Education Industry Review & Update: The Educationists
Depending on how you look at it, a career in education could be among the most – or least – rewarding options out there today. Salaries in this profession are definitely not in the top ten, but the job often offers other perks – including flexible work timing, travel and accommodation allowances, and the flexibility to work in any part of the world.
The global financial crisis caused colleges and universities to look beyond national borders to recruit students and faculty, as well as supporting staff. Facing financial pressure, these institutes now work hard to stay self-sufficient and have become more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent.
Against the “background of an increasingly competitive environment and reductions in public capital funding”, the Higher Education Funding Council for England recently stated that British universities might need to increase surpluses through fee hikes. Australia, meanwhile, got rid of the old quota system, pushing the country’s universities to compete for government-funded students to help bring in additional revenue.
All this at a time when technology is fast making inroads in education, and many companies are experimenting with online learning to support classroom education if not with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
Factors that are driving change in the global education sector include:
- Societal changes
- Educational paradigms
To stay current, educators need to keep abreast of these new developments sweeping through their field.
Gamification: Some statistics say that more than half a billion people play computer and video games for at least an hour each day. This includes 211 million Americans (according to the NPD Group). Gaming is now a part of school and college coursework, projects and test prep, and educators who have experience with this avenue have an edge in the international job market.
Technology-enabled learning: Facebook and online social communities of students and teachers who interact within and beyond the classroom help facilitate learning management systems. Virtual learning tools are entering the classroom, supplemented by online, real-time support that makes it possible for students to ask for help and receive tutoring when they want it.
Teaching has been ranked among the ten hottest careers for 2013. The basic qualification to enter the profession is a University degree in Education, and the average salary for a teacher is approx. US $40K. For professors, the pay-scale goes up, with typical salary for an Assistant Professor at the Postsecondary/ Higher Education level being $51.5K to $75K.
In 2010, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for postsecondary teachers was $62K per year. Postsecondary education administrators, meanwhile, typically, make $83K annually.
In the UK, the increasing demand for teachers caused a number of top graduates to opt for teacher training last year. In 2011-12, 12% of postgraduate teacher trainees had a first-class degree, according to figures released by the country’s Department for Education (DfE). Recruitment of teachers too has been increasing.
A presentation on ‘Career Alternatives, Marketability and Job Search Strategies for Teachers’ states that there is set to be 17% growth in demand for Special Education Teachers over the next decade. This is followed by 15% growth in demand for Postsecondary Instructors, 13% for Elementary School Teachers and 8% for Education Administrators. Related fields like Curriculum Assessment and Education Technology too are set to take off, with the latter to witness 20% growth in jobs between 2008 and 2018.
Teaching abroad: The possibilities
Experience in providing education is a highly transferable skill, offering immense scope for working abroad. The emergence of international schools and standardized curricula such as IB (International Baccalaureate) and Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) open up opportunities across the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In developing countries, especially, this is an advantage since the cost of living there remains low, even as teachers’ and educationists’ salaries rise. In the Middle East, for instance, several schools cater to children of expats, military personnel serving overseas, business people and diplomats, and these schools offer better pay to ensure the best teaching standards.
Globally, there is high demand for teaching disciplines such as science and maths. Among the factors schools look for in new recruits are flexibility about location and willingness to help out with extracurricular activities. To get started, teachers could explore positions through International Schools Service (ISS), Search Associates or TIE Online. Of course, you can also directly approach the schools of your choice or attend job fairs where schools come in to recruit teachers.
Pack your bags for…
…Czech Republic, South Korea, Mexico and China. If you’re a teacher, these countries need you and are willing to pay to have you there. Export countries particularly in Asia and Latin America are keen to have their citizens learn English. The Jet Program places teaching assistants in schools throughout Japan, while Chile’s Ministry of Education engages teaching assistants for public schools and provides housing with a host family, health insurance as well as a modest stipend. The Spanish government offers a program for American and Canadian citizens to act as cultural and language assistants in the country’s school system. These assistants receive a monthly stipend of 700 euro for an 8-month assignment from October through May.
Asian countries like Japan and Korea offer lucrative English teaching opportunities often listed on websites like www.teachabroad.com. Additionally, there is huge demand for English language teachers in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Thailand, Russia, China, Mexico and the Czech Republic. Several of these countries offer salary, accommodation, airfare reimbursement and other perks to attract qualified English language teachers.
Teachers today are not restricted to the physical classroom. Job applicants often explore international opportunities in virtual schools, private schools and charter schools as well.
A career in education is not just for teachers. A school, college or university needs everything from a secretary to a lab technician to an IT specialist, school administrator, and more. As demand for quality education grows, demand for these affiliated professionals too is on the rise.
Internationally, the profiles in demand within education are:
- Professor, Postsecondary/ Higher Education
- Associate Professor, Postsecondary/ Higher Education
- Assistant Lecturer, Postsecondary/ Higher Education
- Senior Lecturer, Postsecondary/ Higher Education
- Lecturer, Postsecondary/ Higher Education
- Instructor, Postsecondary/ Higher Education
- Assistant Professor of Law
- Educational Assistant
- Education Teacher, Postsecondary
- Vocational Education Teacher, Postsecondary
- Education Administrator, Postsecondary
- Fundraising Director, Higher Education
- Adjunct Professor
- Professor of Law
- Animal Science Professor
- Special Education Assistant
- Senior Health Education Specialist
In December 2013, average US salaries for education-related professions were as follows:
|Biological science technician||$32K|
|Veterinary medical officer||$69K|
|Biological science lab technician||$35K|
|Human Resources specialist||$56K|
|Animal health technician||$33K|
Median salaries for educationists (not just teachers or professors) ranges from US $23K for teacher assistants who have a high school diploma qualification, to about $62K for post-secondary teachers who possess a doctoral or professional degree in the field – and almost every amount in between. The average salary in an education-related career is $54K, though the amount can vary on the basis of location, industry, work experience and additional perks offered.
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