A Detailed Guide To Career Progression & Success In The Education Sector

Pursuing a career in education is considered among the most admirable, respected, and truly outstanding paths one can take. Contrary to common misconceptions, the realm of education careers stretches far beyond the role of a teacher. In fact, the education field is rich with a variety of job positions and career paths, each markedly distinct from the next.

If you are interested in beginning your career path in education and are looking for more information, or rather you are already an educational professional and are considering your options for career progression, continue reading for a detailed guide to career progression and success in the education sector.

What Does It Mean to Work In ‘Education’?

Before exploring the various role within the education sector, it would be prudent to first consider what a career in education means to the individual. It is well known, particularly amongst fellow professionals and peers, that working in education is an exceedingly challenging, yet at the same time phenomenally rewarding career of them all and is certainly more of a vocation than merely a job.

To be able to enrich the lives of future generations and to not just educate, but to enlighten and entertain at the same time means that working in the educational sector carries with it an incredibly high level of job satisfaction.

What Does It Take To Be Successful In Education?

There are many common traits, attributes, and skill sets that are often part of the personality make-up of a person who is succeeding as an education professional and who is steadily working their way up the career ladder.

Such qualities include:

Leadership: Being a competent, effective leader is far from just possessing the ability to command a group of people. It also means being able to inspire others to take the initiative and to influence and improve others’ abilities to lead groups of people themselves.

Organization: Planning and organization are some of the fundamental necessities when it comes to what employers look for when interviewing potential candidates for a career within the educations sector. The ability to plan and manage one’s own time efficiently and effectively is absolutely crucial, especially when you are likely to be dealing with multiple challenges and tasks at the same time.

Stamina: Stamina is another pre-requisite that a person working in any area of the educational sector either needs to have or quickly needs to develop. You should be able to maintain mental stability and strength as well as physical fitness day in, day out.

Creative Thinking: Depending on the specific department within education, a good and active imagination will stand you in extremely good stead and may even make certain tasks or projects significantly easier than someone with a more logical and practical brain would find them.

Other qualities that will certainly benefit you in your pursuit of a career in education are:

  • Respectfulness
  • Strong Communication Skills
  • Self-Evaluation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Empathy
  • Approachableness
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Loyalty and Commitment

The Different Careers Within The Education Sector

There are multiple careers that exist in the education sector. This includes the following:

Early Years

Professionals working in the early years foundation stage of education are solely responsible for the care, development, and, of course, teaching of children from when they are born to around the age of four or five. This means you could become a:

Nursery Worker

There are a multitude of reasons why you should consider becoming a nursery worker, not least the plethora of career progression pathways that will become available to you over time.

Working with young children every single day is certainly not an attractive prospect for everyone. However, there are many more things to consider, such as:

  • Do you enjoy helping children discover the world around them?
  • Do you value job satisfaction over the pursuit of a hefty paycheck?
  • Do you value your work/life balance and, therefore, can afford to have random time off?
  • Are you able to maintain positivity and stay calm in stressful situations that are seemingly becoming out of control?
  • Are you able to leave your personal issues at the proverbial door and instead concentrate on the job at hand?
  • Can you handle long periods of loud noise and general disruption?

It would also be pertinent to point out that although an undergraduate degree is by no means a definite pre-requisite of the role, should you choose to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a related field, this would certainly increase your chances of employment.

Nursery Manager

After working as a nursery worker for a minimum of two years and providing you possess and indeed have demonstrated strong organizational skills and financial management acumen, you, then and only then, may you start to consider progressing to become a nursery manager.

Nursery managers, often also referred to as pre-school managers, control and ensure that the children in their and their employees’ care are well looked after in a safe, secure and educational setting. As, naturally, young children are members of the ‘vulnerable’ section of society, there are a multitude of responsibilities, both legal and ethical, that you undertake and agree to when taking on the role.

Nursery managers also are in charge of keeping accurate records of staff and any additional support workers, monitoring the budget of the nursery, promotional and marketing work, ensuring their nursery meets all legal requirements, and interviewing and recruiting new employees.

Qualifications to become a nursery worker are by no means extensive, and generally, it would be sufficient to obtain a Level 3 Diploma for the young People and Children’s Workforce. You should demonstrate a minimum of two years working with young children and have obtained clearance by the United States Disclosure and Barring Service.


For those looking for a career as a teacher, the most common section of United States education bands is that of middle school education. Middle school education is where a child’s education is perhaps of the most paramount of importance and will shape the child right through their childhood years into adulthood.

Middle School Teacher

To become a professional teacher in education, it is necessary to complete an undergraduate degree, usually in English with a major in your chosen subject of interest, before registering for your teaching license.

There are frankly too many benefits of becoming a school teacher to list here, but some of the most prominent advantages to this kind of career in education include:

  • Job security
  • Lifelong learning opportunities
  • A clear path for career progression
  • Respect from other professionals and members of the community
  • A well-defined and generous healthcare program
  • Considerable salary with bonuses and opportunities for a pay increase
  • The pursuit of a vocation over a career
  • Long time off to spend with family and friends

Additionally, there are many roles alongside school teachers to consider, including teaching assistants and special needs teachers.

Principal Of A Middle School

Many school teachers are perfectly content remaining as such, and it is worth noting that such a job can be strenuous and generally tough as well as rewarding and life-affirming.

That being said, if, after many years of working as a teacher, you become or indeed are already passionate about the running of educational institutions over the teaching of the individual, then you may start to consider the possibility of becoming a principal.

Naturally, such openings in employment are far fewer and less regular than job opportunities for teachers, and it is also worth noting that, generally speaking, once someone becomes a principal of a particular school, they tend to stay at the same place for a number of years.

High School Teacher

High school education generally deals with students who are just beginning to discover where their interests, passions, strengths, and conversely, their weaknesses lie. It is universally accepted that, although school teaching is certainly not without its own set of trials and tribulations, high school teachers face numerous stressful situations and particularly complicated challenges.

High school teachers are required to regularly keep abreast of any changes within the educational sector of their state or country. Working hours are generally long and, at times, somewhat more unpredictable.

There are, however, copious benefits to choosing a career in high school education:

  • Freedom with the subject matter
  • Passionate and engaged students
  • Building relationships and becoming a confidante
  • Exercise your love for learning
  • The opportunity to see your students blossom

At this point, you are in a fantastic, prime position to branch out into a number of sidelines in terms of your career in education and could choose, amongst other copious other options, private tuition, supply teaching, school administration at senior level, or an education welfare officer.

Higher Education

If you have discovered a true passion, not to mention an extensive and particularly unique set of skills pertaining to the education sector, you may wish to pursue a career even further up the proverbial ladder.

Higher education either takes place online, from prestigious universities, or in higher education colleges and universities. Other careers within higher education include careers advisors, student support services, and university lecturing.

Higher Education Lecturer In Nursing

To even be considered to be hired by a leading higher education institution, it is vital to obtain a postgraduate degree in your own specific field of study. Often a doctorate of education online and a plethora of different aspects of teaching experience can help make you an appealing candidate.

If you are a professional teacher and are considering making the move into nursing education, then visit Wilkes University nursing for a way to gain a degree in nursing alongside your current job role. There are numerous advantages to working your way to becoming a higher education lecturer:

  • The prestige and respect from peers in the education sector and beyond
  • The consolidation of personal development
  • Research and subsequent accolades based on your PhD and teachings
  • A highly employable and desirable resume
  • Post-nominal letters which may lever you further in your career should you desire
  • Genuine and sometimes even lifelong bonds with adult students
  • Flexibility and fluidity with teaching styles and subjects

Higher Education Careers Advisor

An alternative to lecturing in the world of higher education, you may prefer to be prominent in the accurate determination of individual undergraduates’ and postgraduates’ career prospects and directions after they have obtained their degree.

Higher education career advisors work with their fellow academic co-workers to promote and encourage the employability of graduates, as well as assist and work closely with each student to prepare them for their impending career and to analyze their individual interests, values, and passions within their careers chosen field of study.

In addition to the natural progression of teachers within the education sector, these roles are just as rewarding and challenging as any other.

You could perhaps choose to secure a role in education publishing, which is a particular niche but equally as fascinating role, or perhaps you are interested in the pursuit of a career in education and training.

Sports coaches work directly with students from various schools, colleges, and universities to improve the overall fitness and physical aptitude of individuals, whereas outdoor activity managers often visit schools to educate students on the possible careers available in the sporting world and how they can combine their academic studies with more practical and sporting interests.

Other roles within the education sector, some of which merely require practical and proven experience in the field rather than an academic qualification, include:

  • Museum education officer
  • Environmental education officer
  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • Adult and community education
  • Community education officer
  • Student admissions officer
  • Education support worker
  • Disability adviser
  • Academic librarian
  • Student counselor

Salaries and working hours vary incredibly across the entire spectrum of the education sector. However, some of the most highly paid careers are an educational training and development manager, a school principal or headteacher, an educational human resources specialist, and a school career counselor. Think about where your passions lie before considering the salary aspect, but it can help to know what type of earning you can expect to make.

Krystal Morrison

I create this blog to share my daily tips about home improvement, children, pets, food, health, and ways to be frugal while maintaining a natural lifestyle. Interested to be a Guest Blogger on my website? Please email me at: [email protected]

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