Teachers are jumping out of the classroom and into the private-sector talent pool, and employers are glad to have them.

According to The Wall Street Journal, teachers are burning out in the classroom and the talent shortage is giving them options. Companies are hiring them for jobs in sales, software, healthcare and training, among other things, and giving them pay raises on top of it.

Just over a third of teachers, 34%, said they were considering a complete career change during October – November 2021.  And during 2021, more people left their jobs in education than in any other industry, the Journal said.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn reported that the share of teachers who used the site and changed careers rose by 62%. Frequent switching between online and in-person teaching, ever-changing approaches to mitigating COVID-19 and less-than-ideal dynamics in their relationships with students, parents and administrators have all contributed to the exodus.

Where the Jobs Are

Many erstwhile educators are finding work in IT services and consulting, hospitals and software development, the Journal said. Employers appreciate their ability to quickly understand and share information, manage stress and multitask. They’re taking on roles as salespeople, instructional coaches, software engineers and behavioral health technicians, said LinkedIn.

Many teachers appreciate the chance to spend more time with their family after they’ve changed jobs. However, money’s a factor in their thinking, as well. Teachers in the U.S. make 20% less than other professionals who have comparable education and experience, said CNBC. Not surprisingly, some private-sector jobs pay tens of thousands of dollars more than a typical teachers’ salary, the Journal said.

But some teachers have taken pay cuts to jump into the business world. Pay for teachers varies widely, the Journal noted, with teachers in California, Massachusetts and New York earning an average of more than $80,000 a year, while those in Florida, Mississippi and South Dakota earned less than $50,000.


By Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, TLNT.com and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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