Education majors explore job market

Abi Luempert

For some education majors, finding a job can seem like competing for an Olympic medal. For others, it may seem more like a walk in the park.

It’s all about supply and demand, said Carla Owens, assistant director of Career Services and a liaison for the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

Teaching jobs that are in high demand include math, science and special education. Areas where students are having difficult times finding jobs are social studies, early childhood and physical/health education.

Shannon Spencer, senior early childhood education major, said she is one of three out of the 47 students graduating in her major to have found a job already.

It may be due to her flexibility and willingness to move out of state, though.

“I have never wanted to live here, but I am also not able to find a job here,” she said in regard to her job in North Carolina.

Leaving home isn’t without its regrets, however.

“If I stay in North Carolina, I lose the kid I want to marry. But if I come back, I went to school for four years for nothing,” Spencer said.

She only sent out three applications because she was prepared to leave Ohio and she was offered a job at Teacher Interview Day back in April.

Teacher Interview Day, which Career Services coordinates, is a job fair for education majors. This year, 59 schools attended and had 1,420 interviews among 282 students. Students were allowed to interview up to 18 times, and some did, Owens said.

Spencer got off easy considering she knows many people who have sent dozens of applications and haven’t received much response.

Sunny Brick, senior integrated mathematics education major, hasn’t found a job yet, but she’s determined to find one in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

“I’ve sent out about nine applications so far,” she said. “I had one interview Tuesday, and I have two scheduled for Thursday.”

Brick said because math education majors are higher in demand they have more flexibility when it comes to choosing location.

However, all six of the about 37 people in her graduating class who have jobs for sure are headed south to teach.

“At Teacher Interview Day, the out-of-state schools were putting contracts on the table that day offering jobs,” Brick said. “They were basically begging people to move, while the Ohio schools seemed much more selective.”

Owens said willingness to relocate is a big help in finding a job, but also willingness to work in an urban or rural district can be helpful.

“I’m looking more toward suburban schools, definitely not inner city,” Brick said.

Nikki Bable, early childhood education major who will graduate in December, said, “I’ll teach anywhere in Northeast Ohio to get my feet wet and hopefully get a job.”

Contact College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Abi Luempert at [email protected].