The edtech sector has exploded over the past few years, with the number of available jobs expected to nearly double over the next decade. This makes edtech careers a very appealing option for teachers looking to transition out of the classroom.
In this article, we’ll look at what makes edtech a great choice for teachers, what roles in the industry are best for educators, and what skills they’ll need to succeed in this dynamic and growing industry.
What is Edtech?
In short, it’s technology that helps students learn and teachers teach. This category includes portals and platforms to facilitate online learning as well as tools that improve the classroom experience.
While edtech roles all involve working with technology in some way, not all of these jobs require tech skills. The educational side of the industry is just as important, and these are the roles where former educators excel. These job opportunities may still be on the design side, helping companies create the instructional materials included in their programs. Others in edtech work with schools and companies to help them implement new technology and teach instructors how to best use the new systems, or serve as sales representatives who explain edtech products to potential users and help them choose the right one for their needs. This variety of roles in the edtech world means more opportunities for former educators to find a position that’s a perfect fit for their skills and interests.
Benefits of a Career in Edtech
For starters, edtech professionals typically make more than teachers. The average salary of a public school teacher in the US in 2021 was $65,000, compared to $85,000 for edtech jobs. There are also ample jobs available in this sector. Currently, there are more than one million jobs in edtech across the United States, and these jobs are growing at a rate three times faster than the overall job market.
Because of this fast growth, demand for workers has outpaced available talent with a background in software design, app development, and other tech roles. This opens up the door for people from other backgrounds to enter the field. Those with a background in teaching are especially appealing to companies since they have first-hand, practical experience with the problems schools face and how edtech can solve those issues. With that information, an edtech company can both design better products and market them more effectively to school districts and administrators.
3 Best Edtech Jobs for Educators
Educational Sales Representative
Average Salary: $66,220
Education Required: Bachelor’s degree
Sales representatives are the ones who demonstrate edtech products to districts and schools interested in using them. This means understanding both the product and how it will be used in the classroom, something former teachers can do better than most. Communication skills are crucial for these professionals, who thrive when they can build relationships with clients and clearly explain the benefits of their product.
The typical duties of this role will vary depending on whether you’re an inside or outside sales rep. They may be responsible for identifying potential clients and doing cold outreach, as well as responding to incoming sales calls, demonstrating the product to potential users, and helping school districts identify the right tools for their needs.
Average Salary: $75,313
Education Required: Bachelor’s degree
Edtech project managers coordinate the development team with input from educators, administrators, and students to ensure everyone’s ideas are heard and needs are met. Former teachers thrive in these positions because they come into the job with insights into the teacher’s experience and what helps students learn best. Teachers also have experience explaining complex concepts in a way non-experts can understand, allowing them to bridge the gap between the technical language used by the design team and the practical concerns of educators.
As you might expect from this description, communication is a key skill for a product manager. Strong organization and project management skills are also crucial, as are agility and intellectual flexibility, since these professionals often have to fill multiple roles to guide the product to a successful completion.
Average Salary: $76,190
Education Required: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
Companies that design products aren’t the only ones who hire edtech talent. Education organizations also need employees who understand these products and how they fit into the classroom. That’s basically the job of an instructional designer. These professionals create the education and training materials instructors will use in their class based on their knowledge of how students learn, and may be employed by the companies that design the products or the schools that use them.
Instructional designers need an in-depth understanding of how students learn best. Those with a Master’s of Education in learning design or technology are the best qualified for these roles, though hands-on experience teaching students can also give them this expertise. Teachers who have developed their own curriculums or have worked with school administrators on curriculum development will have the best chance of being hired into these opportunities.
The Bottom Line
The growing edtech sector has a lot of opportunities for former educators, and the jobs on this list are just a few of the options that they can explore. While it’s not all-inclusive by any means, we hope this article can give teachers some insight into the skills and experiences they’ll need to transition from the classroom into the edtech sector.