Brought to you by University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
Historically, education has been considered a stable career niche. There has been steady demand for capable teachers and instructors.
However, Covid-19 has been an extremely disruptive phenomenon. When the coronavirus crisis hit, academic institutions had the challenge of dealing with quarantines and various lockdown mandates. Some schools closed. Many scrambled to make a transition to an online learning model. It was initially assumed that such transitions would be temporary, but no one knows how long Covid-19 will linger.
These trends might prompt you to wonder if education is still a good career niche to pursue in the age of COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some of the factors influencing the future outlook for careers in education.
University education in the age of COVID-19
When Australia closed her borders to international students and other travelers, university enrollments suffered drastic declines. According to a report by the Mitchell Institute, international students’ university enrolment dropped by 12.3%, starting towards the end of March 2020.
Happily, local demand for education has remained strong. Unfortunately, however, international students tend to be far more lucrative for universities to educate; this means that, overall, university revenues and profits have seen massive declines. In response, some universities are reducing their numbers of staff.
Experts are predicting that the next couple of years could be difficult for universities, but it is possible that a rebound could occur within 4–-5 years. Overall, in some locations such as Greater Springfield, experts are predicting that education will be one of the best career niches post Covid-19. Furthermore, the career experts at the Australian Government National Skills Commission are predicting strong future growth in demand for university lecturers and tutors.
Primary and secondary school teachers
By all appearances, there’s a bright future outlook for primary and secondary school teachers. Experts at multiple organisations, including the Australian Government National Skills Commission and Pearson.com.au, are predicting that there will be strong future growth in demand for school teachers.
Online learning is viable under certain circumstances. There are a couple of cases where it works exceptionally well. If you have a student who is willing and able to be self-directed, online learning can be extremely productive. It can also be workable in cases where you have a student who has a parent supervising the endeavour, ensuring that the student actually participates. In cases where you have unmotivated and unsupervised students, online learning isn’t likely to be successful.
A couple of important takeaways:
- Online education is likely to continue thriving post-pandemic. This will result in many employment opportunities for educators who have expertise with online media and digital platforms.
- There are always going to be unmotivated students who need the inspiration and direction provided by the presence of a teacher. In the long term post-pandemic, face-to-face education is likely to remain in demand, particularly for early childhood education, but also for other sectors too.
The verdict: Education is still a viable career nicheEveryone needs to be educated, which means that there will continue to be opportunities for capable educators. However, considering the current job market, there is likely to be brisk competition for the job openings that are made available. To be competitive for employment in this sector, it’s essential to have appropriate qualifications. This is particularly true if you’re seeking to work in higher education, a sector where education is obviously highly prized. If you’re hoping to work as a university lecturer or tutor, it’s beneficial to obtain a Master of Education or similar postsecondary degree, which can serve as a means of differentiating you from other job seekers.
In the short term, it will most likely prove challenging to find work in this sector – but that is unfortunately true of finding work in any sector. Sizable numbers of highly competent people are unemployed, so there is much competition for the jobs that are becoming available.
However, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that education is an essential industry. Students need teachers, so the education sector is quite likely to remain a viable career niche for the foreseeable future.
If you’re interested in launching a new career in academia, or you’re an educator who is interested in advancing your career, you’re invited to contact the enrolment advisors at UTS for information about the Master of Education (Learning and Leadership) online degree.