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Working Outside of Your Degree Field: Have You Thought of Teaching

May 20, 2017 | TeacherReady

Teacher teaching class

We recently wrote a post about the importance (or rather lesser importance) of degree majors. Sure, there are plenty of people who go to school with a laser-focused path. They know exactly what they want to do, and they choose their degree field with calculation and intention. But, that’s not all of us.

We mentioned in our blog post, The New Grad Dilemma: How Can I Use This Degree?, that nearly half of college graduates take a job outside of their degree field. In fact, many employers are paying much less attention to majors of study and looking more for valuable skills: the ability to communicate, self-teach, and think outside of the box.

Teachers Do It Every Day

It’s not surprising that many of the teachers in today’s classroom do not have a degree in education. After all, what is teaching if not the practice of the exact characteristics that we mentioned? Every day teachers must learn something new and come up with creative ways to pass that information on in a way that will help others learn. Teaching gives those of us who thrive in change and uncertainty an outlet to channel that energy while making an exponential impact.

There are few other benefits:

You Can Share Your Passion

You studied it because you loved it. Now you’re beginning to discover that there aren’t many job listings for someone with a degree in Anthropology. It doesn’t mean it was the wrong choice. As a teacher, you get to share that passion with students who still have the glint of dreams in their eyes.

If you are wondering “what can I do with a history degree”, it might be worth considering.

You Can Travel

Teachers are needed everywhere. Whether you are a nomad at heart or you just know that there will be some moving around in the next years, there is no job more universal.

You Can Affect Change

There’s no denying it. The times, they are a-changing. This will always be so. You already know that you can acclimate, but don’t you want to have a say? Change lies in the hands of the next generation. Who better to steer them in the right direction than their teachers?

Which Teachers Are Needed the Most?

Teachers in any subject are a pretty hot commodity. Though, if you really looking to teach in an area that is suffering shortage, consider these subjects:


There is no greater need for teacher than in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. If you have a degree in one of these subjects, teaching is one of the best ways to make your degree that much more meaningful.

If you don’t have a degree in a STEM area, but you have a passion and interest, you can still become certified to teach the subject.

English for Speakers of Other Languages

If you love to travel, this is one way to make it feasible. Most international schools that hire teachers from English-speaking countries want teachers who can help their students build English language skills.

Not planning on traveling overseas? That’s ok. With growing diversity in U.S. schools, teachers of English as a Second Language are needed now more than ever.

Special Education

Working with special needs students requires a special set of skills. Patience, understanding, and structure are some of the big ones. We find that this is often one of the most rewarding and most challenging teaching positions.

How Do I Get My Certification?

This is the question that often derails would-be teachers. When you begin researching the process and wading through the red tape, it’s enough to discourage anyone. Before you go down that rabbit hole, take a moment to download our simplified Guide to Certification for Non-Education Majors.

We’ve got you covered.

Planning to Teach by the Next School Year?

Make sure to give yourself enough time. Certification programs can last anywhere from 9 – 24 months, depending on the type of program that you choose. After completing a program, you should expect to wait about three months for the state to process your paperwork and issue your certificate. You can learn more about the different types of programs and the state filing process in our Guide to Certification for Non-Education Majors.

TeacherReady is an online teacher certification program designed to help grow and support a worldwide community of extraordinary teachers. Follow the blog to learn the ins and outs of becoming a teacher and for tools and practices to create a thriving learning environment for your students to succeed. We are accredited through the University of West Florida.