Careers Service Occupations

Education Alternatives

Education Alternatives


If you’re interested in a career in education outside of a mainstream school, there are a wide range of options to consider.

There are opportunities to teach in alternative settings such as private tutoring or teaching in prisons, and there are non-teaching roles in education, including training adults or supporting children and young people. See Roles and Skills for more information on the types of roles that are available.  

Careers Advice

  • Prospects – Jobs in Education
  • TargetJobs – What else can I do with an education or teaching degree?
  • AGCAS – Education Alternatives

Industry News

Professional bodies

These represent people working in related sectors, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates.

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The websites listed below are an example of some of the professional bodies in the education and training sector.

Making contacts

Making contacts is important for success in this sector. Many jobs come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

  • social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, which is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. 
  • Newcastle alumni on LinkedIn – find out what they did after graduation and contact them for advice and inspiration


Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insights and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events organised by the Careers Service include Employer & Sector Insights and Recruitment Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in:

See our Explore Occupations pages for more options.

Roles and Skills

While some roles may require a teaching qualification and teaching experience, there are roles in education that you can enter without previous experience, with opportunities to gain professional qualifications whilst working.

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.

Teaching roles outside of mainstream schools

Non-teaching roles in education

Adult and community education

Outdoor and sport education

Early years provision

Supporting children and young people

Careers and educational guidance

Training and development


Skills employers look for

Skills required vary according to the specific role but the skills most employers in this sector look for include:

  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to relate to people from diverse backgrounds
  • empathy, diplomacy, sensitivity and a non-judgmental manner as well as a respect for confidentiality 
  • flexibility, with the ability to work on your own initiative as well as part of a team
  • resourcefulness, problem-solving skills and attention to detail
  • the capacity to cope with pressure 
  • the ability to liaise with other professionals and organisations

Gaining Experience

Some paid work experience opportunities are available. Volunteering is also a common route to gaining experience.

Work experience will allow you to develop new skills, build contacts and demonstrate your motivation and commitment to the sector.

Many work experience opportunities are not advertised. Consider contacting companies and organisations speculatively. If you can’t find any paid work experience you may be able to arrange volunteer work or work shadowing.

Advertised opportunities

National Citizen Service offer paid summer opportunities to work on their 3-4 week residential programmes for young people in the UK. 

Finding experience in the North East

  • Find companies on MyCareer - click ‘Search' then 'Organisations’ to find companies the Careers Service has worked with. Can filter by keyword, sector and region.
  • NE Youth run youth work programmes across the North East and have volunteer and paid opportunities

You may find information about relevant work experience in the following Explore Occupations pages:


Finding Jobs

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and research employers for speculative applications.

Advertised vacancies

Find advertised vacancies onMyCareer - our vacancies database, with employers targeting Newcastle University students and graduates.

Teaching roles outside of mainstream schools

Private and online tutoring
Teaching English as a foreign or second language
  • See the Careers Service’s TEFL Finding Jobs page for a list of job vacancy websites 

Adult and community education

Outdoor activities instruction
Prison education
Museum education

Non-teaching education roles

Supporting children and young people

Careers and educational guidance

Training and development

Specialist recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies often advertise graduate and entry-level positions. They also have a wealth of industry knowledge.

Protocol offer national adult teaching, training and tutoring and prison teaching roles.

In the North East

PK Education recruit for education support roles and outdoor education instructors. 

Finding opportunities

Not all opportunities are advertised. You could also approach organisations or find work through networking in the sector.

Find organisations that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for.

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Try the following sites to find organisations to approach:

In the North East

UK wide

  • Youth Access has a directory of support services for young people.
  • Find companies on MyCareer - click ‘Search' then 'Organisations’ to find companies the Careers Service has worked with. Can filter by keyword, sector and region.
  • - online business directory – try using keywords such as ‘training services’
  • search on LinkedIn to find companies in your region and sector

Work for Yourself

Being self-employed is relatively common for some roles in the education and training sector.

Private and online tutors are often self-employed, finding work through an agency or online platform. 

See Finding Jobs for vacancy websites.

START UP provide information on information, activities and support for eligible Newcastle students and graduates interested in self-employment.

COBRA provides factsheets and reports on starting up and running a business or working for yourself. COBRA can only be accessed through a University computer on the Newcastle campus.

Prospects gives advice on being self-employed.