“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” -WB Yeats
A career in education calls for individuals who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of young minds. Education today needs teachers to be an alchemist, combining the ordinary and mundane into something new and unexpected. A teacher’s creative skills and teaching ability can create a learning space where learners are excited about learning something new, exploring it, experimenting and engaging with it.
A day in the life of an educationist can vary greatly depending on the subject and grade level at which they teach. Their job does not end with the school day. Although standing in front of the classroom is a huge part of a teacher’s responsibilities, their role extends far beyond that, into the lives of their students, their students’ families and their community. Great teachers motivate, inspire and lead.
You can choose to teach very young students from pre-school through the elementary grades; or you can work with middle and high school students and specialize in arts, sciences, math, or technology.
Another choice you can make is to work with physically, emotionally or intellectually challenged students as a teacher, guidance counselor, psychologist, physical or occupational therapist or social worker.
A career in education may require you to use your leadership skills to mentor other teachers, lead curriculum design teams or pursue leadership options as a principal or school head.
1. Career Options
- Preschool, High School, Higher Ed
Preschool teachers supervise, care for and educate children in daycare centers and schools whereas high school teachers educate students in higher grades. Apart from teaching, the roles include curriculum development, assessment creation and pedagogy development. High school teachers typically specialize in a specific subject, like math, science or English, however this requires them to have a master’s degree. Apart from teaching, the role of the teacher may include administration, emotional counseling and cultural development in the lives if students.
A librarian is a professional trained in information science. A school librarian works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats, recommending the correct materials needed for research and learning, instruct students and teachers how to acquire, evaluate and use information. They also assist with the technology needed in this process, and introduce students and young adults to literature and other resources to broaden their horizons. Librarians are responsible for a vast amount of information, from the classic management of books and periodicals to more modern responsibilities involving audio and video recordings, as well as digital resources.
- Theater Arts Teacher
A theater arts teacher has the opportunity to combine their creative talents with teaching and education. They teach acting principles and techniques to individuals or groups. Teachers in this field are involved in training students how to communicate, control and project their voices, and present themselves on stage. Their responsibilities may include creating lesson plans, introducing students to plays and the history of drama. They also assist students in creating their own dramatic pieces, organizing and managing the creative environment, directing performance rehearsals, helping to assemble and manage lighting, props and sets, and assessing students’ performance.
- Curriculum Development
An educational professional in curriculum development is one who focuses on the topics that students learn and the materials that teachers use in the classroom. These professionals need to possess a graduate degree and have teaching or administrative experience. The development of curriculum is aimed at improving learning content, enhancing pedagogical techniques and enhancing student performance. In this role, teachers are required to make decisions about learning outcomes they want, setting context for learning, and which assessment tools are most effective. This requires them to critically examine the existing curriculum with the aim of increasing the diversity of instructional strategies available.
- Special Ed Teacher
Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning disabilities which may be mental, emotional, or physical disabilities. Most special education teachers work in public schools, teaching students at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school level. Others work in private schools, childcare services, and other health institutions. A small number of special education teachers work with students with mental retardation or autism, primarily teaching them life skills and basic literacy. This kind of teaching requires sensitivity, dedication and commitment.
- Vocational Education
Vocational education teachers, teach skills for particular occupations or trades. They might work in a public or private institution, such as a middle school, high school, community college, or independent technical school. A vocational educator may also offer career advice and other practical assistance to students. In a middle or secondary school, a vocational teacher’s main role is to expose students to practical skills that can be utilized in their careers and lives later on. Some common examples are culinary arts, computers, and woodworking.
- Dance Instructor
Dance educators are responsible for leading dance classes for individuals or groups of people. Their duties are closely related to teaching various dancing techniques. Dance coaches are typically former dancers themselves, and may have received many years of extensive dance training. In addition to choreographing and teaching routines, a dance coach must monitor the progress of his or her team and vary instruction to meet the needs of individual members. They may work at production companies or at schools, universities, and colleges.
Guidance and counseling services and programs promote the personal, educational, and career development of students. Counselors need to listen to, empathize with, encourage and help empower students to make informed career choices. School counselors bridge communication with parents and help guide them as they make choices with their children. They may sometimes serve a dual role of educator (through guidance education activities) and counselor (through counseling services).
- Speech Pathologists
A speech pathologist works with people who have a variety of speech-related disorders. Most speech pathologists work in preschools as well as elementary and secondary schools. Other speech pathologists work in hospitals, offices of other health practitioners, including speech-language pathologists, nursing care facilities, home health care services, individual and family services, outpatient care centers and child day care services. A master’s degree in speech-language pathology is usually the minimum educational requirement, and such programs require supervised clinical experiences. Additionally, speech pathologists may assist patients who’ve been in accidents or other traumatic incidents in learning or relearning proper swallowing techniques.
- Music/Band Instructor
Music teachers teach students the fundamental principles of music and the skills required to be a musician, such as music theory and basic notation. They teach students how to sing or play instruments, such as drums, pianos or guitars. In addition to teaching, music teachers also direct school musicals or ensembles for public performance and help develop educational programs in music. They are also responsible for identifying musical talent in their students in order to encourage them to undertake further musical studies, such as joining a school orchestra or band. As teachers, they may work at schools, colleges, and universities or work as directors for a choir or band.
- Physical Education Teacher
Physical education (PE) teachers instruct students in sports, recreational activities and healthy lifestyle issues, in order to encourage and develop physical fitness and skills, self-esteem and interpersonal skills. The physical educator is to provide maximum physical activity time within the class period, teach skills and activities that transfer into physical activity outside of physical education class, motivate students to be physically active, and take the role of physical activity director for the school. They also coach sports teams and train them to compete in national and state level championships and competitions.
- Training and Development
Training and development refers to ongoing educational activities within an institution or organization designed to enhance the performance of its teachers. Training and development programs may include a variety of educational techniques and programs intended to develop skills, improve techniques and enhance productivity. These trained professionals develop content that is structured to assist teachers in improving their own knowledge, reflecting on previous experiences and eventually producing more effective teaching methods.
E-learning facilitators develop courses that can be studied on a computer network. As an E-learning specialist you would be involved with programming, coding, web designing and graphics. You would also need to communicate well, give presentations, and design interesting e-learning programs. A successful e-Learning specialist has dual skills in software management and education. The specialist needs to understand how to engage students on the Internet by providing e-Learning modules which are relevant to the students’ age, curriculum need and skill level.
- Outbound Learning Facilitator
Outbound experiential learning is a process through which a learner constructs knowledge, skill, and value directly from an experience within the environment. The facilitator is meant to understand the participant’s frame of mind and create experiences that leave a lasting impact. Using outdoors, nature and adventure activities, outbound certified trainers plan course curriculum and facilitate outdoor learning experiences. There are numerous courses available at the national level that help you train as an outbound learning facilitator.
Education administrators, manage the day-to-day operations of schools, colleges and universities. Administrators are also hired by private preschools, museums, and libraries to manage curricula and educational programs. Administrators may be employed as principals, lead teachers and other members of school staff. They are responsible for setting goals and objectives of the institution and evaluating their school’s progress toward meeting them. Education administrators also manage the overall operation of schools, including building maintenance, cafeteria services, student’s health and wellbeing and managing relationship with parents. In addition, they set and oversee academic standards and ensure that teachers have the tools and resources, such as training and infrastructure, necessary to meet these standards. Administrators may also work in colleges and universities to plan and oversee educational policies. Within an education-based organization, an administrator generally serves in a leadership position, overseeing teachers, support staff, and students.
- Policy Making
Educational policy professionals implement changes in education at the policy level working with government and education departments. They constantly enhance teaching methods, learning environment, and curriculum in order to improve our education system and raise success ratings. In general, educational policymakers evaluate how well a curriculum meets previously set goals for student performance. They research teaching methods and techniques and develop procedures to determine the levels of teacher performance and student achievement.
Archivist and curators are responsible for documentation, cataloguing, and maintaining archived documents or objects. Documents or items can include photos, movies, sound recordings, paper collections, letters, and public records which have historical value. Private companies, public libraries, government agencies, museums, history organizations, and schools hire archivists. Most curators work at museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and historical sites. Curators usually specialize in certain disciplines such as history, art, or archeology. Training in museum techniques would help land any of these positions. Some colleges offer degrees in archival studies, conservation, or museum studies. Curators need a solid background in their field of interest, with advanced degrees and field experience.
The job of a historian is to gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals. Their responsibility involves having to trace historical development in a particular field, such as social, cultural, political, or diplomatic history as well as conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials. Historians may also teach and conduct research in colleges, universities, museums, and other research agencies and schools.
- Museum Educationist
The Museum educationist aims to deliver high quality programs that enable learning and participation within a museum. They ensure that a museum’s collections act as a learning resource for all ages, designing and conducting programs for visiting students as well as adults. Museum educators also create learning environments inside a museum to engage visitors or use Internet learning resources, to conduct long- distance learning programs.
2. Academic Steps
- Nursery schools: Nursery Teachers Training. Minimum qualification: 10+2
- Middle schools: Teachers Training Certificate (TTC) or its equivalent. Minimum qualification: 10+2
- High Schools: Bachelor of Education (B.Ed). Minimum qualification: Graduation
- Colleges/Universities: Post Graduate degree, preferably with Doctoral Degree. Also have to qualify the National Eligibility Test (NET) conducted by University Grants commission (UGC).
- Special schools: Diploma in special Education. Minimum qualification: 10+2
Candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree with some practical classroom experience. In India, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) is needed for those pursuing a career in teaching. The minimum qualification required for entry into B.Ed. course is Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.). Holding master’s degree in a related field will be an advantage and a prerequisite in larger institutions.
- Entrance Exams
The first and the foremost requirement to start a career in academics is a post-graduation and for some colleges it is mandatory to clear an entrance examination NET (National Eligibility Test) conducted by UGC.
- Exam Pattern
The NET examination consists of 3 papers.
The questions in Paper I are aimed to evaluate the research/teaching aptitude, comprehension, reasoning ability and divergent thinking in the candidates. Paper II has 50 objective type questions from the subject picked by the candidate while Paper III includes 75 objective type questions (from the subject chosen by the candidate.
- High Ed
M.Ed. is an option for higher education after B.Ed. This post graduation degree is offered by DIET (District Institute for Education and Training) centers all over the country. After the completion of M.Ed. course, graduates can join as higher secondary teachers in various institutions. MPhil is also another option.
Certificate, Diploma and PG Diploma courses on counseling are offered by various institutes all over India. For pursuing a PG Diploma in Clinical and Community psychology, you need to have a graduation in Psychology. Counseling courses also include a certificate course in Guidance. Candidates with M.A degree in Psychology can apply for Diploma program in Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling and PG Diploma course in Rehabilitation Psychology. Postgraduate candidates can also apply for PG Diploma in Counseling.
- High Ed
You could opt for a Master’s in psychology and/or a PG diploma in guidance and counseling. For better career prospects, you may do MPhil/PhD. For those wanting to work with disabled children require a license from Rehabilitation Council of India. Candidates with M.A degree in Psychology can apply for Diploma program in Vocational Rehabilitation and Counseling.
The career prospects in the education sector are not limited to teaching. The education system has now expanded and the numerous roles in the fields of academic or school librarianship; educational psychology; educational publishing; education social; museum education; outdoor education/environmental education are available. Great efforts are being made to make education available to every child in India, and this has increased the demand for teachers which is always in short supply. The advent of international private schools and initiatives like Teach for India, are always looking for dedicated teachers. With the possibility of career growth and high remuneration, this profession is a calling that must be considered by youth in India.
A teacher who has about six years of experience would get a salary of about Rs 15,000-40000 in a private school, the corresponding pay package in government school is Rs 21,000.
While the maximum salary of a high school teacher in private sector with 12 to 15 years of teaching experience is about Rs 40,000, in government sector the salary touches Rs 30,000.
A school counselor, with an MA degree in psychology and a PG diploma in guidance and counseling may get a salary of 17,000-25000 a month. However, much depends on your expertise and skills. A counselor with a PG degree and three years’ experience can attract a salary of Rs 25.000 to 30,000 a month
In a private hospital, a fresh clinical psychologist with an MPhil degree gets a salary of Rs 30,000 a month.
4. Information on Colleges
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges in India (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list
- Jawaharlal Nehru University
- K.J. Somaiya Comprehensive College of Education, Training and Research, Mumbai
- Bombay Teacher’s Training College, Mumbai
- Lady Irwin College, Delhi
- SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai
- Government College of Education, Chandigarh
- St. Xavier’s College of Education, Patna
- Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi
- A.G. Teachers College, Ahmedabad
5. International Focus
Given Below are some of the more reputed colleges Internationally (not in rank or order).
Note: This is not an exhaustive list
Theatre, dance, music
- The Juilliard School | Dance, Drama, and Music :: US
- University of Maryland—College Park :: US
- University of North Carolina—Greensboro :: US
Given Below are some of the top education based companies in India and Internationally (not in rank or order). A teaching career can be pursued at leading schools and universities across India.
Note: This is not an exhaustive list
- ACK Media
- Calorx Education Company Pvt. Ltd
- Educomp Solutions Limited
- Greycells Education Ltd
- Manipal K-12 Education Pvt. Ltd
- McGraw-Hill Education India
- Pearson Education
- Transtutors.com India
- Career Launcher India Ltd (CL)
- Capella Education Company (CPLA)
- Everonn Education Limited
- Macmillan Publishers India
- Maxmind Abacus & Vedic Academy
- Next Education India Pvt Ltd
- Sky India Computer Education