To find out more, the AoC spoke with a group of engineers who have recently stepped into the world of further education. Their insights are outlined in a guide we’ve compiled specifically for STEM professionals, which you can download here.
They agreed on various factors that led them to leave the engineering industry behind: a lack of creativity, the burden of liability, and disillusionment in corporate values. Some were facing retirement or redundancy and looking for a change of focus. Others were just starting out and found the industry didn’t suit them.
Whatever your stage of career, it may surprise you to know that you probably already have the skills and qualifications needed to make the switch to teaching today.
In fact, engineers make excellent teachers and here’s why:
Engineering tends to attract creative people - you feel like you’ve lost your creativity somewhere along the way. As a teacher, you will have new opportunities to express your creativity, whether it’s planning methods of delivering topics, finding new ways to engage students, or designing interesting projects for them.
Your passion for STEM subjects may be suffering due to work pressures, but becoming a teacher means getting back to basics and back to where you first found that passion. The best teachers are enthusiastic about their subject matter and enjoy passing that on to their students.
It’s one thing to be able to teach a subject. It’s a different matter entirely to know the subject inside-out having worked in industry. When you have established a career in engineering or technology, you bring expertise to the classroom that no-one else can. By relating real-life examples to the topic you’re teaching, it brings that subject to life, making learning much more effective.
Hitting deadlines, juggling priorities and people management are all things shared between engineers and teachers. You also have to be organised, and that’s another reason engineering and tech professionals make great teachers. Developing and presenting lesson plans, marking assignments on time, and being a mentor to your students all require effective time management and planning.
Most people who choose a career in STEM want to make a difference in the world. Creating new products and innovating existing technology are what probably attracted you to the industry in the first place. Teaching offers another opportunity to change the world by influencing the next generation. You can see your impact in action, as students learn and grow from your knowledge and experience.
You don’t need teaching experience to become a lecturer. All you need to get started is A-levels or equivalent qualifications in related subjects.
To find out how easy it could be to switch to a fulfilling new career in teaching, check out AoC’s full guide here.