Looming Teaching Shortage May Mean New Jobs

Dawn Papandrea | April 17, 2009

PhotobucketThese days it seems that all people are talking about are lay-offs and reduced hiring rates — so much so that they ignore an important factor in every industry: the retirement rate. While many professions may reduce the amount by which they hire on a yearly basis, the truth is that a fresh crop of employees is always necessary in order to takeover the jobs of workers who have reached retirement age.

It’s an economic factor that is sometimes overlooked, but many in the media are taking notice in light of a new report on the education industry. According to the report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a nonprofit research advocacy group, a third of the country’s 3.2 million teachers may be retiring during the course of the next four years.

Unfortunately, there’s another problem that adds to this anticipated teaching shortage: the high attrition rate that occurs amongst newly hired teachers. Research has shown that a third of all new teachers choose to leave the teaching world within five years of being hired. Combined this with the cushy retirement plans that many teachers enjoy and you get a high turnover rate.

There is, however, hope for the education industry in the form of a new generation of college graduates eager to get into the teaching game and reap the perks that the profession’s hours, work demands, job security, and health benefits offer. Of course, as with any other career, you should only consider it if it coincides with your passions and goals in life – otherwise, you’ll be amongst that one third of new teachers.

*The original NYTimes article for more stats and info on the matter.

— Genevieve M. Blaber

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