Subjects in Education
Benefits of Studying Education
Education is a unique area that offers a wide range of benefits to those who devote their time and efforts to it. From the practical and professional to the personal, the benefits of studying education include:
Making a difference
Few careers can be said to make a genuine, positive difference to people’s everyday lives. Working in education means that you’re able to impact people’s ambition and desire to learn, and thus their prospects. Most adults can think of that one (or multiple) teacher that inspired them to do better.
Sharing your passion
Teaching provides you with a platform to express your passion for your chosen field, which might very well rub off on the young, impressionable minds you teach.
Reasonable working times
Remember being a kid and counting down the days to half term and summer holidays? Working in education offers that same luxury, which means teachers often spend less time working than those in corporate sectors where a healthy work-life balance is often lacking.
Teacher and education professionals in general are currently very much in demand. This means that the chances of finishing your studies and facing lengthy unemployment are slim to none. ‘Redundancy’ is yet another term you won’t come across very often in this field.
Before you set about becoming a teacher, it’s worth first having a think about the level of teaching you think you’d be best suited to as that will have a bearing on the kind of teacher training and teaching qualifications that you will need to acquire.
The UK education system is made up of five key stages, with Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 making up the primary school years; Key Stage 3 and 4 corresponding to secondary level, and Key Stage 5 being reserved for students aged 16-18. UCAS stresses that it’s important to get experience teaching pupils of different age ranges to allow you to determine the one you’re most comfortable with before committing to your teacher training or a specific teaching course.
While there are some difference between what’s required of primary and secondary school teachers, both will need to have a degree, or equivalent, under their belt to be able to qualify for the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme (called the Initial Teacher Education in Scotland) and obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). There is some flexibility around how you go about completing this programme. You can either apply through UCAS Teacher Training for university or school-led ITT/E courses, or you can train to be a teacher as apart of a three to four-year undergraduate course and studying a specialist subject (e.g. history) concurrently. Aspiring primary school teachers also have the option of working as supply teachers or teaching assistants and qualifying that way. Either way, your ITT/E is a crucial component of your teaching journey, aim of which is to provide you with some hands-on teaching experience and the chance to get a feel for all the key stages before making your final decision.
Upon completion of your ITT/E and hopefully being awarded QTS, you will need to seek out a paid teaching position and begin your induction year before becoming a fully qualified teacher. Also called your probationary year, its purpose is to give you the chance to prove you can meet the Teachers’ Standards, i.e. the minimum criteria for teachers’ practice and conduct.
All teachers, whether primary, secondary or supply, will need to pass the enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and obtain a certificate in order to be able to work with students under 18.
Education is a broad area that offers a number of different routes within it. Whether you believe yourself to be better suited to working with school-age children, teenagers, or perhaps fully-fledged adults, education can provide you with the option to do so.
Special Needs Teaching
Top 6 Roles
Below is a list of top six roles in the education sector. These have been compiled according to the number of active job advertisements (as seen on Adzuna), with teaching assistant leading with 13,282 job ads and primary school teacher boasting a mere 2,949 in comparison.
2012 → 2017
Levels of Courses
Completion of this level allows you to progress on to the next level of study (Level 4/Certificate). This level may also help you get ahead in teaching and training support roles.
Level 4 • Certificate
Completion of this stage enables you to advance to Diploma-level study, though a limited number of undergraduate courses may be available to you as well. Level 4 qualification allows you to move into employment at lifelong learning organisations. You can also get teaching assistant jobs at most schools
Level 5 • Diploma
Completion of this level will fast-track your path to university and allow you to progress straight onto the final year of a relevant undergraduate degree. With additional employer-specific training, Level 5 courses will also enable you to secure employment as a teaching assistant.
Level 6 • Bachelor’s
Completion of this level gives you the opportunity to continue studying at graduate level or pursue employment in a relevant field of your choice. This allows you to undertake your Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and subsequently obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
Level 7 • Master’s
Though master’s qualifications aren’t a strict requirement to be a teacher at most schools, having it under your belt is bound to boost your prospects and make you stand out from your colleagues. Earning a master’s will demonstrate your commitment and higher-level understanding of your field, which will undoubtedly impact the quality of your teaching and prospects.
How to Become an Education Professional
Decide on the level/area of teaching you'd like to undertake
Depending on the Key Stage (1-5) you feel you’d be best suited to, you’ll need certain qualifications to be able to progress into Initial Teacher Training (ITT)/employment. Alternative, you could become a lecturer or an assessor.
Provided you’ve decided on the level of study you’re going to commit to, the next step is to obtain the right set of qualifications. If secondary teaching is what speaks to you, then a degree, or a degree-level qualification, will be a must before you can commence your ITT. For primary school teachers and teaching, you’ll only need your GCSEs and some vocational (Level 2-4) courses. Lecturing jobs will require a master’s and, in some cases, a PhD.
Apply for jobs
Depending on the role you’re after, the next step is applying for jobs in your chosen field/area. Teaching assistants can also benefit from apprenticeship schemes specially designed to train you on the job and help you get the necessary experience.
Ways to Study Education
This method involves you working independently from a place of your choice and studying uploaded course material at your own speed.
This is the traditional study method and it involves having a teaching professional use their own skills to help you understand the material.
This method entails a combination of online and in-class study. The online to in-class ratio will vary depending on the course provider.
Skills for Education Professionals
Passion & creativity
While the unique combination of soft skills you boast will serve as a starting point to any career, it’s also your character traits and hard skills that will determine whether you’ll land a job and succeed in it. Education professionals usually tend to be quite patient, committed to lifelong learning and self-improvement in addition to harbouring genuine care for students and other people.
Proficiency in IT
Ability to Motivate
What Daily Tasks Do Education Professionals Do?
Though the list of duties amongst education professionals will depend on the specific niche they pursue, the tasks that most commonly come up are:
Whether you’re after making a difference, sharing your passion or simply enjoying a healthy work/life balance, there hasn’t been a better time to pursue a job in this field.
What are you waiting for? Get started on your journey today.