5 Great Second Careers for Teachers

  revature |

In 2021, an astonishing 1 in 4 teachers contemplated leaving their current career path. This attitude reflects the so-called Great Resignation — a recent trend of employees quitting their jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that is especially strong in the teaching profession.

Fortunately, teachers looking for new careers have many options. The tech industry, for example, is full of opportunities for great second careers for teachers.

Why Are Teachers Looking at Second Careers?

According to a survey by the Rand Corporation, stress is the primary factor driving teachers from their current profession. The health risks of classroom teaching, the technical and psychological challenges of remote teaching, and the anxiety of balancing teaching and raising their own children have all contributed to teachers’ high rates of burnout and depression.

However, teachers are seeking new opportunities for positive reasons, too. As Forbes Coaches Council points out, teachers are discovering that their skill sets make them desirable employees in other industries. These skills include:

  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Leadership

5 Top Tech Jobs for Former Teachers

Former teachers can improve their job satisfaction by transferring their skills to a career in tech. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual salary for experienced kindergarten, elementary school, and high school teachers as $61,350. As the examples below highlight, tech jobs can provide a big boost in income for former teachers seeking an alternative career.

1. Computer Programmer

Teachers who are comfortable with a job that requires precision, and who are interested in learning several programming languages, might consider becoming a computer programmer. These professionals write, test, and monitor code for computer software.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, experienced computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $93,000 in 2021.

2. Software Developer

Former teachers who enjoy problem-solving and are able to adapt to new trends and technologies may be great candidates for becoming software developers. Software developers create webpages, applications, and operating systems for their employers or clients.

According to the BLS, the field of software development will boom in the 2020s, growing at an impressive rate of 22% from 2020 to 2030. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for experienced software developers as of May 2021 was $110,140.

3. Software Engineer

Software engineers are sometimes confused with software developers. The difference is that software engineers focus on system architecture, providing unifying structures for programs. Software engineers should be excellent multitaskers who work well in teams.

According to Payscale, the median annual salary for experienced software engineers was around $89,000 in July 2022.

4. Java Developer

This profession may be a great second career for a teacher. Java developers use the Java programming language to produce and troubleshoot applications, webpages, and software. Java is one of the easier programming languages to learn, so this may be a great entry point into tech for a detail-oriented worker who’s eager to start coding.

According to Payscale, experienced Java developers earned a median annual salary of around $79,000 as of July 2022.

5. Information Technology Support Specialist

Information technology (IT) support specialists solve technical problems for computer and network users and ensure the smooth operation of systems. Some of these professionals work directly with the public; they need people skills for dealing with clients who may not be experts in tech. They may work in computer services, telecoms, finance, education, or management, for example.

The BLS indicates that IT support is a steadily expanding field, with 9% growth expected between 2020 and 2030. The 2021 median annual salary for experienced IT specialists was $57,910.

How to Pursue New Careers for Teachers

Changing careers means opening up new possibilities, but first, teachers have to build up the skill set to be an attractive candidate. Fortunately, teachers seeking new careers can choose from several training options:

  • Degree programs. Traditionally, tech workers earned bachelor’s degrees to start their careers. However, four-year colleges can be expensive, and carving out time for this type of program may be difficult for teachers seeking new careers. In addition, many tech jobs don’t actually require a degree in a related field.
  • Coding bootcamps. Some former teachers may opt for bootcamps, which prepare students to become coders in a matter of months or even weeks. While these bootcamps offer the possibility of a much faster career transition compared with a four-year program, costs can still be high. According to NerdWallet, the average in-person bootcamp costs $13,584, while the average online bootcamp costs $12,898. Even cheaper options, such as community college bootcamp programs, may cost thousands of dollars.
  • Revature. At Revature, we take a unique approach that helps professionals find the tech careers that work for them. And far from requiring learners to have a sky-high education budget, we actually pay our associates to learn. Revature places each associate with one of our partner organizations for their first tech job. With Revature, great second careers become accessible for former teachers and other newcomers to the industry.

Get Paid to Prepare for a New Career at Revature

Revature believes that people of any background and experience level — including former teachers — can have a great career in tech and that cost shouldn’t be a barrier to learning. Teachers have a desirable skill set that can be translated into a variety of technology occupations. Become the kind of worker top tech companies are looking for, and embark on an exciting and satisfying new journey.

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