With their hard-working determination and unique ability to clarify difficult material, teachers have long been an asset to their teams. But with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 alongside low teacher salaries and long hours on the job, many educators began to reconsider their career choice. According to LinkedIn, the number of teachers on the site who left for a new career increased by 62% in 2021! The grit that most teachers show have made them an attractive applicant now for tech jobs.
Here at Course Report, we’ve spoken with so many teachers about how they made a career change into tech after enrolling in a coding bootcamp. We’re rounding up our favorite advice from these former teachers as well as the top 5 transferable skills that make former teachers great technologists!
If we’ve learned anything from our talks with former teachers-turned-technologists it’s that there’s really no perfect time in your teaching career to make a career change. We’ve spoken with seasoned educators who had spent years in the classroom as well as teachers who were just starting their teaching career and realized they were ready to pivot.
A few key reasons we’ve heard educators cite for making a career change into tech:
The career changes of some teachers are kick-started by layoffs at their school. Rather than face the teacher job market again, you may take the opportunity to reskill into tech. For example, James took this as a sign to start at LearningFuze, “When the school underwent layoffs, I followed my heart and decided to make the career change into tech.”
“As a teacher, you have to know how to communicate well to express ideas to your students. You are in charge of a room of students and that can easily overlap with leading a team of developers. I feel like on my present team, even though I do not have a leadership role yet, I am explaining things to other people and offering direction. They may have more coding experience, but I have that confidence in what I'm speaking about. Even if I do not have those specific skills, I know how to word it to help others understand.” – Penn LPS Coding Boot Camp grad Neha
Teachers are tried-and-true communicators! They have the ability to explain difficult concepts in layman’s terms, and present materials in an effective way. They are also adept listeners. Teachers know how to foster productive work environments that inspire others to try new things and cooperate with each other.
“When I was a teacher, I often told my class about growth mindset: You will improve if you put in the time and effort. I put my own words to the test when I attended DigitalCrafts. It was intense, and sometimes frustrating when my code wasn't working and I couldn't find the solution. It was easy to become overwhelmed with emotion, but reminding myself of the growth mindset helped me to persevere.” – DigitalCrafts grad Priyanka
Teachers are excellent problem-solvers! On a daily basis in their teaching career, they encounter situations that require them to process and determine the best solution for the issue.
“Coming from a teaching background, I applied various ways of learning… to break down information. From visual aids to writing notes, it was my key strategy to get the most out of the bootcamp.” – DigitalCrafts grad Priyanka
Teachers excel at organization! They understand how to plan out projects and tasks with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly trajectories in mind. Teachers are good at anticipating needs, preparing materials, and creating alternative plans.
“Teaching is all about rolling with the changes, whether those changes are from administration, national standards, different students each year, or the general environment of academia. Teaching requires adaptability and the ability to work with different people all day.” – Nucamp grad Nic
Teachers are adaptable! While they excel at organizing, teachers are also adept at updating or even totally pivoting their plans when a situation arises. This skillset translates to web development teams, where new priorities and projects are passed down from product managers and even the CEO.
“What teachers know best is figuring out how people learn. They’re also good at recognizing how they themselves learn. If you can teach yourself, you can get up to speed much quicker.” – Eleven Fifty Academy grad Phil
Teachers love to learn! These perpetual students have an insatiable curiosity that helps them grow their knowledge base. And in tech, you’ll be constantly learning new languages and tools, and going after new certifications.
While former teachers have landed tech roles across industries, some teachers may gravitate to finding tech roles at education companies. Thanks to their experience in the classroom, they can offer that unique teacher perspective to their tech teams as they build out products and services for teachers. These former teachers will have a good grasp on what will (and won’t!) work for teachers today.
These teachers-turned-technologists should consider tech jobs at universities and colleges, textbook companies (like McGraw-Hill, Scholastic, or Pearson), edtech companies and startups (like Udacity, Coursera, or Chegg), or even becoming instructors at coding bootcamps!
“Education is a special niche, so it’s important for [tech professionals] to fit in the education world. A candidate can have all the technical skills, but if they aren’t someone who can work in education, they might not work out at Five Star. On any given day, our techs are dealing with kindergarteners all the way up to superintendents.” - Eleven Fifty Academy employer partner, Five Star Technology Solutions
Are you a teacher considering a career change into tech? We’ve made it easy to find coding bootcamps that match your specific needs with our quick GetMatched tool!
Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps.
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