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What if I Don’t Want To Teach? Alternative Education Careers

written by: Noreen Gunnell•edited by: SForsyth•updated: 9/5/2012

Have a teaching degree in history but no longer want to teach? That can happen after the real world experience of student teaching. Consider these career alternatives for teachers who either don't want to teach, or are unable to procure a teaching position in their desired area or school district.

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    Maybe it’s the idea of teaching the same lesson multiple times or the thought of being in a classroom all day, but something has turned you off to the idea of teaching in a traditional setting. After student teaching, many would be teachers start to question their career choice. They want to stay in the education field and be an educator, just not in a K-12 setting.

    So you took the education courses, got your teaching degree and completed certification-what, besides K-12 teaching, can you do with that? Let’s look at some career alternatives for teachers who don't want to teach:

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    Museum Education

    Smithsonian This career path is often overlooked by education majors but can lead the willing to diverse and challenging positions that will utilize their teaching degrees in unexpected ways. History majors or teachers with a specialty in history will also find many opportunities in this area of the education field. Museum education offers various jobs for teachers who don't want to teach.

    Jobs in museum education often involve liaising with school systems and encouraging teachers to use the museum's resources throughout the school year. Outreach to students is frequently involved as museum educators develop programs that attract students to the museum’s exhibits.

    Managing docents or coordinating volunteers are also examples of the responsibilities of a museum educator. Historic sites open to the public often have need of history majors or teachers of history to fill these types of positions.

    Excellent resources on museum education and the types of career alternatives for teachers available in this field include The Smithsonian (http://www.sihr.si.edu/jobs.cfm), the Museum Employment Resource Center (http://www.museum-employment.com/) and the Global Museum (http://www.globalmuseum.org/).

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    National Park Careers

    National Parks in the United States range from historic sites such as Ford’s Theater to the sweeping expanses of Yellowstone, which preserves wildlife and natural wonders. Given this array, it is clear that The National Parks need to be operated and maintained by people with various skills. Career alternatives for teachers range from educational research and training to program specialists. There are also opportunities for historians, librarians, and many other professionals. Available jobs can be found at NPS.gov or USAJobs.gov .

    The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a non-profit that focuses on conservation and internships for students and interested people under 25. It also needs to be managed by professionals and has career opportunities in the educational arena such as Program Managers or Coordinators. These types of positions often require encouraging and inspiring youth to live up to the SCA’s goals of conservation awareness and knowledge. Because of this, experience with teaching is a plus and the SCA is a viable option for teachers looking to switch careers. It is also a great way for undecided education majors to explore their options. Visit SCA.gov to find out more about internships or employment with the Student Conservation Association.

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    Corporate Training

    Depending on your area of expertise, the corporate arena offers jobs for teachers who don't want to teach. While corporations tend to have more technical training positions available, there are many career alternatives for educators with non-technical specialties. English as a Second Language instructors as well as former teachers with an artistic flair may be surprised at the type of jobs open to them in the corporate world. A site such as TrainerQuest.com is a good place to start researching corporate job alternatives for teachers.