Alternate Paths in the Education Sector

What if you're interested in the education sector, except that you don't want to be a teacher? Fret not – there are plenty of non-teaching roles that you can consider.
The gradsingapore Team
Dawn Yip
Alternate Paths in the Education Sector

When it comes to the education sector, the most common role that comes to mind would be teaching. It’s no surprise that that’s the case: not only are they one of the most visible careers, but they play a critical role by instilling not just academic knowledge, but important values as well.

That being said, as meaningful and rewarding teaching can be, the job isn’t for everyone. It could be that you know you aren’t great at dealing with students, and while you may be interested in making a difference in this sector, you don’t think being a teacher is up your alley. But what if you’re still keen on working in education? Are there any other options you can consider?

As a matter of fact, there are! Depending on your interests, there’s a good variety of non-teaching roles available, both within schools and directly at the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) headquarters. Here are a few you can consider:

Within schools

Allied Educators

While not technically classified as teachers, allied educators (AEDs) still play a crucial part in schools by providing learning support to students with mild learning difficulties and/or special needs. As of 2020, there are about 2,000 AEDs in Singapore, with 600 specialising in behavioural support. Due to a strong emphasis on early intervention, nearly every school is assigned at least one or two AEDs.

AEDs will find themselves identifying and developing support strategies to best assist students, as well as provide valuable in-class support alongside teachers. This can also extend to running support programmes for these students, along with remedial sessions.

School Counsellors

Providing counselling, emotional and social support to students, counsellors help to identify the social and/or emotional concerns they have, and work with students through them. In addition, they can also help to develop and execute psycho-educational sessions for students regarding mental health and coping strategies, along with making such resources available to students, parents and staff alike.

While those with training in counselling is preferred, interested candidates who lack that qualification can still apply, although they will have to undergo a foundational training project spanning about 8 months. Moreover, regardless of experience, the role of a counsellor can be taxing, not only physically, but mentally as well. As a result, they may need to undergo a medical examination to ensure that they are prepared for the potentially taxing work ahead.

Other Roles

Apart from the positions mentioned above, there are also administrative and operational support roles you can consider undertaking. For example, interested graduates can consider applying as an administration manager, whose responsibilities include managing the school’s finances, overseeing human resources and running programmes such as financial assistance schemes and student admission.

Regardless of the path, most of these roles welcome applicants who are not only team players, but also possess good interpersonal and communication skills. In addition, depending on the job’s responsibilities, some additional hard skills or experiences will also be required. This can range from having experience with laboratory work if you want to work as a school lab technician, as well as project management and IT skills as an administration manager.

MOE Headquarters

Alternatively, you can choose to apply for roles within MOE’s headquarters, with multiple divisions having their own specialisations and responsibilities. This can range from curriculum planning and development by reviewing and updating Singapore’s education syllabus, to developing and implementing policies and strategies, as well as conducting stakeholder outreach. In addition, there are also other supporting positions within the organisation, such as in operations management and human resources. Regardless of the role taken, you’ll be playing a role in moulding the future of the next few generations of Singaporeans.