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10 Hot Education Career Trends for Teachers

10 Hot Education Career Trends for Teachers in 2016

Educators have been scanning headlines to discover education career trends for teachers and education leaders and predictions for the upcoming year. Numerous second career alternatives or options are available for teachers wishing to leave classroom teaching.

Researching and understanding the new educational roles will help you keep current with the latest developments in education career trends and provide you with an edge and insight to be proactive. If you’re interested in learning about your current field and possibly the future direction of your career, below are career options for classroom teachers:

Education Career Trends and Options to Research


#1 Teachers Will Have Career Options Beyond the Classroom to Choose from 

The first of the educational career patterns is that teachers will not limit themselves to the classroom. They will expand their career options within teaching through one of the hot education jobs listed below or transition to entrepreneurship.


1. Education Consultant

In this role, educators will act as independent academic advisors whom parents or the school will hire. They’ll advise students on educational and career opportunities, enabling them to decide about schools and college majors.

To qualify for this post, you’ll need a certificate in educational consulting. As most schools don’t offer this program, consider getting certified online. Moreover, become a member of a professional organization like the Independent Educational Consultants Association or the Higher Education Consultants Association to improve your chances of getting selected for this position. Writing an education consultant resume and marketing yourself are two critical steps to moving in this direction.


2. Curriculum Developer

Also known as an instructional coordinator, a curriculum developer focuses on students’ topics and their educators’ materials in the classroom. If you opt for this job, you’ll be entrusted with observing teachers and recommending changes to improve student performance. You’ll also have to amend the school’s curricula, ensuring it aligns with the state’s standards.

Individuals interested in this work should have a master’s degree, preferably a Master of Arts in Education in Curriculum and Instruction or a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Educational. You’ll also need a valid teacher’s or administration license, so find out about your state’s licensure requirements.


3. Career Counselor

A career counselor analyzes individuals’ education level, work history, interest, skills, and personality to determine which careers they should pursue. In this role, you aim to balance job satisfaction and financial payoff, be it for jobless people, just entering the workforce, between jobs, or unhappy with their career choices. While a bachelor’s or high school diploma is accepted for this role, a master’s degree is preferable, especially if your state requires licensure.


4. Master Teacher

A master teacher is entrusted with various tasks as they’re supposed to set an example for other teachers. Besides mentoring both students and teachers and providing both with advanced instructional techniques, you’ll be entrusted with providing an opinion on the current curriculum and developing classes and courses for students. You’ll also establish accountability and evaluate the curriculum’s effectiveness by tracking student grades and progress. For the position, teachers with a doctorate are preferred. However, most states accept applicants with a master’s degree.


5. Virtual Instructor

Also known as an online teacher, a virtual instructor imparts knowledge through technological instruction systems and tools. They interact with students through computerized, audio, or visual equipment. While many deem this the challenging aspect of online learning, designing a compelling and enriching curriculum is why this role isn’t for everyone.

For this job, you’ll need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. However, if you plan to teach post-secondary students, you’re expected to have a doctorate most of the time. On the other hand, professional experience is necessary for technical and trade schools.


6. Charter Schools Innovator

Another unique role, charter schools innovator, allows educators to devise innovative ways to teach students while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. As there’s not much information on this role, you may need to contact a charter school for more information.


7. Instructional Leader

As an instructional leader, you’ll establish goals, manage curriculum, monitor lesson plans, and evaluate resources to ensure student learning and growth. As a school principal, assistant principal, program administrator, or departmental administrator, you’ll be entrusted with the school’s legal, financial, and administrative tasks.

To be chosen for this job, you’ll need at least a master’s degree to meet most states’ licensure educational requirements. To increase your chances of getting this job, opt for a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership.

There will continue to be many professionals transitioning into the education sector. If you are one of them, you may wish to review these tips before changing careers to teaching.

And, if you need help with your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile to target these positions or any other career opportunity, just let us know. If you don’t know which education career direction you wish to venture into, it may be time to consider our career and job search coaching services.


#2) Education Tech Investment Will Continue Growing

After receiving 55% more funding last year, the education tech investment globally is expected to reach $107 billion this year. To ensure you’re ready for the tech your students will ask for, here are the five biggest education career trends expected in this area.

1. Adaptive Learning Software – This software will help teachers create personalized, practical lesson plans based on students’ data. Adaptive learning solutions will further predict which students may fall off track and be ready to move on to higher-level concepts.

2. Adaptive Learning Styles – Teachers must embrace new teaching tools rather than limit themselves to textbooks and chalkboard teaching styles. Through these, teachers can engage students through video, mobile, and other channels they are used to.

3. Classroom Flipping – Classroom flipping is one of the most vital education career trends in ed tech. It allows students to watch lectures or handle reading assignments at home and then work on their homework or assignments in class with their teachers. With 2016 offering better analytics and more interactivity, expect higher student engagement.

4. Increased Access to Resources Globally – Digital education resources are spreading like wildfire thanks to high-speed internet access. Students can learn anywhere and from any country as a result.

5. Virtual Reality Use in Classrooms – Virtual reality offers students immersive lab experiences, especially in science, engineering, and mathematics.


#3) K-12 and Post-Secondary Will Collaborate to Ensure Student Success

K-12 and post-secondary faculty are expected to work closely together, aligning what they teach to ensure students’ success in college and beyond. This is because employers often complain about graduates not being ready for jobs, while colleges blame high schools for sending students who aren’t capable of college-level work. With Common Core State Standards adopted in many states this year, this education career trend is coming your way.


#4) Students Will Become Creators

Traditionally, students were trained to consume a lot of information over twenty-some years of their lives. This educational process did entail engagement and interaction, but creation wasn’t part of it. This will change in 2016 as creativity and ingenuity are necessary in today’s workplace. Creativity is deemed an essential leadership quality and paramount to a successful business. Moreover, by allowing students to become creators, educators help them develop their problem-solving skills, enhancing self-esteem and contributing to their personal development.


#5) Alternative Credentialing Will Spread Further

Since 2015, the number of alternative programs offered by higher education institutions has increased. From Bootcamp programs to massive open online courses (MOOCs) for credit and mini-degrees like MIT’s MicroMasters, non-degree programs will complement an educational institution’s offerings, filling the need for the flexible, accessible training required for students’ vocational education. Therefore, if you’re an instructional leader or entrusted with the curriculum, you can adjust your schools to complement alternative credentialing in the future. This requirement is especially true if your students are adults in the workforce seeking new skills to improve their career options.


#6) Teachers Will Teach the Value of Failing Intelligently

Many entrepreneurs, especially those in Silicon Valley, have been openly sharing what went wrong with their ventures. Many leaders believe that failing intelligently is a skill and necessary to reach one’s full potential. Without it, they believe students would be unable to optimize learning and embrace change.

Many educational institutions didn’t allow their students to fail and learn from their mistakes, preventing them from succeeding in real life. Teachers need to understand that tests don’t simulate real-life or are connected to the workplace’s actual demands. Therefore, their goal should be to raise motivated learners with excellent problem-solving skills who can make a difference in the world.

In 2016, ‘real failure’ should become part of your syllabus. For instance, you can actively reward failure by incorporating routine reports of failure into students’ final grades. This strategy rewards risk and persistence while embracing failure as part of the learning process. For post-secondary teachers, courses such as engineering can introduce failure by allowing prototypes’ design and creation.

Since students are not considered trained professionals, their work may succumb to failure. Allowing students to fail before re-design and re-testing their work encourages them to take on the unknown, challenge themselves, and learn something new.

This process is an enormous part of incorporating the growth mindset concept into the classroom, which has been trending and escalating in education.

In my opinion, of all the education career trends, this is one of the best.


#7) Mobile Learning Will Rise Further

Towards Maturity reports that 47% of organizations have embraced mobile learning (a.k.a. m-learning), indicating this method’s popularity with learners. Implemented in classrooms, this method uses handheld computers, smartphones, and PDAs to enhance group collaboration through communication applications, improve learning experiences for distance education, and provide audio recordings of lectures.
Educators embracing m-learning should be aware of the following education career trends that may make waves this year:

• Use of HTML 5 – Unlike Flash, HTML 5 promises mobile learners a versatile, faster, and robust experience. Therefore, you’ll need to make changes to your mobile learning course to prevent your audience reach.

• Integration of Big Data Analytics – Big Data allows educators to understand learner preferences and improve their training strategy. App analytics will allow you to track your mobile traffic, device usage, and the mobile training program’s strengths and weaknesses.

• Adaptation for Wearable Tech – Wearable tech devices such as Google Glass and Oculus Rift have become popular due to their affordability and user-friendliness. As they make their way to classrooms, you’ll need to ensure that your m-learning course can effectively run on these.

• Integration of Geo-Location Features – Adding geolocation features allows teachers to provide relevant online training to the global audience. The system detects the learner’s location and delivers the course or online training materials to choose native language subtitles and culturally appropriate activities.


#8) Education Gamification Will Make Learning More Fun

Gamification, or the use of game design elements in other contexts besides games, promises great potential to educators and their students. Turning coursework into games allows students to develop persistence, courage for risk-taking, attention to detail, and problem-solving.

Using elements such as levels, points, achievements, virality, loss aversion, discovery, and infinite play, students will excel.

One of the best examples to showcase the power of gamification in education is North Carolina State University, which used this method in course development and set students on the right career path.

Integrated into the establishment’s Sports Management Course, the gamification module challenged students to collect points across 14 skill sets required for their real-life career paths. Students who participated in the module had better midterm scores, and their quality of responses improved. Therefore, educators need to consider gamification if their budgets allow it seriously.


#9) Education May Finally Become Aligned with the Economy


As education is a key differentiator in developing the workforce, it is closely related to creating and sustaining economic prosperity. Realizing this, albeit a little late, local and national leaders are pushing to ensure a closer alignment between educational systems and economic development initiatives. The partnerships and interactions between governments, employers, educators, parents, and students will allow the collection of data that can create a better understanding of the global workforce.

Employers, administrators, and policymakers should further support the alignment between jobs produced by global economies and the graduates produced by local educational systems.

While this is a significant change, it’ll take some time to feel its effects. This is because the current educational systems need to respond boldly, whereas leaders should support predictive tools, student-center processes, and device learning. Once these are in place, all stakeholders will benefit, and the country’s educational system and the economy will improve.


#10) The Demand for New Assessment Methods is on the Rise is the Last of the Education Career Trends in This Post. 

The central interest of all learners is to receive feedback on their performance. However, students can only benefit from feedback if it’s timely, objective, and relevant to them. Unfortunately, end-of-unit or end-of-year assessment approaches fail to meet the timeliness criterion, whereas generic feedback on a topic or class assignment fails to be relevant. Keeping this in mind, educators and researchers are working on new assessment processes considering the learning-centered approach to the current education system.

Student-owned e-portfolios and awarding badges for chunks of learning are offered to students and teachers alike, which are flexible mechanisms to recognize learners’ achievements. More techniques are expected to come your way, especially with Big Data and analytics becoming a prominent part of education.

While it’s too soon to determine which education career trends will prevail nationwide, you can begin by making a difference in your classroom. Please select what you can apply to your small world and assess its success with your students. Remember to give these changes enough time for everyone to adapt before striking them as ineffective.

Now it is your turn; please share your thoughts on these or other education career trends.