Despite requiring additional qualifications on top of a degree, working in education is a popular graduate career choice that offers a rewarding, but challenging, day-to-day experience.
Teaching is an ideal career choice for those who want to work with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. If you can respond to differing needs and interests and enjoy sharing knowledge with others, you'll be well suited.
Professional training is far more vocational, taking courses that will assist in the workplace such as software demos, presenting skills or developing new ways of thinking in a business environment.
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence." - Robert Frost, poet
Did you know?
The University of Oxford is the second-oldest surviving university in the world but has no known foundation date. Teaching at Oxford existed in some form in 1096, but it is unclear at what point a university came into being.
To teach in the public sector you must have qualified teacher status (QTS) gained by completing an initial teacher training (ITT) course or programme. You will need a degree in the same or a related subject to the one you intend to teach.
You must be able to relate to young people and enjoy working with them. Any evidence of this, through work experience in the voluntary sector or as a classroom assistant, will be advantageous. Communication skills are essential.
Teaching in secondary education requires strong intellect and self-confidence, as there are times when teaching can seem more like riot control than the careful nurturing of brilliant minds.
The Bachelor of Education (BEd), as an undergraduate degree, is probably the fastest way to achieve QTS, although it is typically aimed towards primary teaching covering a range of subjects rather than one particular specialism.
A popular route into teaching is the Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE). This full-time, one-year course (or part-time, two year) leads to a QTS. It combines subject and professional study with practical teaching experience.
Alternatives are the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) scheme enabling you to gain QTS by training in a school.
The Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) is an option if your degree is relevant to your proposed teaching subject. The Registered Teacher Programme (RTP) is for finalists to study for their degree at the same time as completing teacher training.
Financial incentives for those who train in 2014/15
Bursaries are available for trainees on eligible postgraduate courses in England who are not employed as unqualified teachers on the School Direct salaried route.
Bursary amounts are dependent on the subject you wish to teach and the class of degree that you attained at university, or your highest relevant qualification.
More information about the amount you are entitled to can be found on the Department for Education website, or through independent training providers.
Being head of a department, year or area such as special educational needs adds responsibility. In primary schools responsibility for coordinating key areas such as literacy, numeracy or special educational needs can be taken on.
Senior management positions such as deputy or assistant head and head teacher are the top roles. Schemes such as Future Leaders and Tomorrow's Heads are available to teachers who want to accelerate their careers once qualified.
Starting salaries for Newly Qualified Teachers are around £21,500, rising to £27,000 in London. Salaries are then subject to a set scale. Extra responsibilities lead to higher salaries - such as curriculum development or managing staff.
Experienced teachers who become Head of Department or take on other managerial posts are entitled to receive an additional allowance. Deputy Head or Head Teachers can earn from £40,000 up to £100,000.
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The Department for Education Teaching Agency claims: "during a half-hour lesson, the average teacher smiles 10 times, laughs three times, enjoys a good banter five times, praises someone nine times and has an in-depth discussion seven."