What are the best tech jobs for teachers?
If you’re looking to transition from teaching to a career in tech, you’re in the right place.
Here are the best ways to take the skills you already have and turn them into a thriving tech career!
Feel like you want to find a new career path?
Maybe you’ve figured out that your passions and skills have evolved… Or that the hours and lack of work-life balance are taking a serious toll on your mental health.
You might want more freedom and flexibility with remote work options and a better salary.
After all, K-12 teachers are part of the most burnt-out profession in the US. And over half of educators say they will leave teaching sooner than planned.
Whatever the reason, you have plenty of transferable skills as a teacher.
You have people, project management, and problem-solving skills – just to name a few. Sure, you might need other skills too. Some tech careers will require you to learn tech skills, while others are non-technical roles within technical industries.
But typically, you don’t need to get a new education to work in tech.
So, what are some good tech career options for teachers?
Next, we’ll look at six alternatives.
Here below are six top tech careers for you as a former teacher.
As a caveat, our team is in the instructional design industry, so we personally think that’s one of the best options for teachers. But that dream career might look different for you – it all depends on what type of career you want to build and the skills you want to develop.
Let’s dive in.
What is an instructional designer? An instructional designer, or ID for short, is a professional who creates and develops educational and training materials for learners in corporate, governmental, and educational settings. IDs use their understanding of learning theory and instructional design principles to design effective and engaging learning experiences.
In other words, many of the skills you already use in teaching are directly transferable to instructional design. After all, you already design and develop instructional materials in your current job.
You just merge those skills with more “modern” and tech-focused skills.
What’s more, an instructional design career can be highly fulfilling with great perks like remote work and a higher salary. Instructional designers tend to have a good work-life balance, so it’s typically not a career path where you have to sacrifice your life for your job.
While instructional design requires some technical skills, it isn’t necessarily an overly-technical job. You can learn skills like HTML5 and CSS to stand out – but that’s completely optional. Most importantly, you need to learn a rapid eLearning authoring tool like Storyline 360, which helps you create learning experiences.
However, you don’t need to pursue an additional college degree to become an ID – employers in the corporate sector don’t typically require that your past education is in instructional design. Your skills are what matter and the best way to show your skills is to create the right type of portfolio. For example, our instructional design bootcamp helps people, many of whom are former teachers, to start their own ID careers.
You can learn more about what it takes to become an instructional designer here:
And if you’re curious about how other teachers have gotten started in ID, check out our portfolio showcase page here. For example, Kassie, a former teacher, landed a remote instructional design role and doubled her salary.
Average salary: $83,347
How to get started: How to Transition from Teacher to Instructional Designer
A UX (or user experience) designer is responsible for creating products and services that are accessible, easy to use, and enjoyable. They do so by understanding user needs and behaviors. UX designers can work at different stages of product development – from ideation to research, testing, and iteration.
Your teaching skills can translate directly into UX design, as you work every day to help people learn, process, analyze, and retain information in the best way possible.
The skills you typically need as a UX designer include:
Some UX designers also learn CSS, HTML5, and other, more technical skills.
Average salary: $102,699
How to get started: How to Become a UX Designer
An Educational Technologist specializes in integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. In other words, you work together with faculty and IT teams to implement educational technologies.
Your responsibilities may include:
To become an Educational Technologist, you typically need a Bachelor’s degree. While you have a deep understanding of educators’ technology needs, you also need to familiarize yourself more with different software and other technical solutions.
Overall, the EdTech market is expected to grow 16.5% per year until 2030, so it’s a growing field. And with more educational institutions moving to hybrid or fully remote programs, technology in education will become more important than ever.
Average salary: $69,706
How to get started: How to Become an Educational Technology Specialist
A technical writer creates clear and concise documentation for technical products and processes. You collaborate with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to understand complex technical information and then translate that information into copy that non-technical audiences can easily understand.
Some products you might work on include manuals, training materials, online help systems, and support materials.
Technical writers are in demand. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of technical writers is projected to grow 7% between 2022-2030.
Communication is one of your transferable skills as a teacher. That’s why, if you pair your strong communication skills with an understanding technology, you may find success in a technical writing role.
Like previous career alternatives, you don’t need an additional degree to become a technical writer. However, you do need to have a strong understanding of technology.
Average salary: $82,251
How to get started: How to Become a Technical Writer
An EdTech developer is a software developer who specializes in designing, developing, and implementing educational technology solutions. They create innovative and engaging learning experiences with the help of the latest technologies.
In a nutshell, your tasks as an EdTech developer can include analyzing and understanding educational needs and designing, developing, implementing, and refining educational technology solutions.
Average salary: $102,099
How to get started: How to Become a Software Developer
An HR manager is someone who oversees the human resources (HR) department of an organization. As an HR manager, you work on different tasks, such as recruiting, hiring, training, and developing employees. You also manage compensation and benefits and ensure the organization is complying with labor laws.
As a teacher, you have a lot of the skills needed for successfully overseeing the HR department – including strong communication, interpersonal, problem-solving, and organizational skills.
What’s more, this isn’t a technical role, so if you want to work in the tech industry but don’t want to learn tech skills, becoming an HR manager at a tech company can be a great way of using your existing skills and getting into the tech space.
You don’t necessarily need a relevant degree to become an HR manager, but many workplaces will require one. Your existing degree might be enough, but some workplaces require a degree in Human Resources Management, Business Administration, or a related field.
Average salary: $74,941
How to get started: How to Become a Human Resources Manager
What’s the next step after you’ve found a tech career you want to pursue?
First, you need to make a upskilling plan.
Then, look into what your different options are in terms of learning the skills.
Are there online programs you can enroll in, such as courses and bootcamps?
Or do you need a college degree or certificate?
Our instructional design bootcamp teaches new IDs how to acquire ID skills and get their first instructional design job.
Next, make a financial plan.
You’ll need to learn new skills and land a job – and those things can take time. That’s why you might want to launch your next career on the side of your existing day job. That way, you don’t have to worry about your financial situation, which can be very stressful and make you accept the wrong job offer.
Ultimately, finding a tech job is about being curious about new opportunities, being open to learning new skills, and showing future employers how you can help them.
There you have it! Those are the best tech jobs for teachers.
Finding the right career for you comes down to your interests, skills, and what type of workplace you envision for yourself.
One of the career paths plenty of former teachers navigate towards is instructional design. You get to retain the teaching element of your teaching job, while building new, modern tech skills.
Want to learn more?
Get my free checklist to become an instructional designer.