Data shows teaching careers to be a viable option

More than half million jobs available nationwide by 2020
CMU Teacher Education Program

As high school juniors and seniors make college visits and contemplate majors, students who want to become teachers should push forward, said the dean of Central Michigan University’s College of Education and Human Services.

“Teaching jobs exist — hundreds in Michigan, hundreds of thousands nationwide,” Dean Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson said.

“My advice to students with a passion for teaching is to enroll in a respected program and participate in hands-on pre-student teaching experiences throughout college. This helps ensure they learn to plan, deliver and assess student learning. Jobs are available for the well-trained educator.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts there will be more than 500,000 available teaching jobs nationwide between 2010 and 2020.

More than 9,500 Michigan school employees, on average, have retired each year since 2005. About 70 percent of those are teachers, Michigan Education Association spokesperson Chuck Agerstrand said.

CMU’s Career Central job bank listed 917 teaching-related jobs between June 1, 2012, and May 24 this year. Of those, 852 were in Michigan, 93 were out of state and 28 were international.

Jeff Hyames, assistant director of Career Services, says the trend will continue.

“The number of teaching-related job postings in Michigan for the 2013-14 school year is encouraging,” Hyames said. “There is an increase in vacancies over previous years.”  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for kindergarten and elementary teachers will grow the most by 2020, with a 17 percent increase and 479,000 jobs available nationally. High school teaching jobs will grow 7 percent, with a projected 71,900 positions to be filled.

CMU prepares students to teach locally, nationally and around the world. In March, representatives from about 75 districts from around the country, as well as Japan, China and Korea, attended the CMU Teacher Recruitment Fair.

“School districts from across Michigan, the nation and worldwide come to recruit CMU teacher education candidates,” Pehrsson said. “They often come with contracts in hand, making job offers on the spot, because they know the reputation CMU has for training classroom-ready teachers.”

Currently, CMU alumni teach in 41 states, with large populations in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Alumni also are teaching in countries such as Australia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, England and Taiwan.

Recruiters think highly of CMU students because of their experience, said Katie Kavanagh, teacher recruiter from Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston.

“CMU graduates have a very real-world understanding of what being a teacher is really like, and that’s different than a lot of universities,” Kavanagh said. “I will come to CMU as often as I can to recruit teachers to Houston.”

CMU students gain experience by doing their student teaching in 157 Michigan school districts. Some request out-of-state and international student-teaching experiences, taking advantage of several high-quality international partnerships. CMU students also participate in teaching internships in more than 50 school districts in Michigan and in Australia, Dominican Republic, England and Mexico.

CMU students are immersed in the use of technology and research-based teaching methods. They learn effective classroom management approaches and develop a deep understanding of child developmental levels and diversity issues. CMU students become adept in engaging with children, inspiring them to be lifelong learners with the ability to apply lessons to the world around them.

“Students who are passionate about teaching, who are well-educated and have extensive experience in classroom settings will secure jobs after graduating,” Pehrsson said. “If they work hard and take advantage of extensive practical experience opportunities, they’ll be ready to teach anywhere.”