Options with your subject
The following information is applicable to both undergraduates and post-graduates interested in entering the teaching profession. You will also find information on specific jobs related to this subject, occupations where your degree would be useful and how to get started if you are not too sure.
Your degree will open the door to many graduate jobs and careers, but the following areas are among the most popular pathways for teaching graduates.
Teaching jobs are available in all areas and, at risk of stating the obvious, there are usually more jobs available in towns and cities than in rural areas. The current situation regarding student numbers in schools is highly varied. Depending on where you are in the country and on the age group, you might find that in some areas there are low numbers of students in secondary schools but high numbers in primary schools. This of course will change as the latest population boom moves through the school system. What this means is that you need to research where you wish to teach thoroughly. However if you are flexible about location and/or are willing to take supply teaching or part time work you should fine.
With the temptation to take any job that comes up in teaching please take time to consider the type of school you would be happiest in. It is important to get the first year of your teaching career right for you.
There are also wide regional differences: the North-west, North-east and South-west in particular are very competitive, while in London there is a greater turnover of staff leading to higher vacancy rates.
Some subjects at secondary level are also more in demand than others and it is useful to keep an eye on the Get into Teaching website, where these shortage subjects are highlighted. Independent Schools also welcome Newly Qualified Teachers. The induction programme offered by independent schools is recognised in the maintained sector.
Education Alternatives produced by AGCAS
Post compulsory sector
Further Education (FE) encompasses full-time, part-time, academic and vocational learning, for those over the age of 16 in college and community settings.
It is possible for holders of the PGCE (PCET) with Qualified Teacher in the Lifelong Learning Sector (QTLS) to obtain posts in schools. Chances of employment in state schools will vary with subject offered and work experience.
FE lecturers employed to teach basic or essential skills are additionally required to hold, or work towards, a specialist Skills for Life teaching qualification in literacy, numeracy or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) qualification.
If you are training to be a teacher you will be getting a lot of teaching practice but it is still important to get as much classroom experience as you can. You also need to utilise your experience fully when applying for jobs.
A good way of gaining further classroom experience is to do some supply teaching, taking a temporary contract or part-time work or working as a Teaching Assistant. Take a look at this useful information guide on being a Teaching Assistant.
You may also find some teaching related experience via our voluntary work and general work experience pages.
As a qualified and practicing teacher you will be offered considerable opportunities to learn and/or specialise via the well established Continuous Professional Development Programme (CPD). See the Teaching Agency website for more information on this.
A variety of initial teacher education pathways, Continuous Professional Development opportunities, and specialist trainings are also available in the Steiner Waldorf movement in Britain and Ireland.