Friday, June 20, 2014

Career Options for Bachelor of Arts In Educational Studies (BAES) Degree

If you are student or graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies (BAES) degree, you might be wondering what kinds of career options are available to you, since this is a non-licensure teaching program.  While it is easier to get a teaching job with a teaching license, it doesn't mean that a teaching license is out of the question for you.  You just might need to take a different route to get there.

If you haven’t already done so, you should research your state’s “alternative certification program” on your state’s Department of Education web site.  Every state has a procedure for non-traditional licensing.  Some states will give you a temporary teaching license with the understanding that you need to complete their alternative certification guidelines within a year or two’s time-frame.  Other states will want you to complete their alternative certification program first and then grant you a teaching certificate at the conclusion of the program.

If you aren't interested in obtaining a teaching license but would still like to work in the field of education, consider the following career options as alternatives:

  1. Educational Centers such as museums, zoos, theme parks, science centers, aquariums, renaissance fairs and summer camps all need directors and staff to handle their educational programming.
  2. Opportunities exist to teach English abroad through private organizations.  Some of these positions require you to move to the country and other opportunities allow you to work from home and tutor on-line to international students.  If you want to work for DODEA (Department of Defense Education Activity), you will need a teaching license.  In addition to teaching internationally, you could also consider the role of Foreign Exchange Program Coordinator and create exchange programs for schools in your community.
  3. Textbook Companies need curriculum developers, textbook writers, textbook editors and sales representatives to sell their product to local school districts for textbook adoption.  A quick Google search will give you a list of US Textbook companies to research for opportunities in your area.
  4. Business corporations need corporate trainers, educational consultants, professional development facilitators and motivational speakers to train their staff and keep their employees current on trends within their industry. Most businesses will post these positions on popular job search engines.
  5. Testing centers across the country also have a variety of positions to fill in education.  Positions such as test developers, proctors, assessors, quality assurance and security jobs are also available to those with education based backgrounds.  Many of these positions are located in a certain geographic region of the country, but if you’re willing to move, there is great opportunity in this industry.
  6. Support roles within a school are a natural way to land a full time teaching job.  Obtaining a job as a paraprofessional, coach, tutor, resource teacher, teacher’s aide, substitute teacher, daycare or preschool teacher are great ways to get your foot in the door at a school to network every day with the administration.  Finding a role in this area, while simultaneously pursuing your alternate certification program for your state, leads to a great opportunity for the following school year to get your first classroom.
  7. Consider returning to WGU for your Master’s degree in a specialized field.  There are a lot of educational opportunities available to you that don’t require a teaching license.  In K-12 education, you could assume roles as a media specialist, technology specialist, curriculum developer, learning specialist and reading coach.  In higher education, opportunities such as academic advisor, adjunct professor and mentor don’t require a teaching license, but usually will require an advanced degree.

If you have further questions about these types of roles, please visit WGU Career & Professional Development to take our career assessment and explore more career options.  Before applying for any position, remember to have your resume reviewed by one of our specialists.  You can e-mail it to careers@wgu.edu in a Word document and we’ll get you some feedback for improvement!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Great Summer Reads from the WGU Career E-Library

As summer gets underway you might be looking to add to your summer reading list. Stop by the WGU Career E-Library for some relevant information and resources to enhance your job search and career. Do you have questions about industries that might interest you? Are you wondering how to handle a recent job loss? Are you interested in resources for job seekers with disabilities? The WGU Career E-Library has information that can help you answer these questions (and then some).  Let’s take a tour!

  • One of the featured resources in the WGU Career E-Library is the Riley Guide. Here you will find comprehensive online information and resources to assist you in your career and job search.  The Riley Guide brings you the latest information on career management resources on the Internet. Simply use the alphabetical index to locate your area of interest and you’ll be directed to the best sites available. 
  • WGU also offers excellent resources to research a variety of industries from First Research and Hoover’s, Inc. These tools provide hundreds of industry profiles, covering over 1000 industry segments. Profiles include in-depth data and are continuously updated. There is even a feature with industry specific questions you can ask in an Informational Interview. 
  • Interested in opportunities in federal service? The Career E-Library links to Go Government – a one-stop shop for how to find and apply to federal government jobs.
  • The Career E-Library also features job search and career development resources for veterans, job seekers with disabilities, LGBTQ job seekers and mature job seekers. 

WGU Career and Professional Development is ready to assist you in compiling your summer reading list. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, help you navigate the plethora of resources available and also point you to additional resources. In addition to your summer reading, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to talk through your next career steps.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Face Time: Interviewing Tips from the Inside

By now you've probably had a few interview experiences in your life. But they really never get much easier. Even the most seasoned professional gets a little nervous while waiting to be called in for the big interview. One sure way to help calm those nerves is be as prepared as possible. Preparation is half the battle.

The hiring process is a complicated one. It involves lots of “moving parts” including people. There are several people who play various roles during the hiring process. The cast of characters include: The Recruiter, The Hiring Manager, The Boss’s Boss, Potential Peers, and The Admin. Treat each one of these with the utmost respect and professionalism. From the moment you walk into the office to the moment you walk out of the building. They all will have a role in your being hired ….or not.

Treat the interview more like a conversation than an interrogation.  There is more to evaluating a candidate than meeting hard skills. As the applicant you must be able to fit into the company culture and be flexible enough to possibly take on various jobs. Preparation may go beyond the one page job description, it may also include your knowledge of the company history, current projects, insight into strengths and weaknesses, etc. Make sure you take full advantage of our website to help research company profiles. This will help you get a jump on the competition.

If you can approach this situation with the mindset of talking about your strengths and how you believe your past jobs have prepared you for this position, then you can speak from a place of power. You have more control than you may realize. However, you still need to be able to demonstrate your key accomplishments and how these relate to the job at hand for which you are applying. It may help to have a portfolio together with necessary facts and figures that tie you and your experience to the position. It’s OK to have a notebook of bulleted lists of information you want to recall. You don’t have to memorize your entire work history. A list of accomplishments that match the “required qualifications” from the job posting may help you maintain your focus. Make sure you review the list of Interview Questions on our website so that you can have a preview of what might be asked. And, don’t forget questions of your own! Having questions related to the job shows you care and your strong desire for the job. One of the questions should be, “What’s the next step in this process?” and “How will you communicate with me about your decision”?

Lastly, don’t forget to take everyone’s business card and send a Thank You note. Be patient during the waiting game. If you haven’t heard from anyone, it’s OK to call as a follow up but wait at least two weeks.  Make sure you visit WGU Career & Professional Development for more interview tips.