New grad? Here's how to start teaching after college

College grads at graduation - teaching after college.

One of the best feelings after finishing college is knowing that there's no more homework, no more papers to write and no more exams.

Best of all, that means no more living on a tight student budget! You can finally get paid for the work you do.

And then a global pandemic hits. Between all the other concerns we have right now, the US job market has frozen. It's a worrying time for a lot of the workforce and especially new grads.

The jobs you were hoping to go for might not exist at the moment. And the companies you were excited about applying to may not be in a position to hire you.

But you still need to earn a living. So, what should you do with your life after college in these strange circumstances?

Allow us to suggest becoming a teacher.

On top of the massive demand for educators at the moment, it's also quicker and easier to become a teacher than you might think. And, as a teacher, you'll learn professional skills you'll use throughout your career.

Curious to know how to get started?

Keep reading cause we’ll answer a few common questions we get about how to become a teacher in the US after college:

  • Should I become a teacher after college?
  • Is it hard to become a teacher?
  • How do I become a teacher if I already have a bachelor's degree?
  • How do I get an alternative teaching certificate?
  • How much does alternative teacher certification cost?
  • Where can I teach with alternative teacher certification?

teacher in library with students - teaching after college.

Should I become a teacher after college?

Yes! Teaching after college is a great career move. Here's why:

  1. Teaching is a secure job. You will be guaranteed work and a regular, reliable salary. Plus, there's a teacher shortage in the states, so there are lots of teaching positions available, meaning you'll get hired quickly.
  2. Teaching is a well-respected profession. Future employers in all sectors will be impressed with your professional experience as an educator, even if you don't plan to switch careers out of teaching.
  3. Teaching boosts your professional skills. Time in the classroom will improve your people skills, time management, public speaking, and many more professional skills in demand in the workplace.
  4. Teaching is fun! Don't be surprised if you end up loving teaching. The enjoyment and rewards of working as a teacher are hard to match.

Is it hard to become a teacher?

No, it isn't hard to become a teacher; it takes dedication and the right qualifications. Firstly, to teach in the states, you'll need a teaching license.

The path to a teaching license is straightforward. Traditionally, you could earn a college degree in education, pass state exams, and apply for licensure.

But there's an even easier, cheaper and faster way to become a certified teacher: alternative teacher certification programs.

Keep reading cause we'll talk more about alternative teacher certification programs later.

teacher helping student - teaching after college.

How do I become a teacher if I already have a degree?

The good news is that it's possible to become a teacher after college, whatever subject you studied.

Alternative teacher certification programs are for graduates who want to fast-track their teacher training. And they are open to all graduates, whether or not you majored in education.

That means as long as you have a bachelor's degree, you can get your teacher certification after college.

Once you complete an alternative teacher certification, you can get a teaching license and work in state schools.

How do I get an alternative teaching certificate?

The usual steps towards earning certification through an alternative teacher prep program are: 

  1. Register for an accredited alternative route teacher certification program. 
  2. Complete coursework and in-person training. 
  3. Pass state exams for prospective educators (passing scores may be required). 
  4. Apply for a professional teaching license through the state.

With an alternative teaching certification program, you can become a certified teacher online by completing most of your training from home, followed by in-person practice or clinical placement at a school.

Any course you choose will typically be divided into two components:

  1. Core lessons: First, you'll focus on teaching theory to help build an understanding of classroom dynamics, subject matter, and lesson planning. This part of the course can often be completed online at your own pace, making it easy to fit around other commitments.
  2. In-person practice: Next, you'll get into the classroom to try out teaching for real in a supported environment. Your course provider will help you find a school to complete your placement and provide you with guidance from experienced educators.

The certification process takes around 6-9 months, making alternative teacher certification the fastest way for graduates to become licensed teachers.

    woman studying on her laptop - teaching after college.

    How much does alternative teaching certification cost?

    Costs vary depending on the state the course is based in and the course provider.

    Different course providers may (or may not) include fees for additional services in their packages such as application fees, course fees, exam fees and training materials. So make sure to ask your course provider for a cost breakdown before you start any course.

    However, good alternative certification courses cost around $5,000, which you can usually pay in installments.

    This makes alternative teaching certification the most cost-effective way to get your teaching certificate after college.

    The alternative route of redoing a Bachelor's or taking a Masters in Education would be more than double the price.

    female teacher in class with kids raising their hands - - teaching after college.

    Where can I teach with alternative teaching certification?

    Almost all states have their own form of an alternative teacher preparation program. 

    For example, some certification courses tailor their programs to specific states, like this one in Hawai'i. This means that upon completion, you'll be certified to teach in the state of Hawai'i, but not in other US states.

    Others, like this one focused in Arizona, qualify you to apply for teaching jobs throughout the US.

    In general, after you have completed your alternative certification and have received your teaching license you are able to teach in the state your program was designed for and nearly every other state through state reciprocity.  

    And if you've ever pictured yourself living overseas at some point in your life, the great news is that having an American teaching license can help you get jobs abroad. International schools, English language programs and TEFL academies around the world want to hire licensed English-speaking teachers.

    I'm interested! What do I do next?

    Getting your teaching certificate after college is the first step towards a new career in the classroom, and beyond!

    To get started, take a look at some of our accredited teacher certification programs online.

    Or you can talk to one of our admissions advisors for more details!

    From teacher training to placement, we've got you covered.

    Good luck to all the future teachers!