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LIBRARY GUIDE TO What can I do with an Education degree?

What can I do with an Education degree?
If you've earned an Education degree, you may have planned to teach -- but this may not happen for many reasons. You might find that teaching isn't for you, or you may have to explore other career options while looking for a teaching job. You might also decide that you'd like a change, or you need to make a change for personal reasons. Whatever the circumstance, an Education degree opens up many other career options - some just involve a little creative thinking!
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Don't hesitate to reach out to your faculty and advisers in SEHS, or to OU's librarian for Education and Human Services -- you'll find her contact information on this page.
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Picture: Amanda Nichols Hess

Amanda Nichols Hess
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nichols@oakland.edu
248.370.2487

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Skills gained with an Education degree
While you've gained pedagogical and classroom management skills throughout your experience in your specific teacher education program, you've also honed a number of other skills -- often referred to as "soft skills" -- that are in high demand by many employers and in many industries. 

Think about the ways that you have built up your:
  • Ability to work and communicate with children and adults through your placements
  • Effective oral and written communication skills through lesson planning, communicating with parents and administrators, and working with your mentor teacher(s)
  • Information and communication technology savviness through online learning experiences, technology-rich instruction lessons, and working with different technology tools available in your placements
  • Problem-solving skills in classroom management, instructional planning, and instructional design
  • Ability to work as a part of a team through your placements and/or with your mentor teacher(s) 
  • Organizational skills through instructional planning, assessment, and classroom management
  • Time management / planning skills through instructional planning and assessment
Of course, you've also gained subject area expertise in your major and minor areas, which is transferable to jobs in these fields. And, you have an understanding of the K-12 educational system, which is incredibly relevant and important in may settings. 
Career Ideas
Here are some potential positions where your Education degree and soft skills would be highly relevant:
  • Museum education officer
  • Adult education and training
  • Curriculum design
  • Education policy making
  • Educational non-profits or non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Teaching English abroad
  • Tutoring
  • Private/parochial education 
  • Child care provider, either independently or in a daycare setting 
  • Paraprofessional in general education or special education
  • Higher education positions, such as an admissions counselor
  • Educational technology companies
  • Instructional design/corporate trainer
  • AmeriCorps/other service-based organizations
  • Community educator 
  • User education / customer service 
  • Researcher
  • Educational resource company 
  • Textbook design or marketing
  • Library assistant
  • Standardized test developer
  • Homeschool consultant
  • After school program director
  • Counseling
  • Camp counselor / director
Educational Careers outside of K-12 Schools
Where can I learn more about...
  • Museum education officers? Look at specific museums' websites, or check out this job board for museum educators
  • Adult education and training? Check out the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, or view this adult education-focused job board
  • Working in curriculum design? You can read more about curriculum design from ASCD, but you can also find curriculum design jobs in higher education, as freelance work, or even in K-12 education settings 
  • Working in education policy making? Check out the US Department of Education's jobs, and you can also look at the state level as well
  • Working with educational NGOs/non-profits?  These organizations are separate from the government, so it's most useful to look directly at their websites. To get a sense of different non-profits and NGOs that focus on education, you might look here, here, or here 
  • Teaching English abroad? There are a number of organizations that provide information on teaching abroad, including CIEE, Go Overseas, and Teach Away 
  • Working in tutoring? Check out Tutors.com, or even Care.com for tutoring positions in Michigan 
  • Private/parochial education? You can search at specific private or parochial institutions by finding their websites, or you can view these broader job boards for Waldorf Education, the National Association of Independent Schools, Christian School Employment, or the National Association of Private Catholic and Independeint Schools 
  • Working as a child care provider? You can find more information about being an independent child care provider at Care.com, and you can find out more about working at a daycare setting in Michigan at the state licensing and regulatory office for child care  
  • Working as a paraprofessional educator in K-12 schools? There are many paraprofessional positions in both general and special education - your best bet is to look at school districts' websites, or to view an intermediate school district's job postings -- like Oakland Schools, for example
  • Working in higher education positions? Your best bet is to view a university or college job board, like Oakland University's job postings or Oakland Community College's job postings
  • Educational technology companies? There are many companies that offer educational technology, and K-12 expertise is highly valuable -- one example is TechSmith, which is in Michigan! 
  • Working in corporate instructional design or training?
  • AmeriCorps/other service-based organizations? You can find out more about AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, two of the most popular service-based organizations, at their websites
  • Working as a community educator? This website provides a description of what working as a community educator can involve; you can find such jobs at public organizations (parks and recreation departments, cities, counties, etc.) across the state and country
  • Working in user support / customer service? Large companies like Google offer positions in customer service and user support across the country 
  • Working as a researcher? These kinds of jobs, which often begin as research assistants in laboratories or with higher education faculty, can be found at colleges, universities, and large research-centric companies (like Pfizer)
  • Working at an educational resource company? Companies including Gale Cengage and ProQuest provide educational resources for K-12 schools and higher education, so an education degree is highly relevant here
  • Working in textbook design or marketing? Companies like Pearson, which produce many K-12 and higher education textbooks, have many education-related work opportunities, especially in sales and marketing
  • Working as a library assistant? You can learn more about what a library assistant does at this website, and you can find these kinds of jobs at individual libraries in your community
  • Working as a standardized test developer? You can learn more about waht a standardized test developer's work looks like at this website, and you can find positions in this field at the companies that provide standardized tests -- such as ETS
  • Working as a homeschool consultant? There are many blogs and personal websites where you can find more information about this career path -- search for the phrase "homeschool consultant" in your favorite search engine, and many results will appear!
  • Working as an after school program director? This website provides a summary of what an after school program director's work might look like, and many popular job posting websites (indeed, LinkedIn, etc.) regularly advertise these kinds of positions
  • Working in counseling? Many counseling positions require a graduate degree -- and Oakland University has an excellent program. Contact them for more information!
  • Working as a camp counselor or director? You can find out more about working in camps at the American Camp Association's website, and you can find positions available through their job center and through the Christian Camp and Conference Center's job board (religious organization)

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