The Office of Career Strategy is working to publicize and make accessible the wide range of opportunities for students seeking work in education straight out of college.
OCS Associate Director Stephanie Waite said that although students need to attend graduate school before teaching at the college level, there are still numerous opportunities in the field of education that do not require a graduate degree. Waite said OCS has expanded its resources for students pursuing education careers directly after graduation. They could be interested in teaching at the elementary, middle or high school level, seeking an English-language teaching position overseas, or hoping to enter education policy or reform, she said.
“Our resources are very much geared towards students trying to find jobs right out of Yale College,” Waite said.
Education was the second most popular post-graduation professional field for the class of 2014, with nearly 12 percent of the class pursuing careers in this field, OCS Director Jeanine Dames said.
Dames said OCS has increased its efforts to inform students of opportunities in the field of education that may be lesser-known or publicized.
“We’ve been putting together programs and resources to give students a breadth of possibilities in the area of education,” Dames said. “There are wonderful opportunities that students are very aware of — Teach for America being one, and the New York City Teaching Fellows being another. But they might not know that oftentimes, you can teach at a private school without certification, or they might not be aware of policy opportunities within the Department of Education.”
Shane Kim ’17, who is enrolled in the Education Studies program, said he has noticed many local teaching opportunities available through Yale, such as the Breakthrough Collaborative, Splash and Sprout. He added that there are also many positions available abroad.
However, Kim said, other opportunities in education — at think tanks, legal offices, nonprofit organizations and government agencies — are harder to come by and seldom funded by the University.
“Work in the field of education can range from advocating for students on a case-by-case basis, much like Advocates for Children of New York, to the impact analysis that has to take place once state budgets are released,” Kim said. “I think opportunities to do this kind of work, or at least — the opportunities to have this kind of work funded through the University — are sparse. There’s plenty of room to grow.”
According to Waite, this year the OCS website expanded to include information about fellowships, short-term and long-term opportunities in education for undergraduates.
Israel Tovar ’17, an Education Studies Scholar, said he did not have trouble finding a summer position in the field of education this year. Tovar said he was informed of many education-related opportunities through the Education Studies program, but there were also numerous openings posted on the Symplicity Website.
But he added that the resources available to students who are interested in education still pale in comparison to the resources available for those looking to enter the private sector.
“I believe that if you’re an Ed Studies Scholar, then you will have a good amount of quality resources available to you,” Tovar said. “However, if you’re not [an Ed Studies] scholar, then I think it would be a bit more challenging to find those resources. Also, in comparison to the resources for students trying to work at a place like Goldman Sachs, I feel as though Ed Studies resources are not yet up to par.”
Tovar’s statement was echoed by Nelson Reed ’17, who said that as a student who is not a member of the Education Studies program, finding a summer job in education has been challenging.
“Without Education Studies, I’m not sure how I could find work in the field at all,” Kim said.
As an increasing number of students express interest in Education Studies and education-related opportunities, Tovar said, he hopes the University will provide and connect students with the resources they need — regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in the Education Studies program.
Industries such as finance and consulting can anticipate hiring needs a year in advance, and typically have formalized internship programs that turn into long-term opportunities post-graduation, Waite said. Hiring needs for industries in the public sector, such as education, are often not set until later in the year, making it difficult for these industries to engage in on-campus recruiting, she said.
Waite added that most of the work OCS does in this area involves helping students strategize individually — by networking with alumni, connecting with peers and preparing proper application materials for the education industry.
Several education career events are planned for later this spring, Waite said, the first of which being an Education Employment Panel on March 2.
“I’ve had several employers come to me and say ‘I want to connect with Yalies and make sure they know about our organization and the opportunities with us,’” Waite said.