According to the latest data from the U.S. Census, more than 1 in 4 Americans over the age of three were enrolled in an educational institution in 2018. The clearest path to education is teaching, but there are many other roles in the field ranging from technology to education policy. You can find work that is dedicated to improving the educational outcomes for students outside of a classroom. 

Princeton alumni work in different types of school settings including public and private schools, colleges and universities, government and nonprofits. 

Not all roles in this field involve teaching. Educational institutions — especially in higher education — have a variety of supporting roles that may not involve teaching but still contribute to research and education in other ways. 

You can do additional research on this field in the Firsthand Career Guide to Education

Gaining experience

Find co-curricular and/or summer opportunities to work directly with students through tutoring, mentoring or advising positions. Princeton provides opportunities to work with student populations and subject material from preK through higher education.

In addition to building experience, use these opportunities to start to identify your preferred educational environment and student population. No matter what type of role you are pursuing, having work experience in the classroom or academic settings is helpful background for education careers. 

You should also consider taking classes relating to education policy.

Hiring process and timeline

The peak season for recruitment in preK-12 and non-teaching university roles is the spring, with most schools looking to hire new teachers and staff before the next school year begins. Openings may also be posted throughout the year.

One exception is education-related, post-graduation service fellowship programs that place graduating seniors in preK-12 settings. Some of these opportunities, including the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program, have much earlier application deadlines in the summer or early fall.

On the path to the professoriate, recruitment and hiring timelines vary by discipline for professor and postdoctoral roles and often require more lead time.

Professional organizations and associations

Professional organizations and associations are membership-based groups comprised of people working in a similar field. They can be helpful resources for students to learn more about a field, develop connections and discover related opportunities. You can search for related organizations and associations using a database provided by the Princeton University Library.

Princeton Alumni