Helpful skills and attributes for a career in education


A list of the top jobs in the United States today largely features technology and medicine. And while these industries are critical to a society’s development, they are only made possible by the quality and patience of educators.

Education is one of the few industries to play a significant role in every area of society and is rightly responsible for civilization. Take online writing, for instance — some of us are well aware of the intricacies of technical, marketing, or white paper writing services, however, helping someone build competency in these services is an entirely different proposition.

This highlights the complex and critical nature of an educator’s responsibilities. In truth, not everyone can teach or take up a position in an educational setting. Hence, we explore some skills and attributes that are relevant to a successful career in education.

What is a career in education?

One career path always comes to mind regarding education — teaching. It is unsurprising, however, as the industry features teaching as the predominant career. However, there are quite a few other layers to education.

A career in education incorporates teachers, administrators, consultants, and board members in an educational institution. Numerous academic careers can be accomplished within these career paths, making the field one of the most varied.

A career in education is gratifying as it offers the opportunity to positively impact the next generation and shape the society in which they live.

Careers in education

Evidently, teachers are well placed to transform students’ lives inside a classroom, but other educational career paths may also complement your skills and interests. Here are the different career paths relevant to education:

  • Teaching

Teaching is the predominant career path in education and offers an excellent opportunity for people who enjoy working with kids or adults in a classroom setting. A teacher’s responsibility is to prepare and develop a student’s competency in a specific subject matter. According to a study by the American Economic Association, improvements in teaching quality positively impacts everything from students’ quality to future salaries.

A professional pursuing a career in teaching can opt for specialization in primary, secondary, college or special education. There are also various environments in which a teacher can work, from a traditional classroom to residential facilities and even online platforms.

  • Administration

Most administrators start as teachers and develop the urge to grow and explore better opportunities in the industry. Administrators are leaders who pride themselves in strategic planning, support in every sector, and respect for the education system, including faculty, students, parents, and school board members.

As the name implies, these professionals are responsible for all administrative duties, including schedules, budgets, disciplinary measures and event planning. They also have the option to serve in a primary, secondary or tertiary setting.

Consultants and board members have an important role to play in education. Education consultants serve as advisors in all things education, while board members are responsible for developing and approving the school’s mission, strategic goals and objectives.

Relevant skills for a career in education

Education makes a lot of difference in an individual’s life, impacting everything from their current competency to long-term success. As such, educators require various skills to ensure they work effectively in any educational capacity.

  • Communication

Communication is a non-negotiable regarding a career in education. Educators must have solid verbal, written, and physical communication skills to enable them to pass out clear expectations to students. Administrators and consultants are no exception, as they must consistently communicate with different people to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

  • Patience

Success usually comes down to choosing the pain of discipline. Educators should understand that people are built differently, and work patiently to carry everyone along. You will surely come across challenging behaviors throughout your career as an educator. It is, therefore, essential to keep a cool head and not lose your temper.

  • Collaboration

Pursuing a career in education means you are never working alone. Aside from the students, there are many professionals in a school setting, from school leaders to teaching assistants, consultants and paraprofessionals. Hence, collaboration is critical to success in such an environment. There is also the need to network with similar professionals in other institutions to create plans regarding overall educational schemes.

  • Adaptability

Educational institutions are often prone to different societal situations. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, severely hampered education across the globe. As such, an educator’s ability to be adaptable went a long way in handling most of these unexpected issues. With this, they had to develop quick and practical solutions to address different circumstances. The massive adoption of online learning following the pandemic is one such example of an educator’s adaptability.

  • Organizational skills

To engage effectively as an educator, a professional must show strong organizational skills. For teachers, this helps them manage study materials and student assessments and fit all learning activities around school hours. Planning and organization are vital tasks for administrators — thus, they need these skills to ensure the long-term objectives of the institution are met. The same applies to other educational professionals.

  • Time management

Occasionally, the responsibilities of an educator go beyond a school setting. They must make plans, engage with other professionals and develop strategies to implement in the school. Teachers have more difficulty maintaining a healthy work-life balance throughout the field. Hence, effective time management strategies will help ensure educators are not entirely overwhelmed.

So many other skills could help set you up for a career in education. Most of these skills are transferable across your professional and personal ventures. Most jobs in education require at least a bachelor’s degree in education, however, some positions require a master’s degree.

It is much easier for professionals to obtain advanced education degrees with courses such as the Master’s in Education distance learning programme offered by the University of Exeter. This online MA in Education degree is ideal for experienced educators seeking the next professional challenge. Professionals are taught with a rich curriculum that examines theory, research, policy, and practices in education globally.

Educators interested in going beyond a master’s degree can also explore a PhD or an EdD in education, depending on their interests and career prospects.

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