what can i do with a teaching degree... other than teach?

What can I do with a teaching degree… other than teach?


If you are thinking about leaving the classroom, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do with a teaching degree… other than teach?”

If you need help leaving the classroom, check out the Teacher Career Coach Course. This step-by-step guide has helped thousands with a transition from teaching. Save time and get support with every step of picking a new path, rewriting your resume, and answering tricky interview questions.

Many teachers worry that changing careers will mean heading back to school for advanced degrees, which means more student loan debt and time spent. Fortunately, that’s NOT the case.

Teaching is an education-focused career. While some areas are becoming more relaxed with the requirements due to the teaching shortage, many states still require schooling and certification in order to become a teacher. And in teaching, any type of pay increase usually depends on more education. You may already have multiple teaching degrees, your masters, and even be working toward a National Board Certification while you are teaching.

Here’s the good news, you do NOT have to go back to school to change careers from teaching.

When teachers find themselves unhappy in their careers, many struggle to see a different path. You might be wondering, Do I have to start all over? Do I have to go back to school?

This is especially difficult if you’ve been teaching for many years. You’ve been in that pipeline for a long time. It’s understandable that you don’t want to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

If you’ve been working for a few years (or many more), you DO have credible work history. You DO have experience. That means you do NOT need to go back to school for many of the types of jobs that former teachers are landing. But there will be some extra work that you’ll need to do to stand out, especially in a competitive market.

What other jobs can I do with a teaching degree?

We should add a caveat here: Yes, in some very specific cases you will need other degrees. For example, if you are fresh out of college and have never held a steady position. Or if you are looking to transition into a career that requires a specific degree, like accounting or health care.

However most of the time, degrees don’t matter as much as people think. You have a degree, so most hiring managers will be happy to see that – no matter what your degree is in, teaching or otherwise.

It’s more important to them that you have the transferrable skills and experience needed for the job.

We have worked with thousands of former teachers in the Teacher Career Coach Course, the vast majority have not needed to go back to school. Instead they focused on the requirements of the job and how their teaching experience translated into the skills required. Additionally, some have upskilled by taking online classes or volunteering to help fill in the experience gaps in their resume.

Hear from Former Teachers

On The Teacher Career Coach Podcast, we interview former teachers that have gone into a variety of roles.

They’ve gone on to become learning designers, instructional designers, UX designers, copywriters, software engineers, real estate agents, corporate trainers, government account managers, customer engagement specialists, training consultants, project coordinators, and work in EdTech sales. 

However, these are just a very small snapshot of the careers that you can go into with a teaching degree.

These former teachers share about their transition from teaching and what it took to land their new positions. Check out the graphic below with a long list of job titles and episode numbers that are on the podcast right now.

Listen to these episodes as informational interviews to see which stories resonate most with you.

You can find The Teacher Career Coach Podcast on your favorite podcast player or listen and read the transcripts here on the website at teachercareercoach.com/podcast.

First Steps to Leaving Teaching – Without Getting Another Degree

1. How to start narrowing your path.

We find that many teachers expect the job path out of teaching to be as clear and linear as the path in. However, that is most often not the case. lf you’re looking for a new career direction, here is our best piece of advice: Don’t back yourself into a career-path-corner based on what others are pursuing or the most obvious choice.

After teachers make the decision to leave, the next most difficult part is finding a new direction. This is especially true for teachers who feel teaching was their passion or “calling” since way back, even before they started working toward their degree.

Are you passionate about writing?

  • While curriculum writing is an obvious choice for many teachers, you may also want to explore marketing roles and work in training and development.

Do you like building things from scratch and the execution of projects?

  • You may want to explore UX design, curriculum design, software engineer, instructional design, or project management.

Are you passionate about numbers?

  • Look into data analyst and sales positions.

Does the intrinsic motivation of knowing you are serving others light you up?

  • You may want to explore human resource or customer success manager positions.

Please note, many of these roles may have overlapping themes – for example customer success managers may be passionate about numbers and also rely on excellent communication skills (words) to relay information to their clients. The most important thing is to start exploring these big ideas and then examine the careers you are pursuing to see if they align with you.

For more recommendations, take our Free Quiz: What Career Outside of Teaching is Right for You? At the end you receive personalized results based on your answers.

2. Translate Your Skills

Yes, your educational experience will translate into value in new roles. Many companies will value your teaching skills and degrees. However, YOU need to prove you’ve done your homework and are passionate and knowledgable about the roles you’re applying to. And there will be far more competition than you may be used to.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible—it just means you’ll need to up your game. The mistake many are making is sending out a generic resume translated into “corporate verbiage” but without being truly focused or knowledgable.

The next step is to take a close look at the requirements for your new job and how your teaching experience translates into those skills. For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, you might consider including details on any school-wide fundraisers you’ve been in charge of.

There are many ways you can translate your experience, but it can be difficult to see how that can apply to the position you’re going for.

3. Upskill

As you’re building your resume, you may find that although you have a teaching degree and a good bit of applicable experience, you may lack some of the skills required for your desired role. In this case, you may want to upskill.

Basically, upskilling is the process of learning new skills for your future job to bridge any knowledge gaps. This is either by taking courses or building skills that are very specific to the role you want. Building skills that you can use on your resume and also in practice in your new role.

Online courses can teach the specific skills you need for your new role. This may be learning how to use a particular software, directly learning management skills, or completing a certification that is applicable to your new role.

For a more detailed explanation of the benefits upskilling or reskilling, plus skill builder recommendations for the top 7 career transitions for teachers see this post: Upskill and Reskill: Online Courses for Your Career Transition.

Next Steps to a New Career

One of the biggest mistakes that we see teachers make is that they try to navigate this process alone. Often, they put off “researching” until the very last minute. Which sets them up for a very stressful application season. I want to help you get some clarity in the options available to you. To know EXACTLY what you need to do (and not do) in order to get your foot in the door.

You don’t have to do this on your own.

With the help of an HR expert with over 10 years of experience and a team of former teachers, I’ve created a guide to support you in the early stages of your transition out of the classroom. Tap the button below to learn more.

Step out of the classroom and into a new career, The Teacher Career Coach Course