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Navigate the Transition from School to Workplace with Career Services Center Assistance

Get Help From a Career Services Center to Transition From School to the Workplace

Enjoy this guest blog post!

The transition from school to work is tough – there’s a big difference between book smarts and street smarts. Unfortunately, some of the best degrees and training aren’t as impressive as real hands-on experience, and many sterling degrees and certifications get passed up for personal experience. That’s where online degree programs help prepare teachers for the workplace.

The teaching and educational career field has been massively impacted recently. Many would-be teachers are having difficulty getting more than short substitute positions. “Tenure” has become as rare as winning the lottery, and even those “grandfathered in” with tenure are at risk of losing it. It’s a highly competitive workplace, just like every other career field nowadays.

Fortunately, some simple, effective methods make you more competitive and set you up for success. You might not have the power to grow the grass, but you can sow, plant, and water the soil to become a teacher.

1. Degrees and Certifications

Unfortunately, a bachelor’s or essential teaching credential isn’t enough to cut it anymore. It’s not competitive. Nowadays, these are the tickets. To be competitive, you must have a longer resume with training, certifications, and credentials others don’t have.

These degrees and certifications are investments – they’re often expensive and take months or years to obtain. But that’s how investments work – you don’t see immediate results. Instead, please wait for your efforts to pay dividends. They come in full force when they come in. But where to start?

One place to look for support would be the career services center of a college or university. This goes for both online and brick-and-mortar schools. Almost every college offers degrees and programs that supplement essential degrees and programs, and with those programs often comes a career services center with trained counselors and resources.

Look into what programs they have there to support your degree. Many colleges offer discounted, expedited, or bonus degrees only for alumni, and you might qualify for something unique. It’s only a few clicks away.

2. Internships, Volunteering, and Part-Time Work

An entire world of companies offers part-time work that helps teachers become more competitive, attractive, and well-rounded. These will probably cost you a lot of time, money, and patience, but again, it’s an investment. The best jobs are rarely accessible to those without an extensive history of experience and training, but these experiences are challenging to obtain. That’s where volunteering and interning come in.

We all know what “volunteering” and “internships” signify – long hours, little (or probably no) pay, and a whole lot of time. This is a double-edged sword – most teachers won’t put in the extra time, but those who decide to separate themselves from the herd won’t do so quickly or easily. Still, that’s the price teachers must pay to become competitive and desirable candidates.

Look into online programs for volunteer and internship work. Don’t get stuck scrolling through endless lists of “volunteer jobs” online that won’t take you anywhere (or hire you due to the massive influx of applications); go straight through to the source.

3. Work Ethic and Attitude

This last one isn’t an official career tip; it’s a nugget of wisdom and truth.

Grit isn’t taught in schools and will probably stay that way. You can’t find “grit” in books, homework, or degrees. Grit is found in work, honesty, and simplicity. Most people don’t have it – many more won’t work for it. In teaching, like any other career field, grit is indispensable.

Whether you’re on the road to getting additional degrees from online programs or just working your way to the top, you’ll need a lot of heart. Guts. Grit. You must develop your work ethic, attitude, and response to failure and rejection. Teachers will go through that a lot – through job ads and meetings with the principal. But grit gets you through and keeps you going.

Separate yourself from the herd in teaching by making yourself more competitive through degrees, volunteering, and internships. It’s not easy, and you’ll probably have to wait long to see your dividends. But when you do, you’ll know it was all worth it.