Education and training

Due to the constant demand for teachers, education is often seen to be a ‘safe’ choice of occupation. This perception often overshadows the reality of what the job actually involves. Teaching can be very rewarding, but it is also incredibly challenging and requires a lot of hard work. Teachers may benefit from great holidays, but the reality is that they spend much of that time preparing class plans and writing reports.

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Teachers affect people’s lives — whether positively or negatively — so the profession comes with a significant amount of responsibility. Working directly with children and young adults is the central focus of teachers, so if the thought of spending whole days with this demographic is not appealing, this is perhaps not the field of study or profession for you. Support for new teachers in the workforce is also topical. Many argue that increased funding and resources, such as professional development and mentoring, are needed for new graduates. The amount and type of support can vary greatly between employers.

Classroom teaching is not the only long-term career option in education. Some people choose to stay in the field and transfer to a different role (a school principal or university lecturer, for example), while others spend a few years in the profession and then move on. Another group take the opposite route, moving into teaching (whether in the school or tertiary sector) after years of working in a certain profession. Teachers may develop a range of skills that equip them for careers with employers ranging from large companies (educational publishers, for example) to government departments.

For more information about careers and education in this field, visit the Australian College of Educators , Australian Institution for Teaching and School Leadership and Australian Teacher Education Association websites.

Depending on your interests, courses in the following fields may also appeal: communications , health services and support , humanities and social sciences , psychology , sciences and social work .