Education

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Through a career in education, you will be directly or indirectly involved with helping people learn and grow, personally and/or professionally. While some careers may require advanced degrees and/or special licensure, there are many options for liberal arts students who have a desire to help others within the field of Education with a bachelor’s degree. You do NOT need to major in education to work in education or be considered an educator.

The field of ‘Education’ is defined broadly, and includes careers in teaching, instruction, and training; administration; research; academic and student support services; and much more! Some examples include teaching students in a classroom, providing training to employees in a business, designing curriculum or policies, or providing support to educators and students. Additionally, you could work in public, private, community, or higher-education institutions; within government or non-profit organizations; or within private companies.

There is not one major or minor that will prepare you for this field as there are many pathways into this profession, especially if you are pursuing an educator role that does not require licensure. Many initial licensure programs require a bachelor's degree first; you will have a comprehensive knowledge of your chosen subject matter, and then study at the graduate level to become a teacher. DirecTrack to Teaching is for current U of M freshmen and sophomores who want to explore the education field and get on the path to admission to the graduate teacher licensure program. You’ll stay in your major and college while taking education-related courses, doing service-learning in local classrooms, and building relationships with other future teachers on campus.

Additionally, you can search for graduate school programs use the Grad School Directory or Peterson's Guide.

As you explore the career information below, consider what type of role may be a good fit for you and how you can not only gain experience in educational settings with different populations but also gain skills for the particular job role you would like to have.

Click to expand each gray box below for opportunities in this career field!

Careers

Use O*NET, a free online database that provides career information including job duties, salary, and job growth information for hundreds of careers to start exploring careers in this field. For more information, see this list of sample occupations by areas of Education. You can also watch career profiles of professionals in this field, including UMN alums!

One way some graduates get a start in this field is through organizations that offer short-term (1-2 year) service opportunities that can help you build skills and experience related to Education. Some programs include Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, City Year, Teach For America, as well as programs to Teach English Abroad.

Below is a small sampling of organizations and their positions that have recruited CLA students in the past. For a more comprehensive list of job openings, search GoldPASS, a free database of internship, volunteer, and job postings for UMN students.

  • Tutor, TutorMe
  • TRIO Upward Bound Advisor, Hennepin Technical College
  • Training Coordinator, Fast Enterprises, LLC
  • Assistant Early Childhood Education Teacher, St. David’s Center
  • Event Services Coordinator, University of Minnesota Student Unions & Activities
  • K-12 Substitute Teacher & Assistant, Teachers On Call
  • Education Navigator, MACC Commonwealth
  • City Year AmeriCorps Member, City Year Inc.
  • Academic Coach, Athletes Committed to Educating Students
  • School Psychologist, Hiawatha Valley Education District
  • Outdoor Education Instructor, YMCA Camp St. Croix
  • College Access Coach, College Possible
  • Summer Camp Counselor, Birch Trail Camp
  • Admissions Advisor, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Ambulatory Client Training Specialist, Meditech
  • Behavior Therapist, Partners in Excellence
  • Parent Skills Educator, Reach for Resources, Inc.
Get Experience: Internships and more!

Seek out opportunities, such as those listed below, to develop the 10 Core Career Competencies. Oral & Written Communication, Teamwork & Leadership, Engaging Diversity, Innovation & Creativity, and Active Citizenship & Community Engagement are especially valued within Education. Increase your competence in these areas by practicing public speaking, teaching/training others, designing learning outcomes, evaluating others’ learning, and developing an understanding of the unique characteristics and needs of specific populations. Finally, one of the best ways to prepare for a career in Education is to gain direct experience working with the populations you would like to serve or the types of organizations you are considering through volunteer opportunities, internships, full or part-time work experiences, job shadowing, and networking.

Internships and Part-Time Jobs

Building relevant internship or teaching experience (which is required through teaching licensure programs) is a great way to prepare for a career in education! Below is a small sampling of organizations and their positions where CLA students have done internships and part-time jobs in the past. For a more comprehensive, search GoldPASS, a free database of internship, volunteer, and job postings for UMN students or search for on-campus jobs.

  • Education Intern, Children’s Theatre Company
  • Arts Education Intern, Urban Arts Academy
  • History Day Mentor, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Extended Day Leader, Breck School
  • Leadership Minor Intern, Leadership Minor at the University of Minnesota
  • Teaching Assistant, Normandale Community College
  • Study Abroad Intern, Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota
  • Family Learning Intern, Minnesota Children’s Museum
  • Teaching Assistant, Colegio Divina Pastora

Volunteer

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning has advising staff that will help you get connected to one of the 300+ community organizations that match your interests. HECUA is a program that offers off-campus study that addresses some of the most important issues of our time. Semester-long HECUA programs incorporate classroom studies, an internship, and fieldwork.

Join a Student Group

Consider getting involved with a student group related to your major or interest areas to build a network, expertise, and skills related to the field of education.

Job and Internship Search
  • Identify what topics you care about and/or what population of people you want to work with (examples: youth, adults, professionals, people with disabilities, English language learners, etc.). This will help you narrow down types of institutions or organizations to target your job search.
  • Identify what type of role you are seeking (examples: teaching/instruction, direct support professional, administration, policy, curriculum design, grant writing, etc.) and reflect upon how your past experiences have prepared you for that role.
  • In your application materials, emphasize why you care about the mission of the institution, as well as your related experiences working with people and/or in the field of education.
  • People who work in education tend to be very well connected to others in the profession. Utilize contacts you know in the field for advice on job searching and for suggestions of contacts at other institutions or organizations in which you are interested. Don’t have any contacts? Use the advice below to find some!
  • Some jobs in education will require additional education or training. Networking with other professionals in these kinds of occupations can help you learn more about how to gain entry into the field, and the kinds of work experiences that can be helpful to pursue before you earn additional credentials.

UMN Resources/Opportunities

Job & Internship Search Sites

Below is a list of job search sites relevant to education, but make sure to also review individual district or private school websites to find open positions.

Building Relationships

Talk with and Observe Professionals

Networking can help you explore a career field; start by doing informational interviews which is when you set up a time to have a discussion with people who are in organizations or professions that are of interest to you to ask questions about their career path. Then, find opportunities to observe (or Job Shadow) these professionals at work so you can get a better sense of what that career would be like. Find alumni and professionals to speak with by searching the free to use Maroon & Gold Network which allows students to do highly tailored searches to find alumni and professionals in the community who share their specific career interests. For example, you can browse the network to find individuals who are willing to share insights by industry, college, major, degree type, employer, location and more. You can also find contacts by using the LinkedIn Alumni Tool.

Professional Organizations/Associations

Get involved with one or more professional organizations to gain career insights, search for jobs and internships, attend conferences, and/or connect with people in this career field.

Advice From Employers

“Make sure your passions are aligned with the mission of the organization.” –Teach for America, representative

 

The College of Liberal Arts Career Services and the University of Minnesota has no control or responsibility for the: (a) quality or safety of any experiential learning opportunity/position descriptions or (b) the application, hiring practices, or EEO/AA status of any of the organizations listed here. We encourage students to use precaution when applying to, interviewing at, or participating in volunteer, internship, job, or research programs outside of the University. These opportunities are not affiliated with the University of Minnesota and have not been fully vetted.