10 reasons to switch careers and become a teacher


Am I too old to train as a teacher?

Am I too old to train as a teacher?

No. Teaching is a profession that needs a diverse range of people of all ages. Whether you are a recent graduate or spent years in another industry, your experience and skills could make a difference in the classroom. In fact, there are many reasons why retraining as a teacher is a great idea.
"Graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical and Process Engineering, a degree which involved a lot of problem solving in the areas of Chemistry, Physics and Maths, I was fortunate to start my career with numerous pathways open to me. I started working as project manager in the private banking sector and after a short while I decided I wanted to follow my passion for teaching. "David Buchanan – Maths Teacher at Airdrie Academy

Reasons you should retrain as a teacher

Having teachers from all different walks of life is a real benefit to pupils. There is no one route into teaching and the experiences you have had in life and in previous roles could stand you in great stead in the classroom. Transferrable skills like communication, organisation, and relationship building are vital ones in an educational workplace.

To stay an accredited teacher you need to maintain your continuing professional development, so being a teacher is a job where you will continue to learn alongside the children. Whether brushing up on subject-specific training or the latest educational research and effective practice’ .

You also learn from the students. Spending time in close quarters with the next generation will open your eyes to new perspectives and knowledge. You may be asked tough questions that test your skills or find out information pupils have discovered on their own.

You may doubt if your experience is relevant in a classroom, but chances are you have many of the transferable skills that are needed at school. The larger the variety of backgrounds the better as it gives each teacher a unique perspective and unique wisdom to share with pupils.

We have all heard about teacher’s holidays, but teacher’s salaries are worth hearing about too. As are the pensions schemes you can sign up for. So alongside the rewarding aspects of the role, there are practical benefits that are worth switching careers for.

Many people come into teaching later in life or after time spent in previous careers. You may be surprised at the variety of backgrounds of your new peers.

It’s cliche because it’s true. Being a teacher is a job where you can make a real and tangible difference in your pupils’ lives. Most people still remember their favourite teacher, or the lessons and classes that had the most impact on them. Being a teacher lets your wisdom and knowledge pass on to the next generation. From teaching live lessons, fuelling a love of education, to the nuts and bolts of your subject you can positively affect your pupils’ future.

The energy, curiosity and exuberance of today’s youth will keep you on your toes. Children view the world differently and are not weighed down by the same stresses and strains of adults.

The gift of curiosity is one of the best gifts we can give young people. And it is your job to do this every day. Sharing a love of learning is rewarding and supporting a learner to grasp a tricky concept, another master a subject, or one go off to study at a higher level are all rewards of a successful teacher.

Each pupil has their own needs, and no two classes are the same. If you are someone who gets bored easily then teaching is the role for you. With new students each year, changes to subjects, and new learning the job is never short of variety.

Teaching is one of society’s most vital roles and schools always need teachers. You will be moving into a career with great job security and one that matters.

"I came to teaching after having worked in other jobs and this gave me many transferable skills I could bring to the classroom. I had always enjoyed imparting my knowledge, training and counselling staff and knew I wanted to work with young people so teaching felt like the ideal career. "Lynn Robertson – Home Economics teacher at Cults Academy

Hear from other teachers and university staff on a career change into teaching

Talking Teaching: Career Changers