Teaching & Educational Institutions

Teaching & Education (K-12)

Career Paths in Education

Careers in education attract individuals who wish to make significant impact on the cognitive development of others, in many cases, children. These individuals have a passion for departing knowledge on others and influencing learning. They also have a passion for hard work, leveraging creative ideas, and seeing the results of their work.

Perspective educators can follow a number of possible paths into the profession. Many individuals will participate in teacher education programs at accredited colleges and become a certified teacher in a public school. Others may choose to teach in a private school, which does not necessarily require a teaching certification. Still others may choose teaching in catholic schools or teaching, often times English, in other countries.  There are also a number of programs, called “alternative certification”, that educate and train individuals to gain their state certification and begin teaching after they have completed their bachelor’s degree.

Those who are not interested in spending their career in the classroom can choose an administrative career path. As an administrator, individuals manage all operations and staffing within schools or school districts and they develop the curriculum that is taught, shape the technology used in the classroom, and hire personnel.

Alternative Education Programs

  • Teach for America
  • Match Education
  • Chicago Teaching Fellows
  • Inner-City Teaching Corps
  • New York Teaching Fellows
  • Teach-Now

Internship/Job Search Advice

  • Successful candidates know why they want to be teacher and are able to express specifically why they have a desire to teach.
  • Candidates should be able to describe their classroom dynamic and translate how they make connections with students.
  • Establish a timeline and set realistic expectations. Develop your action plan prior to the start of your final quarter.
  • Conduct an analysis of personal strengths (and weaknesses). Identifying your strengths can translate into your resume, cover letter, application, and job interview.
  • If you are compelled to work at a specific district, consider a part time position to “get your foot in the door”, which can lead to a full time job.
  • Send application or resume directly to the hiring manager too. Middle School & CPS Schools (Principal), HighSchool (Dept. Chair), Charter School (Division Head), Higher Education (Department Director/Head).

Interviewing Advice

  • Hiring Timeline for teaching: April—August Suburban: Districts assess staffing needs, review applications and begin interviewing in April. CPS & Catholic/Private Schools: Begin assessing staffing needs in May and begin interviewing and making offers in June. For Educational Institutions begin applying in March.
  • Some interviewing formats include serial interviews (series of individuals, one at a time), group interviews (series of individuals, in a round-table format), and/or group of candidates (interview with other candidates, at that same time).

Sample Teacher Interviewing Questions:

  • Why do you want to be a teacher?
  • How do you maintain discipline in the classroom?
  • How do you motivate disinterested students?
  • What methods or techniques do you use to inform parents about their children?
  • Name specifically what you would buy with a $500 budget for your classroom.

Job Search Resources

Get Involved

Networking

  • To successfully navigate the internship and job search process, it is important to take an active approach to networking and expanding your Northwestern career network.
  • Network with your virtual connections: Use LinkedIn to search and join industry related groups.
  • Northwestern Alumni Association
  • Build relationships with your personal connections: academic contacts, former employers, campus organizations

Professional Associations

Higher Education/Research Institutions

Career Paths in Higher Education

Positions within higher education include research and teaching. Administrative positions also exist within higher education, positions such as provost, curriculum development, and institutional research. There are also positions in student affairs which typically work directly with students in areas such as academic advising, multicultural student affairs and career counseling. Most teaching, research, and administrative positions require a PhD (although some community colleges will accept candidates with master’s degree for teaching positions). Positions in student affairs often require a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. For more information on careers in Academia and higher education: For Careers in research institutions, most positions require a PhD in a specific discipline.

For more information on career paths

Internship/Job Search Advice

  • Candidates should take the time to research into each institution where you are interviewing. Know the basics about the place (mission, student population, student profile).
  • Before your interview, request a schedule of the day’s events and the names of the people with whom you’ll be speaking. Research their career background and specialties.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of the role, your key accomplishments, enthusiasm to work with students, and field knowledge.   

Interviewing Advice

Prepare questions for whomever you may meet – on-campus interviews may include interviews with faculty, students, deans, or even the president of the university.

Sample Higher Education Interviewing Questions

  • Why do you want to work for this institution and what do you know about our department/institution?
  • Why did you choose [insert specialty] as your specialty?
  • What do you see as the advantages and challenges of working in a large/small – public/private university?
  • What does success in student development work mean to you?
  • What are some of the major issues you see for Student Affairs in the future?

Job Search Resources

Get Involved

Networking

  • To successfully navigate the internship and job search process, it is important to take an active  approach to networking and expanding your Northwestern career network.
  • Network with your virtual connections: Use LinkedIn to search and join industry related groups.
  • Northwestern Alumni Association
  • Build relationships with your personal connections: academic contacts, former employers, campus organizations

Professional Associations