Educators are often chided for having summers off. Non-teachers lament the “late nights and lazy summer days” seemingly enjoyed by those people lucky or wise enough to choose teaching as their profession.
But a recent survey* of education professionals across America suggests that teachers’ motivation for getting into the field is much more than just a jobless June, July and August.
The survey—conducted in early 2014 on behalf of Rasmussen College—asked more than 2,000 workers from all age groups and geographic regions to rank the factors they consider “most important” in their jobs.
Education professionals ranked the following factors highest:
- Work environment
- Work-life balance
- Ability to do what you love
- Working for a cause
- Doing work that helps others or benefits society
Both “work environment” and “work-life balance” ranked at or near the top for all respondents across all industries so their appearance atop this list is not surprising.
More importantly, however, is that 95 percent of teachers polled feel it is important to do something they love; 90 percent want to work for a cause the believe in; and 89 percent are compelled to do something that helps others or benefits society.
Here’s why those stats are compelling.
Ninety-five percent of teachers feel doing what they love is an important factor in their work, and experts agree that doing what you love leads to personal fulfillment, a sense of purpose and, ultimately, happiness.
But other fields—particularly those in which human interaction plays a major role—didn’t fare as well, according to the survey.
The results show teachers value “doing what they love” higher than do professionals in advertising/marketing (67 percent), hospitality (83 percent), real estate (88 percent), legal services (89 percent), retail (91 percent) and business (92 percent).
Moreover, most people would like to believe that the healthcare, social work and childcare workers to whom they entrust their wellbeing consider “helping others or benefitting society” worthwhile factors. But teachers outranked the group in that category 89 to 84 percent.
It would also be nice to think that the government workers fueling the American political machine consider “working for a cause” an important factor. Survey results show, however, that just 79 percent of them—compared to 90 percent of teachers—believe that to be the case.
The bottom line
These survey results suggest teachers place a higher value on selflessness and the nobility of their craft than do many other professions, despite the ribbing they receive about summers off.
If you’re the type of person that wants to love what you do … if you want to work for a cause you believe in … if you want a career instead of just another job ... maybe a degree in education is the right path for you.
If you’re still unsure where to start your job search, check out Rasmussen College’s career roadmap to find the career that makes the most sense to you.
*Survey Methodology: From February 25 to March 2, 2014 an online survey was conducted among 2,003 randomly selected U.S. adults who are currently employed and are also Vision Critical American Community panel members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. Quotas were put in place to ensure a sample representative of the entire working US adult population in terms of age, gender and region. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.