Degree subjects

What else can I do with an education or teaching degree?

25 Jan 2023, 13:38

If you’ve realised that a career working with children in schools isn’t for you, you could consider museum education, training or tutoring, or use your communication skills in another area.

Alternative careers to teaching

If you’re studying for an education degree but you’re not sure you want to be a teacher, there are many career options open to you, from other roles in education to careers in local government or the Civil Service, or outside the public sector in business or consulting.

Teaching is a tough profession, and it’s not for everyone. Newly qualified teachers often find the first year in the job particularly hard going. If you’re in this situation, and are thinking about a career change, remember that you’re not alone and many others have found it difficult at first, before gaining confidence with experience.

Skills for your CV

Skills you will have gained from your degree include the following:

  • time management
  • problem solving skills
  • communication skills
  • management skills
  • lateral thinking
  • resilience
  • ability to cope with stress
  • working effectively as part of a team

You will also have developed an understanding of education policy and practice. Our advice on alternative careers related to education lists a number of career options that do not involve classroom teaching but are related to education, such as careers guidance and family support work.

Job roles and career areas you could work in

Other job roles you might be interested in include the following:

You could consider a range of career areas both in the private and public sector, as well as charity work:

If you decide you want to pursue a career in teaching, our advice on how to get your first teaching job will help you get started.

How many graduates go into careers in education?

Unsurprisingly, education is an important area of employment for graduates. According to the graduate outcomes statistics reported by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2020, 82% of graduates who finished their degrees in 2018 were working in education around fifteen months later.

If you are keen to explore industries and careers outside education, however, you may be reassured to see the other areas graduates found employment in.

Areas of employment Percentage
Education 82
Human health and social work 6
Administrative and support services 3
Wholesale and retail trade 2
Public administration and defence 2
Accommodation and food services 1

Source: HESA's higher education graduate outcomes statistics, 2020

Which careers attract education students?

Working for the public sector was the most popular career choice for students on education and teaching courses, according to a 2020 survey of more than 71,000 undergraduates carried out by Cibyl, a research business owned by the same company as targetjobs. The most popular careers for education and teaching students were as follows:

Career Percentage
Public sector 5.7% expressed an interest
Retail 2.6
Media and advertising 2.5
Charity and not-for-profit 2.3
Hospitality, leisure and tourism 1.9

Source: Graduate Survey 2020

What salaries can graduates who have completed a degree in education earn?

Want to know what graduates in your degree discipline typically earn in different locations? The Pay Index has provided targetjobs with a handy graduate salary tool showing just that.

Famous people who have worked as teachers

Teaching is also a common starter career for the stars. The following people have previously been teachers after studying a range of undergraduate subjects:

  • Greg Davies – switched from teaching to acting and is now known for his role as fictional teacher Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners .
  • Hugh Jackman – was briefly a PE teacher before acting in films including the X-Men series and The Greatest Showman .
  • Stephen King – worked as an English teacher before his first horror novel Carrie brought him success.

Next: search graduate jobs, schemes and internships

This article was last updated August 2021.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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