Comedian Woody Allen said in his movie Annie Hall, “Those who can’t do, teach, and those who can’t teach, teach gym.” His character, Alvy, then noted that those who couldn’t do either were teachers at his school. In truth, becoming an educator is no easy task. It’s not for the lazy, with planning curriculums and grading students’ work taking time and effort.
Those that “can’t do” will quickly find themselves without a teaching position if they have no information to impart. However, those with experience in a career field are perfect for teaching the next generation specific skills they will need.
If you like your industry, but not necessarily your job, it might be the right time for a career change. You can impart your knowledge in a number of different ways, though usually the requirement is a Master’s of Education, or M.Ed.
What jobs are available after obtaining a M.Ed, and why is it desirable in the job market? Let’s take a look at a few examples.
1. University Professor
The first is the most obvious shift: a professor at a college or university. In general, to be an professor at a university and possibly obtain tenure (rather than a “lecturer” that does not have tenure), you need a M.Ed.
With the rise of STEM education, expertise in these areas could turn into a lucrative teaching position. With contacts within STEM industries, you have a built-in support system. “Sustained job-embedded professional development is a key support for teaching mathematics and science,”
Stacey Mabray, adjunct professor of Concordia University-Portland noted in an interview “In order for teachers to effectively provide students with relevant and authentic tasks, they must continually ‘sharpen the saw’ and collaborate with other professionals to remain current and relevant.”
As a side note, if your goal is being a high school teacher instead, you will stand out as an expert in your field, and have an edge up on other applicants. You will also likely start at a higher pay than someone who only has a Bachelor’s degree.
In short, experience and contacts within the industry will give you a leg up, also providing an information pipeline to keep your curriculum up to date.
STEM is just one pathway – there are plenty of other industries that translate well to becoming a professor.
2. Curriculum Planner
The curriculum director, also known as an instructional coordinator, designs a school district’s curriculum and teaching standards. They create instructional materials, working with teachers and administrators, and then gauge the effectiveness of the curriculum and materials.
This is a career path for a former teacher or school administrator looking for a bit of change after obtaining a M.Ed. Like a tenured professor, a Master’s degree is a requirement for this position. Curriculum planners earned a median of $62,270 per year in 2015.
4. Educational software consultant
In a similar vein to a curriculum planner, educational software companies employ consultants for developing age-appropriate content. This is simply another way to pass on your knowledge to those still learning about your chosen field of study.
5. Corporate trainer
When it comes to the private sector, a M.Ed. is desirable for corporate trainers. As their name implies, corporate trainers are in charge of training employees – either from the time of employment, or ongoing. Having a trainer with specialized knowledge in the industry helps the business as a whole.
Trainers need to be highly skilled, and must be able to motivate employers while honing the employees’ skills. The national average salary for a corporate trainer is about $48,500.
6. Professional Tutor
In a less corporate setting, a M.Ed. is also a pathway to becoming a professional tutor. Depending on the industry you are trained in, you might see mostly high school or college students who are looking for a leg up – or are struggling – to get into the field. Tutors tend to make less than corporate trainers – a national average of $36,000 per year.
Tutors – private or with a tutoring company – may have some downtime between clients. Depending on your pedigree, and what you are tutoring in, you may earn more.
Depending on what Bachelor’s degree you have earned, and your prior work experience, obtaining a Master’s in Education can be a pathway to a new and lucrative career.
From becoming a professor at a university to consulting with a private company, there are opportunities abound to use your knowledge, along with a Master’s in Education, to teach the next generation entering the workforce.