Careers with an Education Degree


Typically, those who pursue a bachelor of arts in education, are doing so to prepare for a career as a teacher. But if you're going this route, consider this nightmare scenario - you’re almost finished your degree, and you have the sudden realization that you don’t want to teach at all!


So, what are you supposed to do with all that time, money and energy you’ve invested into your degree?


Don't worry; the combination of theory and applied work in these programs can provide you with the knowledge and experience needed to success in a variety of careers, including those directly related to education, as well as those outside of the field entirely.



More On What You Can Do With an Education Degree

Whether you know what you want to do with your degree, or not, (and we’re guessing the later due to the fact you’re reading this) it’s never a bad idea to be aware of your career options. So, if you’d like to know more about what you'll be able to do, read on below!





What You Learn as an Education Student

Many undergraduate programs in Canada and the United States offer courses that are of interest to a diverse range of students; students planning careers as teachers, in-service teachers, as well as students from a variety of disciplines who for their own reasons wish to learn more about educational theories, research, and practice.


Through a rare combination of theory and practice, an undergraduate degree in education enables you to gain skills, knowledge and competencies necessary to become a confident and effective teacher, should you have that in mind as your career path.



Employable Skills You'll Gain

As a result of this coursework and practical experience, a degree in education can provide you with a set of skills that is specific to the subject matter, which are directly applicable to careers related to the subject matter:


• Extensive classroom experience

• Awareness of social justice issues

• Knowledge of current education theory and research

• Insights into school culture and professional education communities

• Knowledge of the philosophical and social foundations of education

• Knowledge of the professional rights and responsibilities of teachers

• Knowledge of various theories of communication and human development

• Knowledge of the process and dynamics of curriculum development

• Knowledge of issues affecting society today

• Experience with various teaching methods



Directly Related Occupations

Of course you can always become a teacher with an education degree, but you have many other career options aside from that. The following careers are highly applicable to your degree, as a result of the field-specific skills and competencies that this degree enables you to earn:


• Adult Education Instructor

• Community Education Officer

• Curriculum Director

• Daycare Worker

• Dean

• Director of University Admissions

• Early Childhood Educator

• Education Abroad Counselor

• Education Coordinator

• Education Programs Administrator

• Educational Assistant

• Elementary School Teacher

• English Teacher Abroad

• Environmental Education Officer

• ESL Teacher

• Instructional Technology Specialist

• International Student Advisor

• First Nations Education Coordinator

• Foreign Language Instructor

• Health Educator

• High School Teacher

• Literacy Program Coordinator

• Physical Education Teacher

• Principal

• School Administrator

• School Counselor

• Special Education Needs Teacher

• Sports Coach

• Student Activities Programming Board Director

• Student Affairs Area Coordinator

• Superintendent

• Tutor

• University or College Administrator

• University President

• University Professor





Other Employable Skills You Can Develop

Apart from the skills that are specific to this major, you can also acquire general skills as a result of your studies. You can apply these skills to plenty of careers that are not directly related to the field of education.


While these skills may not be as quantifiable and focused as knowing how to fix a car, do someone's taxes, or design a bridge, they are applicable to many different types of careers. These skills include:


• Strong written communication skills

• Strong oral presentation skills

• Effective interpersonal communication

• Effective conflict resolution skills

• Acute problem-solving abilities

• Leadership skills

• Independent and collaborative communication competence



Indirectly Related Careers

Not interested in a career as an educator? That’s okay, because of the many skills you’re able to gain, you'll have plenty of career options, including:


• Academic Advisor

• Admissions Counselor

• Alumni Relations Officer

• Animal Rights Coordinator

• Athletic Director

• Behavioural Therapist

• Blogger

• Child Care Centre Supervisor

• Child Life Specialist

• Consumer Advocate

• Director of Youth Development

• Facilitator

• Grant Writer

• Internship Coordinator

• Librarian

• Mayor

• Outdoor Adventure Guide

• Project Supervisor

• Publisher

• Rehabilitation Counselor

• Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator

• Volunteer Coordinator


Please Note: Some careers, whether directly or indirectly related to this degree may require further schooling and training above an undergraduate degree. Please click on careers that interest you to learn more about their specific entry requirements.



How Much You Can Earn as a Graduate

You may be curious as to what salary you can earn as a graduate first entering the work force. The truth is, your salary could vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):


• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)

• The industry in which you find work

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Other work experience you may have accrued

• Other skills you may have


Graduate Salary in Canada: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $46,765 CAD is the average salary earned by Education graduates, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2008.


Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.




Gaining Practical Career Experience

If you want to work in the field of education, as a teacher or in some other capacity, gaining field experience through practicum positions (also known as field placement positions and internships) is vital to your success.


Luckily, education programs in Canada and the United States incorporate practicum positions as mandatory elements. In fact in many of these programs, field experience in schools are an integral part of each semester.


Through practicum positions, you are provided with opportunities to apply what you’ve been learning in school; opportunities to test your professional knowledge and practice in a variety of settings.


In addition, field experience involves connecting you as a student, with practicing teachers who act as professional mentors. This mentorship and relationship helps you become confident as a teacher, and effectively prepares you for a future career in education.


Benefits of a Practicum Position

• Chance to observe and participate in the day-to-day realities of teaching in a school setting

• Observation and interaction in classroom settings of different age levels

• Chance to examine your own understandings of teaching, and learning

• Allows you to promote and participate in communities of inquiry pertaining to current and local issues in education

• Enables you to gain understanding and awareness of how you are developing as a teacher

• Enables you to gain understanding and awareness of how you relate to social, cultural, and political contexts of teaching and schooling


Typical Practicum Criteria

• The practicum aspect is typically arranged by the institution, rather than by you

• Field placement programs typically involve a few weeks every semester for the duration of the degree

• The final year, or final semester of the final year, is dedicated to professional development through field service

• You may be required to gain field experience at the elementary, junior and secondary levels


Please Note: This set of criteria can vary greatly depending on the college or university where Education is being studied



Relevant Scholarships

Looking for help paying for school? Search our scholarships database for Canadian and American education-specific scholarships.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.



Professional Associations in Education

Professional associations in education are collections of practitioners, organizations and agencies committed to the support, development and enhancement of the professions within the field of education.


If you are interested in a career in education, you should consult these websites for more information.


American Federation of Teachers

Canadian Teachers Federation

National Education Association (United States)



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