One of the most frustrating things about leaving teaching is that you will probably have no idea about what other jobs are out there. This page will help shed some light on what other jobs you can do apart from teaching. In many of these jobs, a teaching qualification is desirable.
Clicking on these links will take you to the appropriate section on this page to find out further information:
Some ex-teachers have shared with me on my Facebook page what they do now. I have collated these true stories about what other teachers did instead on my Success Stories page:
Trainer for Apprenticeships
In May 2017, the UK government changed the way apprenticeship funding worked. The result of this has been that many training providers have been recruiting trainers who are both skilled and experienced staff from industry and who have also gained teaching qualifications. If you are wanting to become a trainer for apprenticeships then you will need to ensure that your own occupational competence and knowledge are up-to-date.
When I left teaching, I trained as an Assessor and gained a Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA). Because of my background, I began assessing for apprenticeships in Creative & Digital Media and, later, in Digital Marketing. Since apprenticeships changed in May 2017, the role of assessor has changed. There is now more emphasis on being able to structure learning and to teach, which is why a teaching qualification is desirable. I talk more about this in My Story.BACK TO TOP
Several years after leaving teaching, I decided that I wanted to become a Learning Technologist, Learning Designer or TEL Developer (TEL is Technology Enhanced Learning). In June 2019, I found an advert for a job as a Learning Technologist on jobs.ac.uk, the go-to job site for jobs in Higher Education.
What they were looking for was the following:
- Experience of successfully implementing technology solutions for teaching learning and assessment (I was an ICT teacher and had experience of creating digital resources. I had also done this as a Digital Marketing assessor).
- Appropriate knowledge and experience of virtual learning environments (I had achieved the module ‘Using VLEs in my teaching’ from The Open University).
- Understanding of e-learning, associated pedagogies, and awareness of trends and new developments in this area of technology (I showed evidence of this in my attendance at Digital Learning conferences).
- Appropriate knowledge and experience of social media, online solutions for learning and teaching support, other online tools (I had taught Social Media as a Digital Marketing assessor).
They were also looking for the following, which I had loads of evidence for as a teacher:
- Experience of delivering staff development or teaching sessions.
- Good organisational awareness and organisational skills.
- Team player, and able to work flexibly to deliver to target when under pressure.
- Ability to work effectively with a wide range of academic and professional support staff and managers.
I applied for the job, completing the application form using the STAR technique that I mention on this website at Job Search – Completing Application Forms. I also included a portfolio of my work as a PDF attachment on the online application form.
I was successful in getting an interview and took a day off to brush up on interview technique, using the links that I have on this website at Job Search – Interview Questions. I was offered the job and am now a Learning Technologist at a university in the Midlands.
Although, my ICT teaching helped, jobs as Learning Technologists are not just for those with an ICT background. For example, one member of my team was an ex-English teacher who specialised in pedagogy.
These kind of jobs require relevant technical knowledge or experience and so you would need to have experience of using learning resources on Learning Management Systems e.g. Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, etc. and maybe experience of designing and delivering a range of learning solutions using software such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate. A teaching qualification is frequently mentioned in person specifications for these roles as an understanding of pedagogy is an important part of the roles.
One way of showing technical knowledge is by becoming a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE or MIE Expert).
I have been accepted as an MIE Expert for 2022-2023. You can do this by signing in to the Microsoft Learn Educator Centre and nominating yourself. In this process, you are expected to understand and demonstrate how the Microsoft suite of solutions supports teaching and learning. That would show both knowledge and application of Microsoft products which would certainly help in a job application for a Learning Technologist.
Since becoming a Learning Technologist, I have gained my CMALT. CMALT stands for Certified Membership of ALT and is a portfolio-based professional accreditation scheme.
The Association for Learning Technology has a series of blog posts covering different areas of the application and interview process:
As well as a Learning Technologist, you will find jobs advertised under the following job titles:
- Learning Designer
- Digital Learning Designer
- Digital Learning Developer
- Digital Learning Specialist
- Instructional Designer
- e-Learning Instructional Designer
- Content Designer
- Learning Content Designer
- Instructional Content Designer
- Learning Experience Designer
- Learning and Technology Officer
- Academic/Educational Developer
- Learning and Technology Officer
- TEL Developer (TEL stands for Technology Enhanced Learning)
- TEL Manager
For some of those jobs, you’ll need some knowledge of the software used to make e-learning courses. The software is usually known as instructional design software, such as:
- Adobe Captivate
- Articulate 360,
- iSpring Page
- Microsoft PowerPoint
Other software might include image editing software and audio/video editing software to make video content, such as:
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Lightroom
I would advise doing a course in Instructional Design so that you understand and also create a portfolio of examples of your work. Some people advise creating a portfolio of examples of your work and I showed examples of work I created as a teacher together with examples of work I’d created using Adobe Captivate. To do this, I invested about £350 in a year’s subscription to Adobe. In my role as a Learning Technologist, I make videos using the Adobe Creative Suite.
Someone on Reddit asked, “Instructional Design – what’s it like?“:
My advice is don’t be put off by the wording in these jobs (see below!) and to apply for jobs even if you don’t think you have enough experience. If you are lucky enough to get an interview, but don’t get the job, then ask them for advice about what you need to do to improve your chances next time.
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“Consult, advise, design, deliver and evaluate learning and development (L&D) solutions and technology based learning capabilities, in accordance with internal and external standards and regulatory requirements, to enable a culture of self-directed learning and to meet business requirements across the organisation.”A job role purpose I saw advertised for E-Learning Specialist – don’t be put off by the wording!
There are many businesses who sell to schools and colleges, from books to technical equipment and software. It may be possible to get into a job where you are involved in creating content for textbooks. As a teacher, you will have an advantage when it comes to educational sales because you will know what you are talking about and you will see the advantages of the product and therefore know how best to sell them to schools. You may have to do some retraining, for example in sales techniques or other business-related field, but many of these can be learnt in courses online.BACK TO TOP
Educational Content Writer
Educational Content Writers create and develop educational material for teachers and students, such as textbooks and other classroom resources, such as study guides. I have known several teachers leave teaching to work as content writers for companies such as Pearson Education UK.
Clearly, experience in education is important here and is an option if you enjoy creating learning resources. You must also have a good command of grammar and have the flexibility to adopt your writing style to fit in with different in-house requirements. Meeting deadlines is also very important in this kind of job. As a teacher, you will be excellent at meeting deadlines (marking deadlines, reports, etc.).BACK TO TOP
Learning & Development Jobs
Teachers have a good understanding of how people learn and this skill set is useful in the corporate environment in assessing training needs for the organisation and creating learning resources. Such organisations value teachers as they are familiar with understanding needs and mapping the learning journey.
Learning and development in organisations can include everything from:
- identifying training needs
- delivering in-house induction
- creating e-learning resources and training courses
- delivering training courses
- staff training and development
Teachers usually have good interpersonal skills which is why a teaching qualification is often desirable in this kind of role. You may find these jobs advertised as Learning & Development Training Officer/Manager or Training Designer.
The role of a Training Designer is usually more about designing the training course than the actual materials. The role of a Training Designer is therefore more of a learning and development role, although some job descriptions may specify the creation of the materials. In terms of transferable skills, as a teacher you will have designed training (your lesson plans) and you may have had responsibility for designing and creating a whole scheme of work.
Here are some comments about Learning and Development jobs from the Thinking of Leaving Teaching? Group:
“… from what I have seen a CIPD qualification at at least level 3 would seem to be an essential requirement of most roles.”
“I know a few teachers who did a CIPD L&D course and did volunteering in HR for charities to get experience before they resigned. So when they were applying for jobs, they made a smoother transition.”
“I have applied for a couple and always get the CIPD as a reason for not progressing my applications.”
Therefore, to improve your chances of getting an interview for Learning & Development jobs, it may be worth studying for a CIPD qualification (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) such as the CIPD Level 3 Foundation certificate, especially if you end up wanting to go into more of an HR role. You can find out more about CIPD at the CIPD website.BACK TO TOP
Curriculum Development Manager
The Curriculum Development Manager is a similar job role to the Learning & Development Training Officer. Job advertisements I have seen for this require experience of designing and developing a curriculum. The teaching and learning experiences are usually coupled with training, so you are also required to have experience of conducting Training Needs Analysis with employers. Have you done this in your school?BACK TO TOP
Coding & Programming
In October 2018, I posted on the Thinking of Leaving Teaching page about The School of Code in my home town of Birmingham. Someone told me they’d applied and got on the boot camp which started in February 2019. They wrote:
“I am so excited! I left my teaching post at Xmas and am starting to feel like a weight has been lifted.”
Later in 2019, someone else contacted me to tell me they’d also handed in their notice, left teaching, enrolled on the course and got a job in the tech industry.
Early in 2022, someone in the Thinking of Leaving Teaching? Group shared this:
“I have noticed a few posts here from people who are interested in learning about programming, but don’t know where to begin.
I would love to share some resources that you may find useful (and some general tips):
If you are new to programming completely, I recommend looking over a GCSE and A-Level syllabus to map out a route for learning the basics alongside core theory (stacks, trees and so on)
To learn the basics (from easiest to most challenging), you could review: SoloLearn (web-based and mobile app), W3schools web-based directory of all basic/intermediate concepts, Codecademy (web-based online course for basics), Codewars (web-based challenges that rank your codes efficiency with forums to share other solutions…great for refining skills).
Once you are confident with the basics, there is a FANTASTIC free resource called freeCodeCamp that offers professional courses completely free. They also have an accompanying YouTube channel with walkthroughs and tutorials. The website even has 300 hours worth of practice interview assessments. I have started using it to prepare for my new role and cannot recommend it enough for anyone interested in a programming/data career 🙂
The UK Government offer Skills Bootcamps which are free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks. They are available for adults aged 19 or over who are either in work or recently unemployed and live in England. Some Skills Bootcamps have additional eligibility criteria.
They give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. The Skills Bootcamps list was updated 02 September 2022. Many more Digital Skills boot camps have been added to the list: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-a-skills-bootcamp/
As well as Coding, you will find other skills in the Digital section. such as Cloud computing, Cyber security, Data Analysis and Digital Marketing.BACK TO TOP
Public Sector Jobs
Jobs in the public sector, include the Civil service, Local Government and Council, Central Government, Healthcare, International Development, and Police, Firefighting and Armed Forces. You can find job pages for the NHS and Police on Job Search – Job Hunting.
Civil Service jobs can be found on the GOV.UK site.
Civil Service applications are moving towards the Success Profile Framework. This is being introduced to attract and retain people of talent and experience from a range of sectors and all walks of life, in line with the commitment in the Civil Service Workforce Plan. There is more information about this on the Jobs in the Civil Service section.BACK TO TOP
Explore: the education industry – a very useful blog from FutureLearn where they look at jobs in the Education Industry, including the range of jobs available, skills required, and how to get your career started. Teaching roles, such as Lecturer and Private Tutor, in addition to Teacher, Education support roles, such as Educational Psychologist, Teaching Lab Technician and Librarian, and Technology roles, such as Learning Technologist (my job!), Educational Software Programmer and Course Designer.
Teaching and Education – The National Careers Service. This lists 55 jobs in the Teaching and Education category where a teaching qualification would be useful.
373 Alternatives for Teachers Tired of Their Classroom Job by James Anthony. This is a useful article for anyone wanting more job ideas. It’s a very good read and also has a free download, “373 Alternative Job Ideas for Teachers”.
In addition, James Anthony also has a link to his book “Classroom Escape” as a free download at the bottom of the article. Check out other articles on his website too.BACK TO TOP