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There are now more ways to become a teacher than ever before — all you have to do is educate yourself on the possibilities.

Educational jobs are always in demand, especially in expanding fields such as computer training and teaching. These jobs are not only part of many traditional school curricula, but can also be found in many corporations that require their staff to be trained in using information technologies.

If you're considering a teaching job in today's market, it may come as a surprise to learn that there are many new options in the teaching profession. While the need for teachers at the primary and secondary school levels is still strong, there are also many new areas of teaching specialization. There are training programs in both government and commercial settings. Seminars and conferences offer training in new management and manufacturing techniques. And of course, colleges and technical schools have expanded their programs to meet the needs of new types jobs; you can now attend classes in anything from wine making to video game design. So when you're looking for a teaching career, it's a smart idea to expand your lesson plan to include these less traditional avenues.



If you're looking for a traditional teaching position in a public school setting, this is one of the best times on record. A strong demand for the ''basics'' of education has meant that skilled teachers are a valued commodity, especially those with skills in multilingual education or special education. New programs in computers and Internet use have also fuelled a modest growth in teachers who can provide skills in these areas.

Not all education jobs involve teaching at the local schoolhouse. Besides traditional teaching positions, there are many higher education jobs available for those with the right skills. Colleges and technical schools all require teachers to train students in both general and specialized areas. Education and jobs go hand in hand in today's workplace, with even seasoned professionals returning to the classroom to learn new skills or brush up on old ones. In addition to these classroom settings, many corporations have in-house training programs for their employees, especially when new techniques and concepts need to be rolled out.

In addition, there are new possibilities for teaching on the Internet, through distance learning, and through community college/alternative teaching settings. While not part of the traditional public school setting, these teaching jobs are still an excellent alternative for those who want to teach but don't want to work in a school setting.

Working Conditions

While most teaching jobs take place in a classroom setting, that classroom can cover a wide variety of places. Science and engineering teachers work in labs which may involve computers, test facilities, simulations, and even robotics. Computer teachers at the school level typically work in large computer ''labs'' with dozens of individual units, while their corporate counterparts often work with presentation equipment and leave it to the students to bring their own computers. Hours for such jobs are usually 9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, although some settings, such as in most schools, may involve night and weekend work grading exams and setting up lesson plans. Also, most traditional public school teachers don't work during the summers, so preparing for a long, salary-less vacation is an important consideration.

Qualifications

Teaching at the school level typically requires a BA degree and a teaching certification, which is earned via class work at the college or junior college level. Most school districts also require regular classes to update skills and maintain certification status. Teaching job requirements in college level classes can vary widely; often sufficient knowledge of a subject and recognition of your prominence will be enough to net you an interview at the very least. Computer teachers in particular need to be well versed in current computer languages, programs, and related topics such as math and basic electrical engineering.

Earnings

According to the 2006 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the median earnings of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers is $43,580 to $48,690 per year. Preschool teachers earned a median of $22,680, with the average of all public elementary and secondary school teachers in 2006 being approximately $47,602.

Advancement

The traditional route for advancement in public education is through the administrative path. Most teachers in this career path opt to take on administrative jobs at the district level, or to become principals, counselors, or special educators.

Corporate educators, especially in the computer teaching arena, often move up to managing teaching or IT departments. Some are able to build a sufficient reputation to move into consultancies or other private practice alternatives.

Employment Outlook

Teaching positions at the public school level are expected to grow at a rate slightly higher than the national average of other jobs through the 2006 to 2016 period. Positions for specialist positions in government and corporate settings are expected to grow at a somewhat higher rate as companies invest in better employee training in the new international economies. Most large companies are also investing in their own computer training divisions, especially when IT functions are a major part of the job.

Conclusion

Looking for a career in education? If you're willing to look further than the traditional public school route, you may be pleasantly surprised to find new options that may not have occurred to you before. And that's a great thing to learn!
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