Most students who earn a degree in education, whether early childhood, elementary or secondary education, become teachers. However, there are some who hold an education degree who choose not become a classroom teacher for a variety of reasons but seek careers that will use the skills they’ve worked hard to learn over their college career. Fortunately, they have plenty of other career options that will use their education credentials.
Textbook publishers and developers of educational materials hire individuals with education experience to write, edit and fact check textbooks and other classroom materials. Experienced educators who have an understanding of educational standards and curriculum development can help ensure that textbooks meet the needs and guidelines of school systems. If you have an education degree, you can provide a valuable service to publishers as they develop the teacher’s guides for the textbooks, as you have firsthand knowledge of what teachers need and want for teaching their students. Test development and preparation firms also hire trained educators to help design standardized tests for students.
If you have an education degree and experience teaching, you could have a successful career in corporate training. Companies of all sizes hire trainers, on both a short-term and permanent basis, to work with employees to develop their skills and competencies. Even if you were trained to teach children, many of the principles of education are relevant and your knowledge of learning theories, classroom management and curriculum development can help you develop engaging and effective corporate training programs.
State and federal agencies often seek individuals with education degrees to work in education administration, planning, evaluation and research. While for the top-level governmental positions you’ll most likely need an advanced degree and some classroom teaching experience, you can still work in some of the lower levels of government with a bachelor’s level degree. In this type of work, you may be responsible for developing state education standards, reviewing teacher preparation programs, evaluating state education results or consulting with government officials about education in your state as they develop policies.
The nonprofit sector also presents many opportunities for those with education degrees who do not want to work in the classroom. Major organizations such as the United Way, YMCA, Boy and Girl scouts and Boys and Girls Clubs often hire those with education experience to help develop and operate programs for children to ensure that the programs meet established goals and support the development of children. Some nonprofits engage trained teachers to help with advocacy as well, to provide an educator’s perspective on issues that are important to the organization and assist with researching and writing position papers and statements.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.