The public sector in India is a vast source of employment, providing jobs to teachers, police officers, firefighters, doctors, civil servants, and several other critical jobs designed to maintain a safe and productive community. The public sector is not driven by revenues and jobs are funded by taxpayers. The tax money available for financing the public is relative to the economy; public sector job growth rises and falls accordingly.
What is a teacher, after all, but a project manager, HR rep, life coach, motivational speaker, and creative entrepreneur all wrapped up into one.
There is a cap on how much one can earn in the public sector. Even high-level public sector employees, despite their excellent earning potential, are limited by this cap, when compared to the private sector. However, employment in the public sector is often more stable and attached to attractive retirement and health benefits.
Benefits of Public Sector Jobs for Teachers
One of the main benefits of the public sector is that employees usually have job security in positions of long-term and stable employment. Public sector employment is still much more secure and sustainable than that of the private sector. Public sector employees, such as government school teachers (irrespective of whether you are teaching Maths or History), are also eligible to receive government benefit plans and secure pensions, which often drives decisions of teachers switching to alternative careers in the public sector.
Contribute to the Community
Public sector job resources and salaries are funded by taxpayers. As a result, public sector workers are inculcated with a primary sense of responsibility to the community. In turn, this empowers you to positively influence your local community through the work you carry out. As it is, teachers are, on any given day, responsible for steering young minds towards a positive direction in life.
The public sector is, any day, less demanding than the private sector. And, this includes private schools and colleges. The cut-throat nature of work in a private company can be stressful and damaging.
Government organizations are usually quite accommodating when it comes to recognizing the diverse circumstances of their employees. New jobs for teachers in the public sector come with flexible working hours that are usually based around a core time of hours or on a ‘shift work’ basis, as well as part-time jobs and job-sharing options.
More Pay for Less Work
Public sector employees in India work nine years less and earn at least 30% more than private-sector employees throughout their lifetime. Still wondering whether you should consider that advert you saw in the paper about 'alternate jobs for university teachers'?
Staff Training Programs
Public sector organizations are committed to realizing their staff’s potential. They encourage their employees to enhance their skills set by participating in training programs, progressing their professional development, or achieving external qualifications. This can lead to further career opportunities.
It is true that, under the current government regime, India has seen some controversial reforms in the pension schemes. However, having a guaranteed pension scheme tied into your employment is a considerable factor for choosing public sector jobs over employment with a private organization.
Government employees get to enjoy good post-retirement benefits.
Provident funds, gratuity schemes, and salary arrears make the post-retirement life of government employees a relaxed and anxiety-free affair. Government employees also get to enjoy decent medical insurance coverage for themselves and their families. Most importantly, public sector employees reportedly maintain a much better work-life balance than their private sector counterparts!
Civil Service Jobs for Ex-Teachers
While participating in the political process of the country is a noble decision, especially for teachers, for those who remain ideologically neutral, consider becoming part of the Indian civil services, a politically neutral organization that provides support and advice to the government in regards to delivering policies and public services.
The civil service comprises many different fields within various government organizations. Roles could range from support managers, administration, prison officers, occupational health, community support, administration, education commissioners – the list is wide and incredibly diverse.
Many careers within the civil service don’t require any specific qualifications or training – and most offer on the job training and development. Different roles involve different skills and qualities in a person, so identify which jobs might suit you.
Though this tends to be thought of as an option reserved for recent graduates, it is also available for those leaving teaching jobs. One good example of the variety of routes available to teachers who are switching to Civil Services is of one teacher-turned-civil-servant who took on roles in various areas of healthcare and social services, before going onto his/ her guaranteed job in the Civil Service.
Working from the Ground Up: Education Policy and Research
Despite having decided to leave teaching, you still feel passionate about helping students. However, you want to affect change on a large scale, beyond the classroom every day. Consider working in education policy and research that can provide many jobs in the field of education field besides teaching. Professionals working in education policy and research can work for politicians, advocacy groups, non-profits, and more.
Working in this area provides opportunities for many different types of work, from observing teachers in classrooms in high need areas to working with lawmakers to impact educational change.
As a teacher, you will already be familiar with the rewards, benefits, and challenges of working in the public sector. You might find that working for a government organization such as state education is a gratifying and enjoyable experience, and might, therefore, decide to explore other options within this sector, but outside of teaching.
Teachers have many important skills and qualities, which can be easily transferred to roles in the public sector, such as:
- A strong work ethic
- The ability to work well under pressure
- A creative, innovative approach to tasks
- A good understanding of people and human behavior
- Working successfully in a team and independently
- The ambition to constantly improve and develop
With these skills and your education degree, you will be qualified for many jobs within the field of education in the public sector. If you feel that you wish to remain in this area, then think about what it is that makes you not want to teach anymore.
Diversify Your Skills
Schools and universities have special departments specifically focused on student wellbeing and development. If you feel that you would still like to remain in this type of work environment, why not try swapping the classroom for work in student support? You will likely still receive all the same benefits and, in many cases, will also maintain your teacher’s holiday allowance, but your tasks and activities will be refocused.
Or maybe you’re interested in the prospect of development and recruitment in teaching – teaching teachers themselves! If your talents lie in directing, leading, and innovation, then you might find that you’re destined to work in a behind-the-scenes role that facilitates the progress and improvement of state education.
Another way to apply your knowledge of school life is to get involved in the Ministry for Education itself. This is a great way to put your skills and experience to good use whilst enjoying a change of scenery as you go from working on the educational front line to working behind-the-scenes.
A good way to find out more about the opportunities which may be available to you is to do plenty of research. Visit job websites and find out whether a behind-the-scenes job offers what you're looking for in a career.
Counseling: Alternatives to Teaching
Within the field of student support, there are careers in counseling to consider. Do you consider yourself a compassionate person? Are you a good listener? Do you have a problem-solving mindset? You could be just the right kind of person to help students by creating a caring, supportive environment to work through their academic, personal, and social worries.
Counseling does involve taking a training course, but the level of training depends on the level of counseling you would provide. You do not necessarily need a degree to become a counselor. There are many further education courses available, such as the International Certified Career Coach (ICCC) program by Mindler and Career Development Alliance (CDA).
These courses are widely recognized and could make you eligible for a counseling role in a school or university, in a youth group, or local counseling service that lies outside of education. They range from introductory courses to higher-level qualifications, at both certificate and diploma level, depending on who you wish to work with and in what environment.
A surprising number of teachers choose to follow their passion for helping students with a range of issues throughout their education to become counselors, however, simply knowing that you want to 'get into counseling' isn't enough - you'll need to narrow down your goals before you put the wheels of your career change in motion.
Ask yourself plenty of questions. Would you prefer to work with adults or children? Do you want to specialize in a particular area or would you prefer to take a more general approach? You'll find that there are as many types of counseling careers as there are questions to be asked - but this gives you plenty of options.