Those who can…do more than teach

A degree in an education-related subject can do so much more than get you into teaching. The education sector is a broad and interesting part of society focused on people and development throughout their lives.

  “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
Nelson Mandela

Education is about much more than teaching in classrooms. It remains the focus of political and intellectual debate across the world and is vital in building and maintaining thriving societies. As education policy constantly evolves and education reform remains at the top of the agenda for governments worldwide, learning and research around the subject is ever-changing and developing, making the study of education interesting, relevant and focused on real-world issues and examples.

Although many interested in education initially hope to end up as teachers, plenty will in fact take up careers in other areas related to this. Careers relating to education are wide-ranging and go considerably further than student-facing roles. Many graduates from education-related courses will work to benefit wider sections of society including children, young people and adult learners.


“Many graduates from education-related courses will work to benefit wider sections of society…”

To reflect the diversity of careers in the industry, many degrees relating to education are on offer. Whilst some specifically focus on developing skills in teaching and learning (in subjects such as Maths, Science or English Education), others consider other aspects of the field.

A BA programme in Education Studies is a multidisciplinary course for those who are interested in social sciences and the humanities and how these relate to education. Although many graduates from this programme go on to take a teaching qualification, others will set up schools or colleges or work within local or national government and charitable organisations to push forward education reform.

More specific degree programmes in the field of education can be attractive for those with an interest in a particular area. Comparative education looks at education systems, traditions and issues across the world which is particularly interesting for international students. Lifelong Learning considers education as an on-going process which does not finish upon graduation from school or university.

Education and International Development is growing in popularity as those interested in international development recognise the significance of education within the field. A degree in this subject explores policy issues relating to education and development, often focusing on low and middle income countries.

Those who study education-related programmes develop key skills which are highly valued by employers both in and outside the education industry. Analytical and research skills are heavily used within the study of the subject and the real-life focus of education programmes introduces a historic and political framework in the teaching.


“Those who study education-related programmes develop key skills…”

Given the wide range of skills and the specific knowledge gained from studying such courses, graduates are well-received by employers. Graduates fill positions as teachers, child psychologists, university administrators, professors or researchers. They work in local and national governments as well as in organisations such as NATO and the United Nations. Graduates from education and development programmes often work within the charitable or not for profit sector in developing countries.

Written by Lucy Green
Deputy Head of International Office
Institute of Education, University of London