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Education - general

secondary school pupils in science lab

Discover other sectors

This sector not for you?  Don't worry, there are plenty of others to explore.

The Education sector includes a wide range of roles for graduates from all degree disciplines, using teaching and communication skills to work with young people or adult learners outside of a classroom setting. There are also a wide range of administrative and support roles, in all education sectors including Higher Education. If you are interested in teaching, please see the Education - teaching sector pages.

What you need to know

Find out about the education (general) sector

Working in the education sector offers a range of different roles, including classroom teaching, administration in schools, further and higher education, and a wide range of opportunities (eg outreach, learning officer) working with children and young people.

Key resources

Research the sector and keep up with current issues by reading:

What skills do I need?

The skills needed will depend on the individual job role; specialist posts may require specific subject knowledge and training.

Outreach and learning officer roles are likely to require specific sector knowledge (eg heritage, environment, theatre) as well as the skills needed to plan a programme and engage an audience. Careers in educational psychology require specific accredited degrees and training.

Other careers in the education sector may require high level administrative and organisational skills; university roles include student recruitment, marketing, student support, HR, library and information services, events and facilities management, legal work and business development, so be prepared to research these individual functions and requirements to see whether this is right for you.

Valuable skills and qualities for this sector include:

  • communication, listening and interpersonal skills
  • empathy/sensitivity and patience
  • planning/organisation
  • project management
  • motivational skills
  • commitment to children/young people
  • ability to work under pressure.

See What can I do at York? for suggestions about developing your skills.

Work experience

Ideally work experience will give you some practical experience in the job you are interested in, give you a greater insight into work in the sector, and build on your skills and knowledge. If you don't manage to get work experience in your chosen area of work, any work experience will give you the opportunity to develop the transferable skills that are important to employers. Consider volunteering too, as a great way to get experience and to demonstrate your commitment and values.

See Finding Jobs for jobs websites, and What can I do at York? for ways to get experience while you are at university.

Finding jobs

Recruitment into this sector takes place year-round, as needs arise, although you may find more jobs advertised to start at the beginning of an academic year.

The following sites may be useful in looking for vacancies:

The recruitment process

You are most likely to have to apply for a job electronically, by completing an online application form; a CV is not generally required, but you will need to complete a supporting statement, matching your skills and experience to the job requirements. Find out more about the recruitment process in the Apply for jobs section of our website. Any jobs working with children and young people are likely to require a DBS criminal records check.

What can I do at York?

  • An internship with York Internships offers great experience through a summer (or occasionally term-time) project; some are based in University departments
  • Look for internships or work experience; see other job sector pages for suggestions eg Psychology, Museums and Heritage
  • Volunteer in your local community - projects in sustainability, or heritage, for example, can offer some great education-related experience
  • Classroom-based experience with York Students in Schools is valuable for education/outreach careers and educational psychology, as well as for teaching
  • YUSU also run volunteering projects
  • Do It - search for volunteering opportunities nationally
  • Look at our skills pages for more about skills and how you can develop them, through work experience, internships and volunteering
  • You might like to take a short online course (MOOC) to build on your existing skills and knowledge. These courses are free of charge, offered via an online platform by universities around the world. Examples of courses (which will be available at different times) include:
    • Future Learn: Caring for vulnerable children, Digital Wellbeing (UoY)
    • Open Learn (free courses from the Open University): Introduction to child psychology, Childhood in the digital age, Children and young people's participation, Children's perspectives on play, Learning to teach - reflective practitioner, Learning how to learn, Social problems: who makes them? and others in the Education and Development section
  • Listen to our What do you actually do? podcast with Laura Hallett, head of strategic change at York St John University, for an insight into support roles in higher education.

More resources: people to follow, podcasts, blogs

People to follow

Connect with York graduates on York Profiles and Mentors

Find the full list of graduate profiles on York Profiles & Mentors.

You can also find and connect with York alumni working in this sector on LinkedIn.

Social media accounts

  • @gem_heritage - Group for Education in Museums
  • @engagevisualart - Engage, advocacy and training network for gallery education
  • @CLOtC - Council for Learning Outside the Classroom
  • @cypnow - Children and Young People Now
  • @natyouthagency - National Youth Agency
  • @The_AUA - professional association for administrators and managers in Higher Education