It’s a commonly held belief that, in an era of education budget cuts in states across the country, there simply is no demand for teachers in public schools. While that is certainly true in some cities, states, and subject areas, it’s a blanket statement that is simply inaccurate for the profession as a whole. In fact, there are many areas where educators are very much needed. The need for educators is so high in some places across the country that there is an actual shortage of professionals to fill these positions, leading to hiring incentives and unique opportunities for educators who are willing to relocate or re-train themselves in new certification areas. Before assuming that there simply are no jobs in this industry, take a look at areas where there is a distinct shortage of qualified applicants.
Geographically Speaking: Where Do Educators Go to Find a Job?
There are teaching jobs posted throughout the country all year long, but some areas have a much higher need for educators than others. To find out where those places are, just look into recent United States Census Bureau data concerning net migration to a given state or community. Currently, economic booms, driven by oil and other industries, have encouraged many people to move to North and South Dakota, northern Virginia and the Baltimore metropolitan area, central Delaware, south Florida, and the urban areas of Texas. These parts of the United States are the ones with the greatest demand for educators.
Thanks to a lack of educators to fill these crucial positions in states throughout the country, affected communities and school districts have put together incentive packages to draw professionals to local schools. These incentive packages often allow school districts to place new hires in a slightly higher pay scale category, or to offer more generous benefits, like better tuition reimbursement programs. For some of these school districts, federal student loan forgiveness also applies. Educators with large student loan balances have much to gain by considering these shortages as their source for employment in the industry.
Subject Area Shortages: Another Way to Find Employment
The map isn’t the only place to look for a shortage of qualified educators. There is also a very high need for those proficient in math, science, engineering, and technology. Known as the STEM fields, these four subject areas are considered to be the largest area of sustained economic and occupational growth in the United States over the long-term. In order to prepare that future workforce, educators are needed in elementary, middle, and high schools. Unfortunately, there simply aren’t enough recent graduates with proper certifications to fill these roles. This is a problem even in school districts that have no other need for qualified teachers.
This is another area where great incentives exist for qualified educators. The federal government has student loan cancellation programs for those in the STEM fields, while some school districts offer pay scale bumps and other benefit enhancements for STEM professionals who fill open positions.
Great Potential for Employment in Areas of Increased Need
One of the biggest secrets in education is that there really is a dramatic need for educators in certain subject areas and communities. In order to secure a great, long-term position that solves a school’s shortage and offers great benefits for the educator, consider the areas of greatest demand for teachers when searching for an entry-level job or simply a new, more exciting position.