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How to Turn Private Sector Experience into a K-12 Career

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Question: "I recently was laid off from my job as a Buyer (Capital) ... and now I plan to make a career change. I'd like to get into education, but on the business/administrative side. Please let me know if you have some advice about certifications or education that I could obtain to qualify me for something more than an entry level job. I have a BS in Business and Management with a Major in Information Technology."
--Keri O.

Answer: The business side of running a school district, especially a large district, requires many specialists. Many of these positions are similar to those in the private sector, and need the type of experience you have demonstrated. I would suggest that you begin to research the large districts in your metro area, by large, I am talking about districts of approximately 20,000 students. Smaller districts have positions too, but not as many. The advantage to working in non-educational positions in a school district is that they are much more stable than the private sector, and usually much more family friendly.

If after exploring positions you determine you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree, you may want to look under categories like: educational administration; instructional leadership; school leadership, etc. However, it would be wise to explore positions first to determine if additional education/certification is required. Then, if so, what advanced training is recommended within these areas.

Jack Kronser, Aurora Public Schools, Colorado
Joni Marie O'Hagen, St. John's University, New York

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