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Getting a graduate job in teaching and education

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

Do I need a related degree?

For teaching roles you will require a degree but this is not always the case for other roles in the education sector.

For support roles, such as management within a school, college or university, you don't necessarily need to have been a teacher and a degree in business administration or an MBA would be advantageous. However, there are qualifications that you can do in this area if you haven't studied a business-related degree.

To become a learning mentor a degree in any subject is accepted but you may find it an advantage to have a social work or education-related degree.

For more information about whether a degree is necessary for the job you are interested in, see types of jobs.

What skills do employers want?

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

  • creativity
  • enthusiasm;
  • good communication skills;
  • initiative;
  • patience and empathy;
  • self motivation
  • the ability to nurture and support learners;
  • time management and organisational skills

The government has information for school support staff on how to develop their skills and knowledge at Department for Education - Support Staff .

To find out what employers are looking for, you should have a look at the job description and person specification of a job that you are interested in and see what employers list as important skills that are essential and desirable for the role.

Where can I get work experience?

Work experience is vital if you wish to work in teaching and education. You need to have done some voluntary work with children or young adults as this will show employers that you're keen and confirm that this is the career for you. You should start by contacting schools and colleges in your local area and asking them via letter or telephone call if they have any work experience opportunities.

Another way to build up your experience is by volunteering with a charitable organisation working with children and young people. An example of this is the Girl Guides, where, as well as gaining valuable experience working with girls of all ages, you will also learn skills such as first aid. Find out more at Volunteer with Girlguiding . Similar opportunities are also available with the Scouts. Find out how to get involved at Scouts - Volunteering Vacancies .

The Department for Education suggests searching for voluntary work at TimeBank , a service that designs its own projects, mainly around mentoring and youth-led volunteering.

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's website to find vacancies and information on how to apply.

You may also find jobs advertised on specialist jobs boards such as Eteach , which lists vacancies from nursery to further education level and for both academic and non-academic staff. It also offers a free agency for supply work and temporary support work.

Most universities and further education colleges use their own websites to advertise vacancies and often ask applicants to fill out application forms downloaded from their website. In addition to this, there are also specialist websites and press where vacancies are advertised, including:

  • FE Jobs  - lists both academic and support roles within the further education sector in the UK;
  •  - advertises both academic and support jobs within higher and further education institutions as well as education-related organisations;
  • Times Higher Education Jobs   - a weekly magazine that also has an online jobs board;
  • AoC Jobs  - job site that specialises in UK further education colleges, providing both academic and support roles.

Networking is also a good way to find a job in the education sector and this is particularly true if you are looking for a role in environmental education. The National Association for Environmental Education UK  has a list of organisations that it is linked with and it may be fruitful to go through the list and contact the companies for details of employment opportunities.

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

Written by Editor, Graduate Prospects
May 2013

Graduate jobs


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