or shadow teachers, or to volunteer on a regular basis.
- Your university may offer the chance to participate in activities aimed at encouraging local pupils to consider HE or may offer a student tutoring programme involving classroom support in local schools or colleges.
- Volunteer with youth clubs, brownies, scouts, etc. or work on summer playschemes and camps.
- Part-time and casual work within your university may be advertised through the careers service or students' union.
Is postgraduate study useful?
- For teaching roles in schools you must have completed a period of initial teacher training (ITT).
- To teach in further and adult education, you need to complete a teaching qualification appropriate to your role. You may be able to do this whilst in a teaching post.
- To become a university lecturer, you will normally need a PhD in the specialist subject area you want to teach, although for more vocational courses experience in the relevant field may be just as valuable. Lecturers can study for teaching qualifications once in post. Find out more about how to become an academic at An Academic Career
- For finance, marketing, human resources, facilities management, library, advisory and IT roles, appropriate Masters level or professional qualifications are useful and for some posts essential.
How can my career develop?
There are opportunities for teachers and lecturers to progress to managerial roles through taking on wider responsibilities. This could be for their subject, such as a head of department role in a school or programme leader in HE, or additional non-teaching responsibilities, such as being a head of year or admissions tutor.
Alternatively, you could consider a career move into teaching outside the traditional education setting. Opportunities exist with training companies that deliver training to groups of learners in their own workplace or at a training centre. You could also use your teaching skills as an education officer organising educational programmes for museums, art galleries, libraries, theatres and nature reserves.
In non-teaching roles, career development usually depends on pursuing your own interests and looking out for opportunities. Administrators may move into more specialist posts such as human resources or finance. Competition for senior posts can be intense. Formal professional qualifications can improve promotion prospects and a willingness to relocate may be necessary, especially in HE.