Education

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There are lots of starting points for choosing a career and using your subject is just one of them. You are not restricted to the career ideas below and you may wish to consider additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Remember too that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject and so your options are much broader than the examples given below.

Firstly, have a think about what ‘using your subject’ means to you and what you’re really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it’s a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

Using your subject can help provide you with some focus for your career research, but the broader your interests the more career options you will have open to you. 

Generating career ideas with Education

Use our resources below to stimulate your thinking.

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Education graduates on Prospects and TargetJobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject. Our Information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start.

Some career ideas with Education

Primary school teacher - Working with pupils from 3-11 years old, your role is to inspire them to learn the skills and social abilities appropriate for their age and aptitude.

You will design lessons and schemes of work based on the national curriculum, monitor the progress of pupils and prepare them for tests. Creativity, leadership, enthusiasm, time management and communication skills are essential.

You need to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate programme which results in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for this role.

Secondary school teacher - Working with pupils from 11-18 years old, your role is to engage them in learning about a national curriculum subject area. You will design lessons, monitor progress, update your subject knowledge and prepare pupils for external exams.

Patience, an interest in young people, subject knowledge, organisation and communication skills are essential.

You usually need to complete a postgraduate programme resulting in Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for this role, and an undergraduate degree related to a national curriculum subject is advantageous.

English as a foreign language teacher - This can include Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

These roles involve teaching English to non-native speakers and take place in a variety of settings in the UK and overseas. Excellent communication skills, creativity, adaptability, planning and organisational skills are essential.

A certificate level qualification is required for initial entry into this role, but you will need higher level qualifications for career progression.

Higher education lecturer - Working in a university or college, you will undertake teaching and research related to your area of expertise. Teaching could include tutorials, lectures, seminars and online learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students aged over 18.

You may also have pastoral and administrative responsibilities, in addition to publishing your research. Subject knowledge, analytical and research skills, time management, networking and communication skills are essential.

A 2:1 minimum at undergraduate level, plus a relevant PhD is required for most academic subjects.

Community education officer - This role involves working with diverse communities, often in deprived areas, to engage individuals in training, skills development and education opportunities.

You may work with children, young people or adults, and this will vary depending upon the target client group of your organisation. Resilience, creativity, flexibility, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills are essential.

Although open to graduates from any subject, a degree in education is advantageous. Experience of working with communities, either paid or voluntary, is required.

Education administrator - Working in a university, college or school, you will be responsible for the organisation and management of systems and processes.

This will typically involve areas such as admissions, exams and data, but could be based around a specialist project or department. IT skills, time management, organisation, interpersonal and communication skills are essential.

Although for entry level roles a degree is not usually required, it is advantageous. Specialist roles in education administration, such as marketing, may require specific professional qualifications.

Educational psychologist - Your role is to support children and young people aged 10-19, who have social, emotional or learning difficulties, to engage in school or other activities.

You will observe and assess individuals, and work collaboratively with teachers, parents and other professionals to plan appropriate support and interventions. Assertiveness, diplomacy, sensitivity, and excellent negotiation and communication skills are essential.

You will need an undergraduate degree or postgraduate conversion course, and a Doctorate in educational psychology, both accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Local government officer - Based in a local authority, you will work with councillors, specialists and members of the public to put council policies into practice.

Education policy is one specialist area that an Officer might work within, but at more senior levels you may take responsibility for a number of areas. Knowledge of policy, project management, negotiation, organisation and communication skills are essential.

You will need a degree, but knowledge and experience of politics and local government is more important than degree subject.

Subject specific resources