Here we look at potential e-learning careers for former teachers if you are planning to take the plunge and change jobs. Your experience working in a school, college or university will have given you a range of valuable, transferable skills that give you access to employment in other sectors or the ability to start your own business.
Once considered a ‘job for life’, teaching now has a relatively high staff turnover. Many countries, including the UK and US, are seeing thousands of these valued and highly educated people leaving the profession each year.
This is often due to frustrations with beurocracy, management, chasing targets that can seem arbitrary or political, and a lack of time to focus energy on what teachers generally sign up for – teaching.
Alternative Jobs for Education Professionals
There are now many online opportunities that not only give you the chance to use your skills outside of the school environment, but that give you the flexibility to work outside of the traditional timetable. This could be particularly useful for those raising a young family or that want to work fewer hours each week and find an ideal work-life balance.
Every year, growing demand for online education and training is bringing more e-learning job opportunities.
More and more schools are offering online classes and even before the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in 2020, some had moved to entirely web-based tuition. Some pupils based across disparate locations of suffering from injury or health conditions that make attending bricks and mortar school impossible rely on online teachers. Generally speaking, these positions can be done entirely from the comfort of your own home. All that is required is your particular knowledge, a steady internet connection, a computer, anything you might need for your particular class. There are several different types of class delivery that you can use.
For example, some classes are done via live lecturing. Others involve pre-uploaded videos, lists of reading materials, exams, diagrams, and other educational tools. Different schools have different requirements for how each class is to be conducted, some more fluid than others. Within the parameters set by the school, it is then up to each teacher to create their own individuality for the teaching, while following the curriculum.
Online University Lecturer
The most obvious option to consider is to deliver online learning through a college or university. Depending on your preferences, qualifications, and interests you can consider either an online option through a major university or a newer online-only college. Many of the top UK universities, including Essex, Birmingham and London, offer a wide range 100% online learning options for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Essex are particularly good at signposting regular Virtual Open Days to guide students through the process.
As the trend towards online learning is accelerating, colleges and universities need to growing their teaching staff.
Create on Online Course
Teaching will have helped to develop not only the knowledge within your subject, but the ability to convey that information to students. If you create an online course, you can monetise some of those skills that you have honed in the classroom.
As discussed on this GetThatJob article on alternative jobs for former teachers, there are many options for hosting and selling your online course, such as Skillshare and Udemy which have their own large audiences, so you can focus on creating the content and sharing your knowledge and subject matter expertise, rather than the marketing side of things.
A popular option for linguists in particular is to become an online English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. Many people seek to learn English as a second language for business or as a hobby, and the demand for teachers is higher than ever before. One option to consider is English First. With this school, you can choose to teach either children or adults. Another option to consider is Landi English. If you enjoy working with children, you can also consider VIPKid. These are only a few of many options. These jobs often have odd hours because your students may be anywhere in the world. For example, with VIPKid, your students will be located in China and the class sessions are live. How and when you want to work will dictate which type of organisation you work with.
The next option to consider is becoming a remote academic editor. There are a few ways to do this. First, you can peruse remote working sites such as UpWork and Freelancer. With these options, you can set up an account detailing your particular expertise and credentials. Then, you can look for posted jobs that match your skills. The second option is to reach out to potential clients directly. This can be to specific academic bodies, or you can set up a website and social media accounts to attract the right kind of clients. Either way, this is an excellent way to work on your own schedule and benefit the academic world, all from your sofa if you choose.
For those with both a great understanding of pedagogy and the imagination and technical skills to construct the e-learning experience, there is great potential for work as an Instructional Designer. A typical job description and person specification will include:
- Designing creative and solutions-led content for bespoke learning that may include courses, point of need tools and quick how-to guides
- Defining the performance measures needed to evaluate transfer of learning in the workplace
- Contributing to innovations in technology solutions and learning design
- Project and client management
- Highly literate with demonstrable writing ability
- Excellent eye for detail and curiosity to get to an underlying need and business problem or issue
There are quite a few options for remote tutors. Regardless of what your particular area of expertise may be, there are remote tutor positions available. There are websites like MyTutor dedicated to bringing tutors and students in need together. If you are interested in signing up with one of these companies, all you have to do is sign up with your credentials.
If you do not want to work through one of these companies, you can set up your own website and work on a freelance basis. Either option can be done remotely and from anywhere with an internet connection. If you do choose to work through one of the remote tutoring companies, you will need to choose whether you want to work with one that specialises in the appropriate age range. Some companies only offer services for younger school age children, some with GCSE or A Level students. If you feel confident and qualified enough, you can also consider working with more than one age group.
These are only a few of the many potential e-learning job options to make use of your education experience and there are likely even more options in the form of freelancing in your area of expertise. Whatever you choose, good luck, and be confident that even if you are to leave the teaching profession, there is plenty of demand for your skills and experience!