Want free career or academic advice
from a professional?

I have be interested in entering the education field for quite some time now. Since the education realm seems a bit different than the others such as business, how would one acquire an internship? Is it better to work after graduation and get a master's? How would becoming a professor at a community college fare me? If internships are scarce, what other ways/ opportunities could consult in order to get into workplace of the education realm? Thank you.

Whether it be teaching, or working at a university, propelling other people forward in their knowledge and thinking is self rewarding. I have always found myself willing to help people understand things; and I find it easy to come up with different ways to explain things so that the individual I am dealing with would be able to understand on their own terms. I am currently an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor's degree in english, with a minor in business administration. My question is, in order to pursue a career within the education realm, how would I go about it? Those who have worked as a professor/ adjuct or assistant, how did that fare you? I ultimately want to teach at the university level. Thank you.

Have an Answer?

2 Answers


Ken Simmons

Should You Go To College
Value of College
My Biggest Regret: Going to College

Answered 3 years ago

Ken Simmons

Cliff Stevenson

Making yourself marketable and getting hired in education is a little different than other fields. I always advise students in fields like business to get internships because come interview time the main thing that separates you from other interviewees is your experience because everyone has the same four year degree. However, Education is different in that all prospective teachers have to student teach, thus a built in internship. There are markets like Pittsburgh, where I taught where you had the option of doing a full year internship at a school instead of 12 week of student teaching and for me that was great. It is tougher economically to go 10 months – I got paid $6,500 for 36 weeks and ended up substituting 1/3 of the time – that’s the incentive for the school district. So, its important to make sure that your student teaching goes as good as it can because your mentor teacher will be writing your recommendation and prospective school districts will be reading the evaluation forms. The other thing I would say is if you intend to teach a specific subject, school districts prefer students whose emphasis has been the subject (e.g., history, English) rather than a BA in Education. Hire the best English student you can and then turn them into teachers not hire just an education major. Also, before I even embarked on my education degree (teaching was a second career for me in my 40’s – I got a master’s in education at age 45 to go with my BA in History and Economics) – to make sure I would be a good teacher and enjoy it I became a Junior Achievement volunteer. They put me in a high school classroom once a week for 45 minutes for 8 weeks. I did this several time and helped me realize I enjoyed being in front of a class.
I would endorse trying to get a job right out of college. I taught at one of the top 15 rated highs schools in Pennsylvania – suburban, upper middle class, 90% + of kids go to four year colleges – lot of teachers want to work here and they get the pick of who they want – having a master’s degree meant nothing in the hiring process. Got me paid and extra $1,000 a year for 14 years but cost me way more than that. Plus, I advise students who are contemplating grad school – don’t go unless you have a specific purpose. Its not like undergrad where you go to get a general education and perhaps find a field you like. Grad school is expensive and you want to know exactly why you are going and for what before you do. Plus, as was in my case, work experience will help get you into a better graduate program and get you a better job after you get your masters. (I worked for 3 years after getting my BS and it helped get me into one of the top MBA programs which then helped get me a good job upon getting my masters).
As to community colleges, first they don’t pay very well. Second, usually they hire individuals who have experience and are teaching part time in addition to other full time jobs. If you were able to land a job teaching at a community college that would sure help you get a K – 12 job.
Other things you can do to help boost your hireability – volunteer as a tutor – lots of non-profits need them for after school programs, adult GED programs ESL programs. Read – you will get asked what you read to keep up in your profession – I whipped out a typed page of all the books I had read the past three years in history, education and other subjects. Don’t be Sarah Palin!

Answered 4 years ago

Cliff Stevenson