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  • Teaching:
    • Pre-school
    • Elementary
    • Middle
    • Secondary
  • Administration:
    • Principal
    • Superintendent

  • Special services:
    • Reading
    • Title 1
    • Guidance counseling
    • School psychology
    • School social work
    • Occupational therapy
    • Physical therapy
    • Audiology and speech pathology
    • Library/Information services

  • Special services continued:
    • Special education
    • Career/Technical education
    • Self-Enrichment
    • English as a second language
    • Curriculum supervision
    • Subject area supervision
  • Tutoring services
  • Test preparation


  • Elementary, middle and secondary schools:
    • Public
    • Private
    • Montessori
    • Magnet
    • Charter

  • Day care centers
  • Nursery schools
  • Boards of education
  • Tutoring and learning centers
  • Test preparation companies
  • Overseas schools for military dependents


  • Obtain experience working with target age group through volunteer or part-time positions.
  • Demonstrate patience, creativity and the ability to work well with people of various backgrounds.
  • Develop strong communications skills to deal effectively with students, staff and parents.
  • Complete a college level teacher preparation program to obtain certification for desired subject area or grade level.  Requirements vary by state.
  • Private schools may not require certification.
  • Pursue multiple certifications to increase employability.
  • Earn master’s degree for higher pay and for a hiring edge in some districts.
  • Join related organizations such as National Education Association, International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, etc. to learn about current issues in the field.
  • Research school administration graduate programs and certification requirements for principal positions.
  • Graduate study is required for “special service” fields.  Obtain master’s degree in area to become a specialist.


Higher Education 

  • Administration and Student Support Services:
    • Admissions
    • Financial Aid
    • Advising
    • Development
    • Alumni Affairs
    • International Education and Study Abroad

  • Student Affairs (e.g., Residence Life, Student Activities, Orientation, Leadership, Greek Life, Multicultural Affairs, Recreational Sports, Career Services)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Information/Library services


  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Two-year and community colleges
  • Technical schools
  • Medical and professional schools


  • Earn Ph.D. in content area for teaching and research at four-year institutions. A master’s degree may be sufficient for teaching at two-year schools.
  • Pursue Ph.D. in higher education for upper level positions in university administration.
  • Acquire minimum of a master’s degree in student personnel, student development, counseling or a related field for student affairs positions.
  • Seek experience in higher education through student positions: Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, Peer Mentor, etc.
  • Secure significant experience in related field for technical school positions.
  • Obtain a master’s degree in library or information sciences from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA).


Adult and Continuing Education 

  • In-service education
  • Staff development
  • Professional development
  • Leisure-oriented education

  • Career/Technical education
  • GED preparation
  • Literacy development
  • English as a second language


  • Boards of education
  • Colleges and universities
  • Two-year and technical schools
  • Community organizations (e.g., YMCA, Red Cross)

  • Museums
  • Professional associations
  • Residential care facilities
  • Adult day healthcare centers

  • Vocational services
  • K-12 school systems
  • Language schools: overseas and domestic
  • Correctional institutions


  • Develop strong communication skills and the desire to help others.
  • Seek volunteer or paid experience in an area of interest (e.g., English as A Second Language training, GED preparation, literacy development).
  • Research certification and accreditation standards for instructional areas of interest.
  • Attain master’s or Ph.D. degree in adult education or a graduate degree in a subject or specialized area.
  • Earn a reputation for expertise and experience in a subject, profession, art, craft or trade.
  • Demonstrate a repertoire of strategies for teaching learners with varied life experiences: age, skills and abilities, educational level, culture and socioeconomic status.
  • Research certification options, visa requirements and overseas schools and programs for teaching abroad.


Business and Communication 

  • Training
  • Curriculum development
  • Publishing, editing, and technical writing

  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Management


  • Bookstores
  • Publishers: textbook, online, newspaper, magazine, book, educational websites
  • Test-preparation companies

  • Software companies
  • Education-related businesses: toy retailers, educational supply companies
  • Public and private corporations


  • Stay current with business and industry literature and news.
  • Research companies that utilize teaching/education experience or those that are open to hiring students from “any major.”
  • Conduct informational interviews to learn about career paths and to build a network of contacts.
  • Seek experience through part-time jobs and internships in business; experience in sales may be necessary for some positions.
  • Join related student associations and pursue leadership positions.
  • Be prepared to start in entry-level positions such as management trainee programs.
  • Learn web page design and software packages relevant to publishing and media.  Develop a portfolio.
  • Consider earning an advanced degree to specialize in business or communications fields.



  • Administration
  • Planning
  • Evaluation
  • Management

  • Research and writing
  • Teaching
  • Community affairs


  • Federal government agencies:
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Defense
    • Overseas schools for military dependents
    • Department of Labor
    • Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)
    • Health and Human Services
    • Library of Congress

  • Federal government agencies continued:
    • National Archives and Records Administration
    • National Science Foundation
    • National Endowment for the Arts
    • National Endowment for the Humanities
    • Peace Corps
    • Americorps

  • Social service agencies
  • State and local government


  • Seek involvement in student government, local political groups, local campaigns, civic organizations, community service projects, etc.
  • Acquire experience through volunteering or completing an internship in a government agency.
  • Develop strong analytical, verbal, research, writing and leadership skills.
  • Build a network of contacts through referrals and informational interviews.
  • Become familiar with the government application process. Utilize applicable websites and seek assistance from your college career center.



  • Direct service
  • Programming
  • Administration

  • Management
  • Public relations
  • Fund raising/development

  • Policy analysis
  • Research
  • Grant writing


  • Service organizations (e.g., United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army)
  • Youth organizations and camps (e.g., YMCA, YWCA, Young Life, Scouts)
  • Community recreation centers

  • Immigrant and refugee service providers
  • Shelters
  • Hospitals and hospices
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Adult day health care centers

  • Nursing homes
  • Adoption agencies
  • Churches, synagogues, and mosques
  • Correctional institutions


  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours.
  • Seek experience as a volunteer, intern or paid employee with social service or non-profit organizations.
  • Become familiar with government and community resources available for those in need.
  • Develop a wide range of skills such as presenting, grant writing and fundraising, as professionals in nonprofit organizations may fill multiple roles.
  • Develop writing, research and public speaking skills and the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Supplement coursework in with areas of interest such as business, human services, counseling or psychology.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area (e.g., public health, environment, urban issues).

General Information

  • Develop excellent communication skills, verbal and written.  Become skilled in various teaching strategies and technologies.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm and energy for the field, particularly the desire to work with and help others.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship or volunteer experience with the intended age group in various settings (e.g., pre-schools, day cares, camps, community agencies, adult centers, YMCA’s).
  • Participate in co-curricular activities and related organizations to broaden skills, interests and networking opportunities.
  • Bachelor’s degree is sufficient for certification to teach K-12 in most states. Obtain a master’s degree for advancement and to increase earning potential.
  • Advanced degrees are required for specialists, education administration, college teaching and some other professional positions.
  • Maintain current knowledge of state and national legislation regarding teacher certification.
  • Identify transferable skills learned in teaching applicable to alternative careers:
  • Verbal and written communication, teaching and instruction, program planning, organization and record-keeping, working under pressure, meeting deadlines, motivating others, creativity, working autonomously, decision-making, problem solving and research.