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

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

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.

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?

A significant proportion of first degree graduates from all degree backgrounds go into careers in education, a broad area including roles lecturing in higher and further education as well as primary and secondary classroom teaching, according to the What do graduates do? report published in 2017.

However, if you are keen to explore other industries and careers, you may be reassured to see that even greater numbers of graduates found opportunities in other areas such as business, human resources (HR) and marketing.

Areas of employment Percentage
Health professionals 16.9
Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff 11.1
Business, HR and finance professionals 10.0
Marketing, PR and sales professionals 7.5
Education professionals 6.5

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

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 2018 survey of more than 60,000 undergraduates carried out by trendence UK, a partner of TARGETjobs’ parent company GTI. The most popular careers for education and teaching students were as follows:

Career Percentage
Public sector 5.7% expressed an interest
Charity and not-for-profit 5.1
Hospitality, leisure and tourism 3.1
Retail 2.5
Logistics, transport and supply chain 2.4

Source: trendence UK Graduate Survey 2018

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.