After more than five years working in Hollywood, Crystal Foth knew she had to make a change. With movie credits that included Titanic, Shrek and Dr. Doolittle, Foth was heading toward a lucrative career in the visual effects industry. Then she had an epiphany.
“I became fed up with the politics of Hollywood,” Foth says. “I wanted a more meaningful career where I felt I could contribute to society in a more personally fulfilling way.”
The career Foth chose to help her make a difference in people’s lives is teaching. And according to recent research, her decision was a good one.
A recent article in The Guardian cites a United Nations (UN) study that calls for nearly 8 million extra teachers by 2015. In America, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 25 percent increase in the number of preschool teachers through 2020. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers are projected to grow 17 percent and high school teachers 7 percent over the same time period. Put simply, the demand for teachers is higher than ever.
But when people talk about changing careers, many are unsure how to take such a potentially life-altering step, especially in a recovering economy. “The biggest fears and hesitations were making the decision to essentially start over at the bottom rung of a new industry ladder when I had quickly moved up the ranks working in the film industry,” Foth says.
While Foth’s hesitation came from a reluctance to start over, some career-changers face a different fear.
What if I am too old for a change in careers?
That’s nonsense! Age should never be an excuse to avoid chasing your dream. In fact, we conducted our own primary research using a Google consumer survey of more than 2,500 individuals. The survey questions asked the maximum age at which respondents would consider a career change. The results were encouraging.
Twenty percent of respondents said they’d have no trouble changing careers in their 40s. Even more, 10 percent said they would still consider changing careers in their 60s!
If you’ve considered pursuing a career in education, but you’re worried you may have missed out on your chance because you’re too old or you’ve been out of the game for too long, reconsider. The truth is, when it comes to jobs in early childhood education (ECE), there are plenty available for the taking.
After a good amount of soul searching, that’s exactly what Foth did.
From movie mogul to fine arts instructor
After five years in Hollywood, Foth began to feel hollow inside. She felt like something was missing. She says she was spending countless hours managing other artists’ time, but not doing any painting or drawing of her own.
She started taking some art classes and moved out of the film industry altogether in 1998. She left to pursue her life-long dream of teaching art to children.
The biggest obstacle for Foth was the technical art training she needed to be able to teach the subject. She spent years creating and directing art projects in the digital realm but teaching basic art techniques to young children was a different challenge altogether.
Her only regret is that she wishes she would have made the career change to teaching sooner. Foth encourages anyone considering a career change to teaching to trust their gut instincts and go for it.
“Our kids need to have teachers who teach because they love helping kids become great people, and not because they just need a job,” Foth says.
She says her greatest reward is knowing that she has helped others achieve their own artistic goals and dreams. “I know that some of the children I taught over the years will remember me as fondly as I remember them. The people who impacted me the most in high school were my art teachers and I hope that I have done the same for others.”
What’s stopping you?
The fact of the matter is that it’s not easy to change careers, but now you know that it is possible with hard work and diligence. The jobs are out there if you’re willing to turn your passion into a career.
So, if you’re ready to leave the career you’ve been stuck in and make the move to teaching, download our Education Career Outlook to determine which teaching career would be a good fit for you!
If you’re looking for more information about how a degree can help you start a career in education, check out the programs offered by the Rasmussen College School of Education!