Four Tips For Teachers Who Want To Transition To A Job In EdTech

The teaching profession is experiencing a mass exodus. Low pay and pandemic stress have taken their toll. In a 2022 poll from the National Education Association, more than half of teachers said that they plan to leave the profession sooner than originally anticipated. So what are these teachers doing instead? Many are entering the edtech sector. With the advice below, it can be a seamless transition.

1. How To Get Your Foot In The Door At An EdTech Company

A few years ago, the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences reported that about 20% of teachers have a second job outside of school. Given today’s inflation, that number is likely higher now. For teachers who want to make extra cash, and are looking to transition to edtech, they can accomplish both by getting a part-time role with an edtech company.

Many edtech organizations rely on teachers working as consultants to deliver their trainings and design their supplemental materials, like lesson plans and implementation guides. Starting off with a freelance role at an edtech company is a great way to see whether this field is a good fit and to start building relationships.

2. How To Land A Mid-Level EdTech Job

Many veteran educators looking to leave the profession worry that their teaching experience won’t convert when they leave the classroom and that they’ll have to start in an entry-level role, even after years or decades of working. This doesn’t have to be the case. Teachers should think deeply and at a high level about the work that their teaching positions require. Maybe years of creating great units and lessons is experience in “instructional design.” Differentiation plans for students with I.E.P.s and programming for professional learning communities is “strategic planning.”

Be creative in identifying transferable skills. A lot goes into being a successful teacher, but outsiders may not be aware of it all. Make it clear what you’ve accomplished, and frame it in language that edtech companies’ job descriptions use.

3. How To Find Edtech Job Openings

After being in the classroom for years, you may be out of the loop on job postings. A great place to start looking is the EdSurge jobs board, and social media is also helpful. Jeff Patterson, founder and CEO of edtech company Gaggle, is a great follow on LinkedIn. He posts edtech job openings once or twice a week, and hosts free online edtech job fairs. It’s also helpful to follow the accounts of any companies that you would potentially be interested in, since they usually post job openings across their social accounts.

Use your personal networks too. If you have former colleagues who are now working in edtech, reach out to them. Let them know that you’re thinking about transitioning out of teaching and see if you can schedule informational interviews to learn more about their work and get their advice on making the move.

4. How To Choose The Best EdTech Role For Former Teachers

There’s a lot of diversity within edtech. Some companies are building educational software to upskill adult workers, while others focus on teaching tots to count. To determine the type of company that’s the best fit for you, think about your teaching experience. What ages were you teaching? Which subject(s)? Find companies serving those grades and academic areas. Even better, start with companies whose products you used in your classroom.

There’s also a lot of diversity within edtech companies. There are sales people, marketers, grant writers, researchers, and coders all working on the same product. Among all of the roles, there are a couple that tend to be good fits for teachers.

Sales can be a good starting position after the classroom. Companies know that former teachers will be able to persuade current educators on the value of their edtech product better than someone who hasn’t been an insider in K-12. The transition out of the classroom to edtech sales is easy, since the environment doesn’t change much. A person in a sales role spends much of their time talking to teachers and administrators in schools and district offices.

Another position based on connecting with educators is customer success. This is a great role for former teachers too, since, in this position, they’ll be focused on helping current teachers navigate and get the most out of an edtech product.

Don’t worry if customer success or sales aren’t your ideal career paths. Once your foot is in the door at an edtech company with one of these roles, you can easily transition to other positions in time.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/colettecoleman/2022/12/29/four-tips-for-teachers-who-want-to-transition-to-a-job-in-edtech/