Beyond the Classroom: Alternative Careers for Teachers

alternative-careers-teachersHere’s the situation. You’re looking for a career where you can make meaningful relationships, a lasting contribution to the hearts and minds of generations to come and you want to work in education. But you don’t want to be a teacher.

That’s a sticky situation.

In today’s world, you don’t need to limit your career options to just working in a traditional classroom to make a splash in the education industry. There are many education-related occupations to explore for those of you with various educational backgrounds and work experiences.

Michelle Gannon, a former elementary and high school teacher, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education, and now runs her own company, The Language Playground. The organization teaches parents how to expose their children to a second language even if they don’t speak it themselves.

“The corporate world has many opportunities for employees with education backgrounds,” Gannon says. “Often there [are] software tools that need to be taught to all employees and manuals about processes that need to be written, and corporations offer lots of internal classes that could be taught by folks with backgrounds in education.”

Of course, if you’re looking to make an impact on the education industry it definitely helps to have teaching experience so you have an understanding of the basics. But not every occupation within education requires it.

There are several alternative careers for teachers within the technology field, publishing world and creative industry. Here’s what we found.

Education-based non-profit organizations

If you are passionate about a particular topic–e.g. health, education, technology–then working for a non-profit may be your best bet to working within the education industry and positively influencing the future for children.

There are many non-profits that work within the school system to educate and align students with their missions. A career such as designing and writing curriculum for schools is a great alternative for teachers. Or perhaps a curriculum teacher trainer is a better fit. In this job you would be sharing with teachers how the curriculum was developed and how they can teach it to their classes. How do you get to that point within a non-profit? Start by volunteering. Many non-profits hire from within.

Look for alternative careers to teaching at: Big Brothers, Big SistersTeach for America and Peace Corps.

Technology in education

Education isn’t limited to just teaching in a traditional classroom. If you are someone who is interested in technology and the field of education, have you ever considered a career teaching technology to students? Technology in the classroom is crucial. After all, 65 percent of today’s students will end up in jobs that haven’t even been invented yet.  

If you have an information technology degree, there are careers within schools that you could consider. Examples include a web designer who designs the school’s website, an IT specialist who works behind the scenes or an IT desk support specialist to assist in fixing technology throughout the school.

*Other alternative careers to teaching include: training and development specialist, instructional technologists and software developer.

Writing to provide educational materials

Working in the creative field is not limited to just art directors and designers; writing also has a special place in education. From positions where you can be involved in creating instructional videos, to writing and editing textbook copy, there is an alternative career to teaching for you in the creative world.

Need a way to get started? Try submitting blog articles to authoritative websites and teaching magazines to get your name out there. With this type of experience, you can begin sending your writing samples to educational publishers for review. If there are educational publishers in your area, set up an informational interview to learn more about the role of a writer for their company and how you could earn a position there.

*Other alternative careers to teaching include: editor, writer, author or school guidance counselor.

Make a plan

In other words, do your homework on what’s out there for a future career in the market today. Think about the skills you currently possess and what you could offer a company or organization. Another way to find an alternative education career is by taking an aptitude test to match your skills to the career that’s right for you.

All in all, a degree in education can be helpful for any of the careers listed above. To learn more about your options for a degree in education, visit the School of Education and be sure to check out other teaching-related careers by downloading the Education Career Outlook.


*Source: (Analysis of 2,439 job postings in education from Dec. 10, 2012 - Dec. 9, 2013).

External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Kendall is an Online Community Specialist at Collegis Education who oversees online communities on behalf of Rasmussen College. She has a passion for social media and enjoys motivating and encouraging former, current and future learners.

Receive Personalized Information Today

  • Personalized financial aid
  • Customized support services
  • Detailed program plan
  • Attend a no-obiligation Nursing Information Session
  • Meet the Dean of Nursing
  • Enrollment application
  • Personalized financial aid
  • Career path guidance

How may we contact you?

Please complete all fields

What would you like to study?

The program you have selected is not available in your area. Please select another program of interest.

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. There is no obligation to enroll.

Share Your Story Ideas
Our campuses and online community have stories to tell and we want to hear them! Did your campus raise the most money in the community for an organization? Do you have online study tips for other students? Would you like to share a personal success story about overcoming an obstacle while earning your degree?
To have your story idea considered:
  • You must be a faculty member, current student or graduate
  • Story ideas must be regarding Rasmussen College or an inspiring story about a student at Rasmussen College
  • Your submission must be original and may not have been published elsewhere online already
Please Note: Your story idea may be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat or on one of our social networks. A member of our news team will contact you should we move forward with a blog post.
Feel free to suggest an idea for a blog post to be featured on the Rasmussen College News Beat by filling out the form below:

First Name: (required)

Last Name: (required)

Email Address: (required)

Phone Number: (required)

500 characters or less


Your Story Idea Has Been Submitted

Thank you for sending us a story idea! We’re reviewing submissions and may contact you soon to learn more about your story. In the meantime, make sure to check out our current blogs to see what’s happening on campus.