There’s a saying about the teaching profession that’s well known to many and almost certainly well despised by teachers: “Those who can do; those who can’t teach.”
Of course, many teachers accept relatively low pay for challenging work because they find it tremendously rewarding and fulfilling. But the notion that teachers teach because they can’t execute the concepts they instruct is absurd. However, that doesn’t make it any less surprising to learn how many teachers seem to be leaving education and entering the corporate world.
Pandemic Drove Teachers Out
“Teachers have quit in droves during the pandemic. Sometimes bumpy, their paths provide a lesson plan for others looking to leap from the classroom to the corporate world,” writes Kathryn Dill in an article for The Wall Street Journal. “Nationwide, former educators are starting jobs in sales, software, healthcare, training services and other hot fields, and more say they want to follow suit.”
While this exodus is a potential nightmare for school systems that have struggled to find enough teachers for decades, it’s welcome news for employers that have just recently been feeling the bite of a widespread labor shortage. Here is a source of well-educated labor with deep expertise in areas like written and oral communication; training; and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
For many teachers, however, the transition hasn’t been a smooth one.
The Transition Can Be Rocky
“Many teachers in transition say they are confronted with a mystifying array of training programs and online career coaches,” writes Dill. “They lack a compass for charting a job search in the business world and are often stuck at even the first step.”
It’s hard for employers to take advantage of this labor pool because many are unaware it even exists. The key for workers looking to tap into this potential recruitment opportunity is to proactively seek out teachers and be prepared to offer some level of training to support a transition from the education world to the corporate world.
Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.