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The field of education offers a wide range of career opportunities for liberal arts graduates both within and outside the classroom.  The field of education offers a myriad of professional opportunities for an individual. Within education, teaching is the area most often thought; however, there are opportunities in education administration, curriculum development, governance and leadership, and educational research and policy.  An individual can choose to work within a public or private education setting, and it is not uncommon for young professionals to start their career in the classroom as a teacher, then use the knowledge gained from their teaching experience to expand into other professional roles in education.


Instructional Roles

Elementary, Middle/High School Teacher

This is one of the well-recognized roles in education. Individuals who are patient, innovative and organized may be well-suited for this career field. Aside from being knowledgeable in a subject area or a multitude of subject areas, other valued attributes a teacher should possess are: the ability to communicate, flexibility, and a collaborative spirit. They should appreciate working with youth, have great patience, enjoy public speaking, have the ability to be firm and direct, possess compassion, explain concepts and ideas clearly, enjoy assisting someone to comprehend something they did not before, make plans which they can follow through, serve as an authority figure, and thrive on making a difference every day.  Additionally, teachers need to be adept at working with students, administrators, and parents. 

Post-Secondary/Higher Education Teaching

Postsecondary teachers educate students in diverse academic subjects and vocational areas that extend beyond the high school level. Teaching positions in colleges and universities require a PhD, and at minimum, a master’s degree for a community college. Aside from teaching, they also conduct research and publish academically. The education requirements vary with the subject taught and the type of academic institution. In additional to a degree, work experience may be important for obtaining a teaching position in a technical or trade school.

Special Education

A special education teacher works with students with disabilities, defined by the American Disabilities Act as “a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability."

Note: Certification: Individuals interested in teaching need at minimum, a bachelor’s degree coupled with appropriate teaching certification, through a traditional education program or via alternative route certification program, in order to teach within a public school.  For those who opt to teach in the private school, a teaching certification may not be needed.  Each state in the U.S. may have different certification requirements, so it's important to check ahead of time.  Learn more here.

Teaching Abroad

There are two common routes to teaching abroad; teaching English as a second language, and teaching subject matter to students in international and American schools abroad. The majority of international or American schools prefer to hire certified teachers with teaching experience. If you are interested in pursuing work in an American or international school abroad, it would be more beneficial to apply directly to the schools that match your preferences once you have received your teaching certification. There are also placement agencies that will work with college graduates to match them with internships in international schools. Teaching English as a second language is popular among recent graduates, who look for a year or two of experience prior to enrolling in advanced degree programs. Students who complete a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification are more prepared and competitive in the international teaching market; although it is not required for all teaching experiences. Some individual teaching programs help students with TEFL certification through their training programs. Usually these teaching programs require a fee to participate.

Non-Instructional Roles

School Counselor

Work with students to assist them to develop their academic achievement, personal and social development. They are an integral member of the education team and work with other members of the staff to develop programs to support and boost student success. School counselors are employed in elementary, middle/junior high, and high schools.

Reading Specialists

Certified professionals who are responsible for the literacy performance of students. They develop academic plans, provide assessment, and lead efforts to ensure the quality of the school reading program.

School Librarians

Assist students in finding information from a variety of resources and maintain the school library collection. A master’s degree in library science is needed as well as additional requirements depending on the school, such as a teaching certificate or a degree in another field.

School Psychologists

Work in tandem with teachers and special education staff to assess a student’s needs and qualification for special education services. They work with parents, and may serve on committees to help determine the type and range of services that may be appropriate for the student. These educators are certified and licensed with a minimum of a master’s degree as well as national certification as required by some states.

Teaching Assistants/Associates

Work under a teacher’s supervision to provide students additional attention and instruction. A teaching assistant needs at minimum a high school diploma or an associate’s degree.

Education Policy

Education policy organizations research, analyze and distribute findings on strategic education policy issues. Research may be conducted at the local, state, and national levels to assess curriculum, student performance within schools, analysis of teaching methods, and strategies that may affect education in noteworthy ways to improve the excellence and adeptness of education. This field involves research, writing, data collection, and analysis. Individuals who prosper possess not only a deep interest in, but also great understanding of, the field and may also be varied in their professional backgrounds such as: political science, economics, psychology, or sociology as examples of a few. It is not uncommon for professionals to begin their career in the classroom as a teacher, then use the knowledge gained from their teaching experience to move into such roles. Career opportunities can be at the local, state, or federal level as well as within an independent research organization.

Advice from the Common Good & Creative Careers Team

Volunteer for Experiential Education

If you are interested in being a teacher, consider volunteering as a tutor with an organization such as New Haven Reads or serving as classroom assistant at a local school.  You may also find value in serving as a club advisor or team coach, getting a position as a camp counselor, or attending local education-related conferences to learn about current trends and issues. It is also important to gain experience with the specific age group you are interested in working with. Consider joining an education-related campus organization or engage within the administrative offices of the local school district. Depending on your area of interest, you may engage in museum education programs, outdoor field programs, or health education. Gaining direct experience will help you to identify your interest area(s) and add to your current skill set.

You may already possess the abilities and experience for this field through your valuable, transferable skills. Do you hold a leadership position within a student organization, or serve on a committee? Do you assist peers as a student technology assistant, counselor, or course teaching assistant? If so, you are already demonstrating ‘teaching’ skills – possessing attributes such as leadership, team-building, organization, planning, and training.

Learn about the Education Studies Program at Yale

The Yale Education Studies program is distinctive as an undergraduate program grounded in the liberal arts. Because the Education Studies program is interdisciplinary, students learn the historical, political, economic and social contexts of US education, practice a variety of research methods, and are knowledgeable about contemporary policy debates. Community engagement, through the field experience, offers students greater purpose, perspective and humility in their academic studies. Students further benefit by contact with leading researchers and education change-makers hosted by the Program throughout the year, and the program continues to expand its offerings to the Yale University community.

Point: Yale Education Studies provides robust guidance and resources on obtaining Teaching Practice, including Clubs, Organizations, Activities; Teaching Internships and Part-Time Jobs in New Haven; International Summer Teaching; and Post-Graduate Pathways into Teaching.

Network with Current Professionals and Yale alums

Networking with individuals (through the Yale Career Network and LinkedIn) who are currently in the job that you are interested in is important. Learn about their career path and job responsibilities.  Professional organizations such as the American Council on Education, American Federation of Teachers, National Association of Independent Schools , National Education Association – to name a few, are great resources for identifying networking contacts to conduct informational interviews with. These connections will also be valuable when you are ready to embark on your post-graduate job search. The key is to start engaging.

Related Career Links, a Chegg service, is the world’s largest student-focused internship marketplace, bringing students, employers and higher education institutions together in one centralized location. provides a wide variety of interactive tools and services to enable every student, employer and educator to better understand and optimize internship opportunities, enabling businesses to identify the best job candidates and for students to develop the real-world skills they will need upon graduation.

American Association for Employment in Education

The American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) provides resources and networking opportunities to connect higher education and school systems, both nationally and internationally. Our valued members include: professionals from colleges, universities, school systems and non-profit and for-profit organizations. AAEE is a resource and liaison to these professionals, facilitating quality K-12 hiring practices.

American Association of Community Colleges

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents nearly 1,200 2-year, associate degree-granting institutions and more than 12 million students.

American Educational Research Association

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national research society, strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. It is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results.

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

As mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) works to build friendly, peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges, as well as public -private partnerships.

French Ministry of Education

CampusFrance USA is a service provided by the French Embassy in the United States to promote French higher education system to students and education stakeholders in the United States. Our organization provides information to institutions and students, and assists students (American citizens and foreigners studying and/or living in the United States) who wish to pursue academic projects at an institution of higher education in France for a period longer than three months. It works in close collaboration with U.S. colleges and universities, major national and international education organizations based in the U.S., French consulates throughout the U.S., and, of course, French higher education institutions. These collaborations enable us to provide up-to-date information about studying in France, to facilitate the application process, and to serve as a bridge between French and American universities.

Fulbright U.S. Student Program

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study/research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs. A candidate will submit a Statement of Grant Purpose defining activities to take place during one academic year in a participating country outside the U.S. During their grants, Fulbrighters will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences. The program facilitates cultural exchange through direct interaction on an individual basis in the classroom, field, home, and in routine tasks, allowing the grantee to gain an appreciation of others’ viewpoints and beliefs, the way they do things, and the way they think. Through engagement in the community, the individual will interact with their hosts on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity, and intellectual freedom, thereby promoting mutual understanding.

HERC: Higher Education Recruitment Consortium

HERC is the only non-profit organization devoted to connecting exceptional professionals with careers at higher education and affiliated employers that have a shared mission to promote equity and inclusion, support dual-career couples and create a future shaped by diversity of thought and perspectives.

Higher Ed Jobs

HigherEdJobs is the leading source for jobs and career information in academia. More colleges and universities trust HigherEdJobs to recruit faculty and administrators than any other source. Each month our site is visited by more than one million higher education professionals who rely not only on our comprehensive list of jobs, but also on our news and career advice. We owe our success to our knowledge and passion for higher education recruitment. Everything about our site - its design, search tools, career advice, and more - has been crafted to help college faculty and administrators advance their careers and to help employers attract the very best employees. HigherEdJobs was founded in 1996 by three university employees who felt there had to be an easier way to search and apply for jobs in academia. At the time, print ads still dominated how college faculty and staff searched for jobs - a process that was laborious, time intensive, and slow. The founders believed the Internet had the power to revolutionize higher education recruitment. So, they created HigherEdJobs as a central place on the web for higher education employers and professionals to connect.

MLA Career Resources

On this page you will find a range of career resources for PhDs in the humanities who are seeking jobs in and outside the academy, as well as guidelines and tools for faculty members and hiring departments. Although resources have been organized by audience, we recommend browsing all of them. It is useful for job seekers to understand what they can expect from hiring departments and for hiring departments to know what guidelines job seekers have been given.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): Job Search

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a professional membership organization that works to promote high-quality early learning for all young children, birth through age 8, by connecting early childhood practice, policy, and research. We advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. The association comprises nearly 70,000 individual members of the early childhood community and more than 300 regional Affiliate chapters, all committed to delivering on the promise of high-quality early learning. Together, we work to achieve a collective vision: that all young children thrive and learn in a society dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.

Search Associates

For more than 25 years, Search Associates has helped over 32,000 primary and secondary administrators, teachers, counselors, librarians, and interns find exciting positions in international schools around the world. In 2014-2015, we set a record by helping 3,142 candidates secure positions abroad, making us by far the most successful international school recruitment organization. We believe that our success stems from the decentralized nature of our organization, which permits us to give personal attention and support to both candidates and schools.

Southern Teachers Agency (Placement Agency)

Southern Teachers is the premier placement agency for private schools in the South. Since 1902, we have helped thousands of teachers, coaches, and administrators find positions at hundreds of private/independent schools around the South—from Maryland to Miami to Midland, Texas. We offer a free service to our candidates. Simply submit the application on our website, along with a resume and cover letter. If you’re accepted as a candidate, you will be assigned a placement counselor who will speak with you to learn more about you and your job search. Then we will refer your file to positions that match your search parameters. Private/independent schools are able to be more flexible in their hiring, meaning that an education major and teaching license is not always required. Instead, they look for candidates with a strong academic record and a gift for managing and motivating kids. If that is you, then you should apply today!

Teaching Certification by State

At, we are made up of current and past educators and individuals from different industries who share a common interest in advancing the field of education through spreading the often times nebulous information of the certification process for teachers and administrators. In addition, we also understand the benefits and occasionally catastrophic results of elected officials. In some small part, we hope to encourage everyone who visits our website to explore the effectiveness of their elected officials who are the ultimate decision makers for education policy.

The Muse

Browse jobs, explore the inside of top companies, and meet the people that work there.

Journal of Teacher Education

The mission of the Journal of Teacher Education, the flagship journal of AACTE, is to serve as a research forum for a diverse group of scholars who are invested in the preparation and continued support of teachers and who can have a significant voice in discussions and decision-making around issues of teacher education. These issues include but are not limited to preparing teachers to effectively address the needs of marginalized youth, their families and communities; program design and impact; selection, recruitment and retention of teachers from underrepresented groups; local and national policy; accountability; and routes to certification.

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter movement.

National Association of Independent Schools

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,800 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,500 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.

National Education Association

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.

National Employment Minority Network (Placement Agency)

Nemnet, a national Diversity Recruitment & Consulting Firm, is committed to assisting schools and organizations in the recruitment and retention of diverse teachers, administrators and coaches. Each year, Nemnet serves over 350 educational institutions and assists thousands of job seekers in their search for professional development and employment. We accomplish this through our Online Employment Center, Regional Diversity Career Fairs, Mobile App and Diversity Consulting Practice. Nemnet aspires to be the premier resource in the recruitment of teachers, administrators and coaches of color. Our primary goal is to serve as a resource to public and private schools [k-12], colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations nationwide.

A positive preschool experience can have a lasting effect on a child that can be seen throughout their school years, and even into adulthood. Early childhood educators have a unique responsibility that comes with being the first teachers that young children come into contact with outside of the home. This puts them in a position to positively influence a young student’s attitudes toward school and learning, and to help instill positive habits that last a lifetime. The wide availability of state-funded preschool programs has helped ensure that nearly all children in America today have access to a safe, nurturing and supportive environment in which to learn during the early stages of development. With a special appreciation for the importance of early childhood education, was created to offer aspiring early childhood educators a source of free information when researching state licensing requirements, teacher preparation programs, salary expectations, continuing education requirements, and advanced degree options.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education is the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents.

The primary purpose of is to offer would be educators an easy to navigate online platform that will help them learn more about specific teaching careers, along with arming them with the proper tools and tips to achieve their goal of becoming an educator.

U.S. Department of Education

ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.