The past few years have been tough on teachers, leaving many eager to build a career outside the classroom. Edtech is an ideal career path for job seekers with teaching experience who want to transition out of the classroom, and many education technology companies offer location-independent remote positions, expanding the job opportunities beyond the roles available in your immediate area.
This is the perfect time for one-time teachers to find job openings in edtech, too. There is a growing demand for former teachers in the edtech industry, and a teaching degree or certificate is the ideal training for many of the more than 100,000 online roles currently available.
Benefits of Remote Edtech Careers for Former Teachers
A career in edtech can offer more financial stability than many school districts and other teaching jobs. The salaries tend to be higher, for one thing. The average annual pay for a classroom teacher in the US was around $33,000 a year in 2022. Even entry-level positions in edtech tend to start higher than that, and there is high potential for upwards mobility, both in terms of salary and job responsibilities, once you’re established in your new career path.
There are also fewer extracurricular demands on your time in edtech. A teacher’s day rarely ends when they leave the classroom in the afternoon. Grading papers, meeting with parents, and leading after-school activities often means teachers work shifts far longer than 8 hours, and while you may have summers free, days off can be hard to come by during the school year. Working in edtech often means a more consistent and predictable schedule, with fewer demands for your time and attention from outside the business.
Remote jobs also have the inherent benefit that you can do them from anywhere. This is appealing for a wide range of professionals, from those with families to aspiring digital nomads who want to travel the country, or even the world, without worrying about what they’ll do for money.
What Skills Do I Need to Work in Edtech?
While using technology is often a large part of any edtech career, that doesn’t mean you need to be a programmer or tech expert to succeed in the industry. In fact, many of the most desirable skills are very similar to those you need to excel as a teacher. This includes strong communication skills and knowledge of pedagogy techniques and practices.
Many roles in edtech don’t require advanced tech skills like programming or app design, but you will need to be comfortable using the computer programs designed by edtech companies, as well as using internet communication methods like video conference calls. Familiarity with the user side of edtech products is a big plus for making this transition. It can also help if you have a basic understanding of concepts like data analysis, SEO, gamification, and the role of social media in marketing and business.
If you’re concerned a lack of tech skills could stand in the way of your dream edtech role, taking an online certification class can help to fill in those gaps. The International Society for Tech in Education (ISTE) offers a competency-based certificate that’s a popular option for educators transitioning into edtech.
3 Remote Edtech Jobs Ideal for Former Educators
There are a range of positions that could be an ideal fit for people with classroom work experience, and an equal variety in the employers who need these professionals. From designing products and learning materials to online tutoring to a marketing or sales role, there are lots of ways for teachers to get hired into this field. Here are three ideas for those seeking a position in the edtech sector.
1. Instructional Designer
Typical salary: $88,000/year
Instructional designers create and improve the educational services and content offered by edtech companies. This requires advanced knowledge of pedagogy techniques and best practices, something that makes former teachers highly desirable for these roles.
Those with experience designing curriculums and educational products, processes and procedures will be the most likely to thrive in these roles. It’s also helpful to have working knowledge of user interfaces and experience, as well as basic familiarity with learning management systems, either from the user or the design side.
2. Customer Success Manager
Typical salary: $70,000/year
These employees offer support to schools, teachers, and other end users to help them get the most value out of edtech products. This could involve offering technical support via online systems like email and chat boxes, or setting up Zoom meetings or phone calls with educational organization leaders or educators to guide them through the setup and use of the technology.
This role gives former teachers the potential to use their education training in a new way. The ability to explain complex technical concepts in simple language is a plus. You may also be involved in troubleshooting customer issues, so analytical and problem solving skills are an advantage, as is the ability to stay focused and friendly in stressful or emotional situations.
3. Digital Marketing Specialist
Typical salary: $55,000/year
To successfully market a product or program requires both an in-depth understanding of the product and knowledge of its target user and their needs and goals. An educator who’s used edtech tools with students has a head start in both these areas, giving them an edge over candidates who come from a strictly marketing background.
The digital marketing team of a company helps grow the brand and engages with customers through social media, email, and other online channels. This requires strong communication skills, especially written communication for writing content like blog articles and social media posts, as well as teamwork and creative problem solving abilities. While a digital marketing certificate is often not a requirement, taking an online marketing course is an excellent way to level up your knowledge of SEO, analytics, and other best marketing practices.
Finding Your Perfect Remote Edtech Job
The three positions above are just a few of the many options you’ll find when you start looking for remote edtech roles. The bottom line is that there are plenty of fulfilling careers in education that allow you to work from anywhere. If you’re considering a career switch, there’s no better time than the present.