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Should I pursue a secondary career if my teaching career doesn't work out?

I would like to know if its good to keep options open or if I should stick to one career entirely.

Thank you comment icon Hi Charity, I will start by saying I am not a teacher so my experience may vary from those who are. I think ultimately this will be up to you. Personally, I think it is fine to keep your options open--I am realizing in my own career that this can be helpful to support myself in this stage of my career as well. That being said, I do not think you need to rush to figure it all out right now. For me, I am realizing how I can keep my options open as I go. Saying this, I also have the opportunity to live with family while I get things settled, so I do have leeway. Think about your needs and act accordingly. Consult an academic advisor. Priya Mathew

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Subject: Career question for you

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Harish’s Answer

Yes, you should have a backup career in mind; depending on what subjects you want to teach, these careers may be lucrative.

If you want to teach math/engineering/chemistry/business .etc., there are a lotttt of jobs in these fields if you decide to leave teaching. For english/arts/history/music .etc., there are unfortunately not as many jobs. Choose carefully which subjects you wish to teach, and which major you'll do in college.

I recommend you get a major in whichever field you want to teach (for example, if you want to teach math, get a degree in math/statistics/finance) and a minor in education/teaching. K-12 teachers generally get a masters in education/teachers, so you can do that after you graduate your undergrad, if you plan on teaching K-12.

If you plan on teaching college/grad students, you can skip getting a masters in education, since professors are judged on their expertise in their field (and not their teaching ability xD). Get a masters/PhD in whatever you are planning to teach, though.

Always keep a close eye on the market and be willing to jump to another job if you ever feel that teaching is not for you. By having industry experience, schools/colleges will also respect you, since they'll know that you have real-world experience in whatever you're teaching.
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Janel’s Answer

Charity- what a great question!
Teaching involves planning, organizing, budgeting, communicating, finding resources, working with diversity and comfortably adapting to change quickly. As a Senior Project Manager I can tell you those are all transferable skills, (qualities that can be transferred from one job to another) which can help you as a Project Manager. Project management is rewarding-you get to work in any industry, with all type of people working towards one goal, the success of a project launch, pilot, etc.. So in your scholastic search take a look into Project Management, you may be surprised the slew of opportunities.
I hope this helps, best of luck!
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Carmel’s Answer

I think it's always wise to increase your skillset and really focus on transferable skills. This will make any career pivot much easier. Now, to your question about a backup -- it's always a great idea to have multiple options when it comes to your career path. There are roles in instructional design, training, and technical L&D that are excellent career pivots from a traditional teaching career.

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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Charity, this is a great question there are a lot of students who want to know if it's possible to have a second career to fall back on. I say yes, it is possible. The way that things are changing in the school system now you really don't know where you might find yourself. You need to understand there is more to teaching then weather or not you love to teach kids, there are also things that you may or may not agree with that the school board decides that a 6 year should learn that you don't agree with. Best of luck
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Jordan’s Answer

Always keep your options open and never box yourself in. I know a lot of people that graduated college with a degree in teaching. Most of them are still teaching today and love it. I also know a good few of them gave it up after only a few years. The ones who left teaching as a whole all found jobs in similar fields simply by having a bachelors degree and working experience.

Do what makes you happy!
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Ethiopia’s Answer

It's always good to have options when it comes to having a career especially in Education. And it doesn't have to be delving into another field of study. Your degree in teaching can assist you in other positions as well. If you are an Art teacher, you can take that degree and get a few certifications and become an Art therapist or teacher a college course around Art.

I teach for a university but I also maintain my certifications to teach in the public schools so that I keep my options open.
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Bailey’s Answer

There are so many things you can be a teacher for! If teaching is your passion stick with it! For instance, we need teachers for nursing school. They became nurses and then became teachers. If teaching is your passion you will find a place. List all the things you would be interested in teaching and then go for it! Phlebotomist need teachers, x-ray tech needs a teacher, all the different trade schools need a teacher. You can do this!
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Mason’s Answer

In this day and age, a teaching career is a great option, but it's not an end all be all. If something doesn't work out, move on! There are plenty of options that can be achieved with an education degree. For example, you could be a general manager of finance, GM at a restaurant/store, manage a business, start a small business. There are plenty of things to do if one career doesn't work out. It's always good to do what you love, don't teach if you absolutely hate it..
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Connie’s Answer

Hi Charity! To answer your question, always have a backup plan! Your career can change as your interests change, and also, the more skills and experience you acquire can lead you to different opportunities.
In your current role, take a look at the skills that interest you most, and where you can specialize in. As you move forward in your career, keep open minded of other roles in your company, and how you can support those departments with your skill set. Teaching is a general and broad skill that can lead you into training roles, developer of training content, or even leading a team.
Evaluate what your interests are in your role right now, and look to other departments to see how your teaching skills can benefit them. Also, a portfolio of any teaching content you've created can help you in the long run when applying for other roles.
Good luck!
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Luke’s Answer

You can start by turning a hobby into a form of income. If that stream grows and you like it more than teaching, that's when it might be a good opportunity to switch gears.
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Atul’s Answer

There are many who have made their living teaching. Our country needs good teachers and it is a profession that you will be proud of.
Granted that teachers do not make lot of money in some states (NJ pays well).
The salaries are not even close when it comes to the high-tech industry.
However, there are many who go the route of teaching because they get to spend time with their children in the summer when schools are closed. You do get nice pension and lifetime health/medical benefits (NJ does).
What type of teaching position you want to consider? If you are English major and want to teach English, you can always do moonlighting for proof reading or work as a technical writer.
If you are good in Math - you can also pursue software industry where you can apply your analytical skills - this is with an assumption that you want to leave teaching Math.
Pursue your passion and if you are not sure what that is then work towards that goal. If it is teaching - Just Do It. No regrets.
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