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Emerging Second Career Opportunities in Education

career change jeremy koch Mar 30, 2010
man in school

by Jeremy Koch

photo by Nicola Vetter

Experts project growing opportunities for midlife career change to teaching in the next decade

Mass Retirement of Teachers Anticipated

A new study conducted by The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) entitled How Boomers Can Contribute to Student Success projects that the aging of the baby boom generation will lead to mass retirements of teachers and administrators from the K-12 education system in the US.  This trend is likely in turn to lead to a growing opportunity for other older workers who are interested in pursuing second careers in education, as well as opportunities for veteran teachers to continue working on a part-time basis.

The Appeal of Second Careers in Education

The study, which was sponsored by Civic Ventures and the MetLife Foundation, indicates that many boomers are eager to get involved in education as they move into what were once considered to be retirement years.  The appeal of second careers in education is understandable.  Working with children in an academic setting can combine personal fulfillment, social impact, continued income, and the opportunity to work for the greater good of the community.  The report mentions several specific job categories are as being areas of likely growth.  These include adjunct teacher, teacher coach, content advisor, project coordinator, and tutor.  Opportunities are also expected to develop in related functional areas such as grant writer and community liaison.

An Opportunity For The Education System

At a time when many educators or looking for creative solutions to improve our public education system, the possibility of tapping into the talent pool of older workers who are eager to stay involved in the workforce and to give back to their communities has the potential to be a huge opportunity.  According to Elizabeth Foster, the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the NCTAF and author of this report, “Millions of boomers want to work in encore careers in education, providing an unprecedented opportunity to create a critical mass of innovative arrangements that support teachers, leverage external resources and change teaching and learning for the better.”

Also, check out our Teacher's Guide



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