Many career options in education, book argues

October 9, 2015

As many areas of the United States struggle with teacher shortages, a new book is bringing attention to careers not only in teaching, but in many other aspects of education.

John Carlson, a professor in the College of Education at Michigan State University, is the co-author of “101 Careers in Education.” He wrote the book with his father Richard Carlson, a former superintendent of schools, to help reach the next generation of people who can contribute to education.

“So often people just think of the typical teaching position in K-12 schools, but there are lot of different ways of thinking about bringing your talents to the field,” said John Carlson. As a faculty member at MSU, he has helped secure federal grants to recruit and train master’s and doctoral students in the high-demand areas of special education and school psychology. But those efforts have not substantially increased the total number of individuals applying to those graduate programs, he says. And alarming shortages remain in the field.

“I thought, what else can I do?” Carlson said. “I’m going to reach out to those who aren’t in the field yet or those who may be thinking about a career in service as we need more talented people in our discipline.

“Ultimately, my hope is they can someday help to address the decades long shortage of highly qualified special education personnel and recent shortages of STEM-related and early childhood educators.”

CarlsonBookCover“101 Careers” gives high school students, as well as their parents and counselors, an overview of each position, including the necessary skills, training, certification or licensure, compensation and employment outlook. Carlson said college students deciding on a major and individuals who have been unsuccessful in one career area will also find the book useful.

This book describes careers that range from working with very young children to positions in K–12 schools to educating adults in organizational settings and other alternatives. The Carlsons’ research included conducting interviews with 23 individuals in different educational positions.

The book will be available from Springer Publishing Company in September 2015. Visit the book’s Facebook page for more information about the education job market.