What You Need to Know for a Graduate Job in Education
Education and training are commonly integrated together and this sector is made up of a diverse range of institution that include higher education/tertiary; schools; vocational education and training (VET) colleges; private and industry-based education and training organisations, and adult community education (ACE).
Careers in this industry are essential positions that are needed in society, their focus mainly on ensuring students gain the proper education they need to prepare for their futures, and also offer a stable work life. This industry includes a variety of careers and positions, the main occupation pathway being primary and secondary school teachers, education aides/special education teachers, and university lecturers and tutors, however you can also find yourself in careers such as:
- Day care and preschool instructor
- Guidance counsellor
- Museum education officer
- Educational psychologist
- Foreign language teacher
- Music teacher
- School administrators etc.
There are requirements you need to have in order to be qualified in the teaching sector depending on the occupation1:
- School teaching A bachelor’s degree in education or a relevant bachelor degree and a diploma of teaching
- Special education A teaching degree specialising in special education or a one-year postgraduate qualification
- VET or ACE A formal teacher training and work experience
- Higher education/tertiary teaching A high level of academic performance at the undergraduate level, postgraduate degree qualifications and the ability for in-depth research
Employers in the teaching and education industry also require candidates to have general skills such as:
- Creativity, flexibility, energy and patience
- Clear communication skills
- Confidence and leadership skills
- Time management and organisation skills
- Good understanding of your subject areas
What to Expect
With the diverse range of career opportunities available in the education and training sector, there are many different tasks that you are expected to do that are associated to your chosen occupation. These are popular pathways for career opportunities in the industry that Australia is having a skill shortage of with tasks that may include2:
Early Childhood Teachers
- Promoting language development through storytelling, role play, songs, rhymes, and informal discussion
- Observing students to evaluate progress and to detect signs of ill health, emotional disturbance, and other disabilities
- Observing nutritional health, welfare and safe needs of students
- Providing a variety of experiences and activities that can develop motor skills, cooperative social skills, confidence and understanding etc.
Primary and Secondary School Teachers
- Teaching literacy, numeracy, social science, creative expression and education skills
- Maintaining class and scholastic records
- Creating activities that can develop students’ interests, abilities and coordination
- Preparing, administering and marking tests, projects and assignments to evaluated students’ progress
- Discussing individual progress and problems with students and parents etc.
Special Education Teachers
- Assessing students’ abilities and limitations with regard to intellectual, physical, social and emotional disabilities, exceptional intellectual gifts, or specific problems of language and culture
- Teaching basic academic subjects, and practical and self-help skills to hearing and sight impaired students
- Discussing with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons for special needs students
- Advising, instructing and counselling parents and teachers on the availability and use of special techniques etc.
Vocational Education Teachers
- Creative effective learning options to meet the needs of students
- Teaching students using teaching aids (includes presentation of lesion materials, discussions, workshops, laboratory sessions, multimedia aids and computer tutorials)
- Consulting with education managers, librarians, students counsellors and other support staff
- Planning, designing and developing course curriculum and method of instruction etc.
- Providing assistance to small groups of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori students
- Assisting with preparing teaching aids, and copying and collecting written and printed material
- Assisting children with intellectual, physical and behavioural difficulties with their academic studies
- Demonstrating, supervising and participating in activities which enhance the physical, social and emotional and intellectual development of children in schools and preschool centres etc.
University Lecturers and Tutors
- Preparing and delivery lectures, and conducting tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions
- Participating in setting course and degree requirements, curriculum revision and academic planning
- Conducting research and undertaking consultancies in a particular field of knowledge
- Supervising work programs of postgraduate and honours students and tutorial staff etc.
Employment growth is influenced by a range of factors including the number of school-age children in the population, school retention rates and government policy. The main graduate employers include private schools, further education colleges, universities, local government, and educational charities. According to the Department of Employment of the Australian Government, Australia is experiencing a skill shortage in the education industry for teachers for early childhood, primary and secondary schools, special needs, and vocational education.
A full time career in the profession of education can earn you the median base salary of $71,000 with the upper quartile of $92,500 and lower quartile of $55,0003. Statistics from a 2014 survey showed that the median starting salary of a bachelor degree graduate in full time employment for education is $59,000 with males earning a median of $59,700 and females $59,0004.
1 Graduate Opportunities, Education & Training, 2015
2 joboutlook.gov.au, overview, 2015
3 LiveSalary, Your Salary Search Results Education, 2015