How to use your degree to pivot into a teaching career

How to pivot into a teaching career

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is teaching my true calling?
  • Would I love to work with kids?
  • Am I looking to switch up my career and learn some new skills?

There are so many great reasons to make a career switch into teaching and so many potential teachers who are put off at the thought of going back to school to do an expensive four-year education program.

Well, here’s the good news––you don’t have to!

If you already have a four-year bachelor degree (in any field) then there is a path into state school teaching in the US that’s open to you: alternative certification.

Teach Away’s nationally-accredited Teacher Certification Program (TCP) is a flexible and affordable way to become a teacher, and it could be the right choice for you! Keep reading.

Fast-track your career change

Fast-track your career

TCP is a short, intense program that normally lasts for less than a year. Although there is an element of academic study involved, our program emphasizes practical classroom experience.

Learn new skills

TCP will equip you with valuable skills that are key for success inside and outside the classroom such as organization, time management, and people skills!

Help communities in need

Alternative certification programs were originally designed to bring talented professionals into underserved schools, as quickly as possible. Tackling educational inequality in the US is still a priority in many alternative certification programs.

In particular, Hawaii suffers from a serious teacher shortage, especially in the subjects of math, science, and English. That is why we initially aligned the standards of TCP to meet the local Hawaii needs.

Teach to travel

Once you complete TCP, candidates are eligible to earn a Hawaii teaching license that is easily transferable to other parts of the US.

As for teaching abroad, candidates who hold US teaching certification are in high demand at international schools that follow an American curriculum. As a result, you’ll likely qualify for some of the most competitive teaching positions at the world’s top international schools.

How does alternative certification compare to the normal route into teaching in the US?

The most common route into state school teaching in the US is doing a traditional education preparation program. That makes you eligible to apply for state licensure or take a state teaching license exam or test to obtain your license (more info on this below) and then apply for teaching jobs.

This route works great for those who know they want to teach at the start of their careers. But for those who are switching careers, the thought of your life and earnings taking a four-year pause (or longer!) while you go back to school can seem impossible to manage.

This is where alternative certification comes in.

Alternative certification programs last for one intense year after which you’ll be ready to apply for your full teaching license as education grads would. Then you can officially apply for teaching jobs.

So, both routes ultimately lead to the same destination; with you getting on a path to get a teaching license and work in state schools! The only difference between a traditional program and an alternative one are:


Alternative certification takes less than a year whereas a traditional education preparation program takes four.


Although programs for alternative certification vary, they are significantly more affordable than university studies and you can earn a full-time salary while you study.

(Please note: For anyone who doesn’t have a degree from traditional education preparation program, unfortunately, alternative certification is not an option for you. Your best route into teaching is to earn a degree in education.)

What makes TCP different?

Why is TCP different?

With TCP, you’ll have a full-service community to support your certification. From course work to your job search, we’re here for you.

TCP also ensures the value of real-life preparedness with the flexibility and convenience of a digital platform. From quality instructors, weekly lesson requirements, to mentor office hours and a collaborative community of learners––we set you up for success.

  Traditional Teacher Certification Programs Teach Away’s Teacher Certification Program
Time to Classroom 2-4 years As few as 9 months
Cost to Classroom $30,000+ USD $5,000 USD
Employment Support Your in-classroom peers, teacher career suggestions, recruitment support Access to a global network of peers, as well as your online classmates, an on-ground, in-person placement mentor and an ecosystem of recruitment professionals to support your next steps
Program Flexibility Strict physical classroom setting and set hours Flexible online, on-your-time schedule
Financial Opportunities While Studying Teaching placements are typically unpaid Option to secure a paid teaching placement

What are the requirements for TCP?

To be eligible for TCP, you should:

  1. Hold a four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  2. Pass a background check
  3. Have a minimum 3.0 GPA in your final year of an undergraduate degree
  4. Be eligible to work in the US
  5. Have sufficient knowledge to pass the Praxis II exam in your chosen subject stream
  6. Ability to relocate to Hawaii for 450 clinical placement hours
  7. Desire to teach one of the core subjects offered: English, math, science, or TESOL

What are the next steps once I have my alternative certification?

Once you’ve completed TCP take a moment to congratulate yourself! ?

Now, you are eligible to apply for a Hawaii state teaching license and be eligible for jobs throughout the state and beyond.

Career change complete. ✔

teaching jobs abroad