When you think about career paths with an education degree, one job in particular probably comes to mind: teacher. Few college degree programs have such a limited stereotypical career path as the field of education. While many graduates of an education degree program do go on to become teachers, this isn't the only career opportunity you can pursue with an education degree. From school administration, educational consultant, to nonprofits to traditional corporate environments, alternative non-teaching job opportunities abound for people with the skills developed in a teacher preparation program.
Whether you're considering becoming an education major and want to know its full potential, or you're already a teacher and are looking at non-teaching jobs with a master’s in education to explore different options, we lined up a list that professionals with an education degree and work experience can pursue.
Non-Teaching Careers in Education
Maybe you like being in an education environment - just not in the classroom. If you're passionate about education but know that you don't want to teach, a wide variety of non teaching jobs in education are still available to you.
Education Administration. Pursue a move from the classroom to the front office. Make an impact on a larger group of students with your teaching degree. Education administrators, such as principals and superintendents, set policy and make decisions on a school-wide or school district-wide level1. School administrators work with teachers and the school board, review curriculum, develop educational policies, manage budgets and personnel, and much more. If you're interested in taking this non teaching job starting off as an administration assistant, you will likely need a graduate certificate of an advanced degree, such as a Master's degree or an EdD in Educational Leadership and Management.
School Counselor. Maybe you enjoy working with students and guiding their personal and academic development in the education field - just not in a classroom with the pressures and stressors of a traditional classroom teaching job. School counselors have the ability to work with a large group of the student population. They act as a life coach and provide guidance and help students discover and achieve their personal goals2. (Learn more about becoming a school counselor.)
Instructional Coordinator. Quality curriculum is a decisive factor in the effectiveness of education. An instructional coordinator or educational consultant evaluates, develops, and implements curriculum for schools to ensure that it is meeting standards established by local school boards, as well as state and federal regulations3. Instructional coordinators work in a school setting with teachers, principals, and superintendents, and contribute in positive ways to the education of students – without having to interact with them personally.
Non-Teaching Careers Outside Education
A bachelor's degree in education is more versatile than you might think. The knowledge earned and skills developed in an education major can serve you well in a number of positions outside the traditional school setting. If you're not interested in a teaching position– and not interested in working in a school either – you may want to consider these alternative education degree jobs:
Corporate Learning. Understanding the learning process and how to develop and deliver instructional materials could make you a good candidate for the field of corporate training and development. Professionals with the teaching degree in this career path plan, develop, and implement employee training programs, which can be delivered through a variety of formats, including instructional manuals, lectures, video presentations, or hands-on, collaborative experiences. If teaching adult education programs and working in a more corporate environment sound appealing to you, a corporate trainer could be the career route to pursue.
Educational Sales. If you have experience as a school teacher, you may be well-poised to pursue a career in sales for educational materials: textbooks, school supplies, educational software, etc. Having past experience in the industry will help you better understand the challenges and frustrations of your customers, helping you to connect with them and ultimately better deliver what they need – in turn helping to make you successful as well.
Non-Profit and Government Work. An education background can also be put to good use in a variety of non-profit and government organizations. Serve as a liaison for an education advocacy organization. Manage an after-school youth program. Take your experiences to the Department of Education. Numerous job opportunities exist in these two sectors!
Non-Traditional Teaching Careers
Maybe you don’t think teaching is all that bad – you just don’t want to do it in a traditional classroom setting. Lucky for you, many education degree jobs don’t need to happen in a classroom setting.
Professional Tutor. Deliver one-on-one help and instruction. Choose your own clients and make your own hours. Starting your own tutoring business offers the freedom to teach on your own terms. Nervous about starting out on your own? You can always join a pre-existing tutoring business to develop a better understanding of the business side of things - or you can check out the Alliant International University MBA program to develop the business acumen you need to be successful!
Online Instructor. More and more education is being delivered in an online format, from K-12 high schools to higher education degree programs. Becoming an online teacher will challenge your time management and communication skills, but it also offers greater flexibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
The California School of Education (CSOE) at Alliant offers several non-teaching education degrees for those that want to work in educational policy, administration, and development. Some of these programs include: EdD in Educational Leadership and Management, MAE in School Counseling, and MAE in School Psychology.There are many reasons why someone would want to work in education but not necessarily be in the classroom. For some, it is a desire to work with children in a different way, such as a career counselor or school psychologist, for others, it is a desire to effect change from the top down, like a school principal or superintendent. And for others still, it is an ability to create the future of classroom education through content creation. For all of these people, though they are not in the classroom, they affect the world of education in a profound way, and are just as important as the teachers in the classroom.
Pursue a Rewarding Career through an Education Degree
With a bachelor’s degree in education, you can do so much more than just teach. Through the California School of Education, Alliant International University offers a wide variety of education degrees, from doctoral programs to credential and certificate programs. Whether your passion is in counseling, special education, or leadership, we have a degree program to suit your career goals. Get in touch with us to learn more about our education majors.
- Big Future, Career: Education Administrators, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/management-education-administrators#:~:text=Education%20administrators%20provide%20direction%20and,%2C%20and%20job%2Dtraining%20organizations., Accessed Nov. 29, 2021
- American School Counselor Association, The Role of the School Counselor, https://www.schoolcounselor.org/getmedia/ee8b2e1b-d021-4575-982c-c84402cb2cd2/Role-Statement.pdf, Accessed Nov. 29, 2021
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Instructional Coordinators, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/instructional-coordinators.htm#:~:text=Instructional%20coordinators%2C%20also%20known%20as,curriculum%20with%20the%20school%20staff., Accessed Nov. 29, 2021