“Those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, teach gym,” Woody Allen’s character, Alvy, famously said in Annie Hall. Alvy added that those who couldn’t do either were teachers at his school.
The path of an educator, despite Alvy’s experience, is not easy. With curriculums to plan, essays to grade, and homework to bleed red with comments, it’s not for the lazy. Those that “can’t do” will quickly find themselves without a job. On top of being an educator, having experience in the field you are teaching is immensely helpful. Without an undergraduate degree focused on teaching, experience in the field could be the difference between a job offer and continuing the search.
You can impart knowledge from a previous career field in a number of different ways. The typical requirement for these fields is a Master’s of Education, or M.Ed., making the answer question of whether you should get a Master’s degree a “yes.” Let’s look at some examples of turning to teaching after a successful career in another field.
5 Different Careers You Can Get With a Master’s in Education
1. Higher Learning
The most obvious job prospect after earning an M.Ed. is becoming a professor at a college or university. While an M.Ed. isn’t required to teach at the college level, you will likely be a “lecturer” that can’t obtain tenure. In order to become a professor, and thus be eligible for tenure, an M.Ed. is required.
As a side note, if your route takes you to a high school teaching position, you will need a single-subject teaching credential, which is not usually required for teaching at a college. However, with a credential, M.Ed., and experience in the field you are teaching, you will have an edge on the competition. High school teachers with a Master’s also start with a higher base pay. As there is a focus on STEM education in high schools, expertise in these areas could turn into a lucrative teaching position – either in a high school or college setting.
STEM is just one pathway – there are plenty of other industries that translate well to becoming a professor. And with an ever-wideningskills gap, teachers that can teach a specialty are in demand.
2. Corporate Employee Trainer
Would you rather teach adults that have already started their careers than college or high school students? Obtaining an M.Ed. puts you in the perfect position to be a corporate trainer. Using your expertise in your field, you train employees either from their start date with the company or on an ongoing basis. Trainers need to be highly skilled and must be able to hone the employees’ skills in order the improve the company. The national average salary for a corporate trainer is about $48,500.
An entire generation grew up on the Oregon Trail, an educational piece of software disguised as a game. Educational software companies need consultants for developing age-appropriate content that both educates and entertains. No experience with software is needed – you just need to provide the educational content, and the developers will do the rest. With a tablet full of apps as a common way to distract children, you can put your knowledge in a specific career field to use teaching the next generation outside the classroom.
The median salary for an educational consultant is $62,201.
4. Curriculum Director
A bit more conventional without being in the classroom, the curriculum director or instructional coordinator designs a school district’s curriculum and teaching standards. Geared more towards teachers or school administrators looking to change their career than someone with a specialty in another field, curriculum directors create instructional materials. Then, working with teachers and administrators, they gauge the effectiveness of the curriculum and materials.
Finally, if you want to teach, but in a more personalized setting, an M.Ed. is also a pathway to becoming a professional tutor. If you are teaching in your career field, you will probably cater more to high school or college students who are looking for a leg up – or are struggling – to get into the field. Tutors make a national average of $36,000 per year, though your pedigree and field of study could earn you more. Whether you are a private tutor (It’s easier to start a small business than you think) or join a tutoring company, you will likely have downtime between clients. This can act as a part-time job.
In combination with your own work experience, a Master’s in Education can be a pathway to a new and lucrative (or at least fulfilling) career. From becoming a university professor to a professional tutor, from consulting with educational software to training corporate employees, there are plenty of opportunities to use a Master’s in Education to teach the next generation entering the workforce.