Studying a degree in education directly prepares you for a range of careers working with children and young people
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Community education officer
- Early years teacher
- Education administrator
- Education consultant
- English as a foreign language teacher
- Further education teacher
- Learning mentor
- Primary school teacher
- Secondary school teacher
- Special educational needs coordinator (SENCO)
- Special educational needs teacher
- Teaching assistant
Jobs where your degree would be useful:
- Careers adviser
- Child psychotherapist
- Family support worker
- Health play specialist
- Museum education officer
- Play therapist
- Private tutor
- Youth worker
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
If you want to do a PGCE or equivalent postgraduate qualification, you'll need to have experience of working with children, preferably in a school environment. This will show that you understand the role and are committed to a teaching career. Contact schools directly to ask for work experience or to observe classes or shadow teachers. Find out more about volunteering in schools.
Volunteering to help out at a local education, sports, community or youth centre is also a good way to gain some experience of working with children and organising group activities. It may also help you increase your knowledge of educational issues.
If you decide to move away from a career in education, think about what areas of work interest you and carry out research into relevant roles and sectors. Use tools such as Job Match to help you decide what type of career you'd be suited to.
Look out for work placements and voluntary opportunities advertised via your university career service, on company websites and through the specialist press. Use these opportunities to discover whether you suit the work and to build up a network of contacts. Work shadowing is another useful way of finding out about a particular career.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
If you're working in a state-maintained school, your employer will often be your local authority. However, you may be employed directly by the school - if for example, you work for an academy, free school or independent school. You'll also be employed directly by the institution if you work for a college. Discover how to get a teaching job.
Other employers include:
- central government departments
- community and voluntary organisations
- the police and probation services
- social services
There are opportunities with both public and private sector employers in a range of careers such as HR, market and policy research, retail management, publishing, education psychology and careers guidance. Find out more about jobs in education.
Skills for your CV
Studying education develops specific skills relating to a range of educational topics. These include theories of learning, equality and diversity, education policy and practice, and creativity and education.
Your degree will also provide you with a good general understanding of education in social, political and economic contexts. Some courses include work placement modules, providing the opportunity to put theory into practice.
You'll also gain the following transferable skills, which are useful to employers in a variety of job sectors:
- excellent communication skills - essential for effectively presenting information to learners
- IT skills - needed for researching teaching resources and preparing materials and for communication within the education setting and with external contacts
- research and analytical skills
- interpersonal skills - working collaboratively as part of a team
- effective problem-solving skills
- organisation and time-management skills - essential for managing a teaching workload and getting planning and marking done on time
- self-management - helping you to work effectively and reflect on your personal practice and make improvements.
To qualify for a place on a teacher training course, you'll need to prepare for and pass professional skills tests. If you want to work in secondary education discover the essential skills for a secondary school teacher.
Achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) through completion of the PGCE (PGDE in Scotland) or equivalent postgraduate qualification is a popular route for education graduates.
Alternatively, you may wish to take a Masters course in education or a related social science in order to develop your understanding of the theory, research and policy of education and to enhance your professional knowledge, skills and practice. Some education graduates go on to study for a PhD in education. Another option is the Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
What do education graduates do?
Nearly three quarters (73%) of education graduates in employment in the UK 15 months after graduation are employed in education - including teaching and educational support assistants, primary and nursery education teaching professionals, secondary education teaching professionals and special needs education teaching professionals.
|Working and studying||7|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Childcare, health and education||22.3|
|Legal, social and welfare||3.6|
|Retail, catering and bar staff||3.5|
Find out what other education graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.