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Finding a Plan B: 25 Career Options for Education Majors

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If you feel stuck in your job search, do not lose hope. First and foremost, the labor market is not as bleak as you might believe. If a traditional teaching position is your primary objective, be persistent. The fastest way to increase your job prospects is to expand the geographical parameters of your search. If you have not done so already, connect with your college's career services office or faculty for troubleshooting. They can also help you gain a competitive edge by reviewing your resume, cover letter and interview responses.

If you are limited in your geographical mobility or are thinking about leaving a traditional teaching role, remember that you are marketable because of your liberal arts background. Your interdisciplinary coursework has given you versatile expertise and skills in communication, writing, critical thinking and problem-solving. You also have the ability to build rapport quickly with others and to share information effectively. Employers realize this, and consequently may not require specific majors for their current openings.

Depending on your background and interests, you may qualify for and enjoy the following occupations.

1. Admissions Counselors or Academic Advisors
2. Residence Hall Director
3. Disability Services Coordinator
4. College Student Activities Director
5. Adult Literacy and GED Instructor
6. After School Programming Coordinator
7. Public Relationships Specialist
8. Church or Temple Children's Ministry Coordinator
9. Daycare or Camp Manager
10. Assistant Director of the Multi-Cultural Center
11. Learning Center Instructor or Tutor
12. Library Technician
13. International Students Advisor
14. Residential Counselor at a human services organization
15. Corporate Trainer & Professional Development Specialist
16. Manager or Supervisor
17. Human Resources Recruiter
18. Case Manager
19. Lobbyist
20. Non-profit Director
21. Account Manager or Sales Associate
22. Recreation Director
23. Financial Advisor
24. Youth Director
25. Community Relations Director

The list above is only the beginning and is not comprehensive. Your options as a liberal arts graduate are innumerable. If you pursued secondary education and earned a degree in a specific discipline, it may afford you additional opportunities. For example, if you also majored in biology, check out your local science museum, national park, or regional hospital. Research or conservation positions may exist. To learn more about these and other occupations, visit O*Net or the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

What alternative careers would you consider if you weren't a teacher? What knowledge and skills make teachers marketable? Post your thoughts below.

Billie Streufert
Director, Career Services
University of Sioux Falls

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