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Getting a graduate job in teaching and education

Find out the skills employers in the teaching and education sector want and where you can find a job...

Do I need a related degree?

For most teaching roles you will require a relevant teaching degree or postgraduate qualification (such as a PGCE) or a school-led training scheme that leads to qualified teacher status (QTS) or equivalent.

If you wish to teach at secondary level, your degree should be relevant to the subject you want to teach. If it isn't you may be able to complete a subject knowledge enhancement course.

There are a number of different routes into teaching, each with specific entry requirements (including GCSE grade requirements). For full details you should consult Get into Teaching carefully.

For non-teaching roles, such as administration or management within a school, college or university, a business-related degree or postgraduate qualification could be advantageous. For other education-related roles degrees in social sciences, social work, education or psychology may be required or useful.

To become a learning mentor a degree is not necessary but you may find it an advantage to have a social work or education-related degree.

For more information on entry requirements and relevant qualifications, see types of jobs.

What skills do employers want?

Graduate employers in the teaching and education sector generally require candidates with:

  • creativity;
  • clear communication skills;
  • confidence and leadership skills;
  • flexibility;
  • time management and organisational skills.

Where can I get work experience?

Work experience is vital if you wish to teach. You will need relevant voluntary work with children or young adults in order to get on to an initial teacher training course, or school based scheme. According to the Department for Education universities will expect you to have at least 10 days school experience.

You could contact schools and colleges in your local area and ask them if they have any work experience opportunities, or if you can observe lessons. You could also volunteer at youth clubs or after-school clubs.

Your university may offer mentoring schemes or options to participate in school-based work experience. You may need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before you can do this and you should allow time to get this done.

The National College of Teaching and Leadership runs a school experience programme. Find out whether you would be eligible at Get into teaching - school experience .

Another way to build up your experience is by volunteering with a charitable organisation working with children or young people. An example of this is the Girl Guides; similar opportunities are also available with the Scouts, find out more at:

A youth and education charity that offers a scheme where you can volunteer in a school for a year is City Year UK . There are also numerous gap year organisations offering relevant volunteering experience in the UK or abroad, see:

Organisations where you can teach English abroad include:

To find work placements and internships in the teaching and education sector, search for work experience.

How do I find a graduate job in teaching and education?

Vacancies in schools and colleges are often advertised by the schools themselves or through the local education authority (LEA). Have a look at your local authority website to find vacancies and information on how to apply.

You may find jobs advertised via:

Specialist education recruitment agencies such as Eteach are good sources of vacancies where you can also register for supply or temporary teaching work.

Eteach provide good sources of vacancies, where you can also register for supply or temporary teaching work.

You can also make speculative enquiries to schools where you have contacts or where you have done work experience.

Another useful resource is NUT - How to obtain your first post (2013) .

Most universities and further education colleges use their own websites to advertise vacancies and there are specialist recruitment websites, including:

To find jobs in the teaching and education sector, search graduate jobs in teaching and education.

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
December 2014

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